Printer Friendly

CSUN GETS IN HALF RIGHT BUT PACIFIC'S STRONG 2ND HALF KEYS WIN PACIFIC 75, CSUN 61.

Byline: Jill Painter Staff Writer

STOCKTON - Cal State Northridge was in an unfamiliar place against Pacific. The Matadors actually were leading. They led most of the first half. They led at halftime.

But 19th-ranked Pacific, with a veteran roster of eight seniors, restored order in the second half, claiming a 75-61 Big West Conference victory Saturday night over the Matadors at Spanos Center.

Pacific outscored CSUN by 15 points in the second half and used its zone and a raucous sellout crowd to frazzle CSUN. The Tigers went on a 7-0 run to start the second half and cruised to the victory in front of 6,150. Pacific's triumph marked its 19th consecutive win and fifth in a row against the Matadors.

CSUN, which lost for the first time in four games, has never won at Spanos Center.

The Matadors made just one field goal in the first 11 minutes of the second half, ending the drought with a Joe Frazier layup with 8:48 left. CSUN trailed by just three points at that juncture.

The Tigers were just getting started.

``They went to their zone, and we lost a bit of our confidence,'' coach Bobby Braswell said. ``They're so big and tall in that zone.''

The confident bunch was Pacific, which has won 29 consecutive Big West games dating back to last year and is 16-0 this season. CSUN (11-5) fell into a third-place tie with Cal State Fullerton, a half-game behind Utah State (12-5).

If the season ended today, the Matadors would be seeded fourth for the Big West Tournament, losing the tiebreaker to the Titans because of an ugly loss at UC Santa Barbara. Fullerton swept the Gauchos.

CSUN finishes the regular season Thursday at UC Riverside and Saturday at Fullerton. The Titans are home against Pacific on Thursday; Utah State closes its campaign at home Friday against Idaho.

When asked if he'd like to play Pacific in the Big West Tournament, senior Eto Onyenegecha said: ``Oh, we will.''

CSUN shot just 31 percent In the second half and made only 1 of 13 3-pointers against the zone. Senior Ian Boylan, who played just five minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, finished with just four points on 1-of-8 shooting.

Pacific's Tyler Newton provided the exclamation mark with two open dunks in the final 30 seconds, highlight material on national television. (ESPN2 carried the game.) Pacific's start wasn't so hot, but coach Bob Thomason wasn't bothered. He explained his team has rallied all season.

Like Onyenegecha, Thomason figures there could be a rematch.

``They really want to beat us, and walking off the court, you can tell they feel like they can beat us,'' Thomason said. ``We may see them again in a couple of weeks.''

Davin White scored a team-best 17 points and made three 3-pointers in the final two minutes of the first half.

Pacific made consecutive 3-pointers - one by Christian Maraker, another by Marko Mihailovic - to build a 54-47 lead with about seven minutes left. Johnny Gray extended the lead to 10 points with a 3-pointer with three seconds left on the shot clock and the game was essentially over.

The last time these teams met, Pacific built a 17-point first-half lead. Not this time.

CSUN led by as many as seven points in the first half, and that was without Boylan and Frazier, who sat out the final 14 minutes of the first half with two fouls.

The scene in Stockton was markedly different than any in Los Angeles. Spanos Center was packed 30 minutes before the game on senior night. Pacific's bench stole the show with 31 points. The Tigers overcame 18 turnovers.

Last year, Pacific kept Cal State Northridge from going to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers edged Northridge 75-73 in the Big West championship game. Last month, CSUN fell behind by 17 points in the first half but rallied before losing 66-62.

Freshman Jonathan Heard predicted CSUN would ``deliver the first blow,'' and he was right. It's just that CSUN couldn't deliver a knockout punch.

``I know we've got a better effort in us,'' Onyenegecha said.

Whether they'll get another chance isn't certain.

Jill Painter, (818)713-3615

jill.painter(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

CSUN's Jonathan Heard, left, tries to keep the ball away from Pacific defender Guillaume Yango during Saturday's game.

Max Whittaker/Associated Press
COPYRIGHT 2005 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 27, 2005
Words:730
Previous Article:PLEDGE YOUR ALLEGIANCE: 8 OR 24 NO MIDDLE GROUND FOR FANS OF LITTLE E, GORDON.
Next Article:THE WRTING ON (AND OFF) THE WALL FOOTBALL, CLINT'S `BABY' LIGHT UP SILVER SCREEN.


Related Articles
NORTHRIDGE RALLY RUNS OUT OF STEAM FREE THROWS IN FINAL MINUTE PUT AWAY MATADORS LONG BEACH ST. 70, CSUN 63.
THE START SIGNALED THE END.
MATADORS DON'T LIKE VIEW PACIFIC'S LATE DEFENSE ENOUGH TO BEAT CSUN PACIFIC 66, CSUN 62.
MATADORS DON'T LIKE VIEW PACIFIC'S LATE DEFENSE ENOUGH TO BEAT CSUN PACIFIC 66, CSUN 62.
MATADORS SEEKING SECOND - AND SEMIS.
CSUN GETS IT HALF RIGHT BUT PACIFIC'S STRONG 2ND HALF KEYS WIN PACIFIC 75, CSUN 61.
WIN GIVES CSUN CHANCE TO REACH PACIFIC HEIGHTS MATADORS TO GET SHOT AT REDEMPTION AGAINST NO. 18 TIGERS CSUN 72, UC IRVINE 56.
WIN GIVES CSUN CHANCE TO REACH PACIFIC HEIGHTS MATADORS TO GET SHOT AT REDEMPTION AGAINST NO. 18 TIGERS CSUN 72, UC IRVINE 56.
SAME SAD ENDING FOR CSUN, BOYLAN PACIFIC 63, CSUN 61.
MATADORS READY TO TURN PAGE REPLACING BOYLAND IS TOUGHEST TASK.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters