Cal State Northridge (2-0) at San Diego (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 15, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California. Television: Local. Home Record: CSUN 2-0, USD 2-0. Away Record: CSUN 0-0, USD 0-0. Neutral Record: CSUN 0-0, USD 0-0. Conference Record: CSUN 0-0, USD 0-0. Series Record: San Diego leads, 19-14.
GAME NOTES: Seeking their third straight win to begin the 2012-13 campaign, the Matadors of Cal State Northridge prepare for a busy week as they clash with the San Diego Toreros as part of the NUCDF Basketball Challenge at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Northridge is scheduled to play four games in four days, something that has happened only one other time in the 54-year history of the program. Following tonight's matchup, the Matadors will battle Siena on Friday, Tulsa on Saturday and Northern Kentucky on Sunday.
Already CSUN has a pair of tallies in the win column thanks to an 81-75 decision against Pepperdine last Friday and a 96-79 victory versus Eastern Washington earlier this week.
As for the Toreros, a team which isn't due to play a game outside the state of California until a few days after Thanksgiving, they opened the campaign with a 91-58 romp over San Diego Christian on Friday. The team then began the run in this tourney with a narrow 65-61 triumph over Northern Kentucky on Wednesday.
These two California-based programs are meeting for the 34th time, with the Toreros owning a 19-14 edge in the all-time series. The last meeting took place nearly a decade ago here in San Diego where the Toreros captured a 64-61.
Brandon Perry came off the bench to post a double-double consisting of 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Matadors dismissed the Eastern Washington Eagles by 17 points in non-conference action at The Matadome on Monday. Also producing a double-double for the Matadors was Stephen Maxwell who tallied 21 points and 10 boards in the season-opening victory. Coming up two rebounds shy of his own double-double was Stephan Hicks who posted 19 points, followed by Allan Guei with 10 points and five steals. Despite shooting just 1-of-7 from the floor and missing all three of his three-point tries, Josh Greene still made a major impact as he handed out a game-high 13 assists. After two games the Matadors are averaging 88.5 ppg, with Maxwell leading the way with his 18.0 ppg as he shoots 62.5 percent from the field. Hicks (14.5 ppg), Donovan Johnson (12.0 ppg), Perry (12.0 ppg) and Greene (10.0 ppg) have all made positive contributions, but even though the latter had 13 dishes in the last outing, he is averaging just sever per game at the moment.
Trailing by eight points with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second half, the Toreros went to work against Northern Kentucky, particularly at the free-throw line where they outscored the visitors by a 17-3 margin in the frame in order to squeeze by with the three-point win. Three players finished in double figures for the hosts, led by Dennis Kramer with 15 on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor and a near-perfect 7-of-8 at the charity stripe. Johnny Dee added 14 points and Chris Anderson 13, to go along with six assists as the team went to battle without Chris Manresa who was out due to a back injury. The squad finished a mere 2-of-9 behind the 3-point line but dominated at the free-throw line, outscoring the Norse by a 25-9 margin overall. Kramer has led the team in scoring in both games thus far, averaging 15.5 ppg, while shooting a wildly successful 83.3 percent from the floor.
If Manresa is unable to go again today, the Toreros might be scrambling to keep up with CSUN, but in the end the hosts should have what it takes to squeeze by.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego 68, Cal State Northridge 63
11/15 10:33:22 ET