Matadors Hold Off Titans

Jan. 16, 2010

Box Score

Fullerton, Calif. - Junior forward Lenny Daniel had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds and senior forward Kenny Daniels added 17 points and 6 rebounds Saturday night as Cal State Northridge led virtually wire-to-wire for a 78-72 Big West Conference victory at Cal State Fullerton.

The Matadors (7-10, 2-3) won their third game in a row, their third in a row at Fullerton and snapped the Titans' (8-8, 3-2) 3-game winning streak. Devon Peltier came off the bench to hit seven 3-point baskets and lead Fullerton with a season-high 23 points. Reserve Rashaun McLemore scored 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting for CSUN.

Northridge ultimately won the game at the free-throw line, making 25 of 31 attempts for a season-best 81 percent while Fullerton made only 18 of 30 in losing at home for the first time in seven starts.

Northridge took control of the game with a 12-0 run over almost 6 minutes of the first half that turned a 12-10 lead into a 24-10 advantage with 7:06 left. Fullerton didn't make its third field goal of the game until Peltier made his second trey at the 5:42 mark.

Northridge extended its 37-25 halftime lead to as many as 17 points at 49-32 with 15:50 to play. Fullerton gradually pulled close and got as close as two possessions with about 7 minutes to play. But Willie Gallick twice converted 3-point plays off offensive rebounds to keep the Titans at bay.

Fullerton got within 4 points at 73-69 at 0:58 before Mark Hill hit two free throws. Peltier hit his final trey at 0:25 to make it 75-72 but Hill hit another free throw and Daniel added two in the closing seconds.

Fullerton shot only 32 percent and committed 10 turnovers in the first half against an extended CSUN zone defense. Fullerton hit 50 percent in the second half.

"I don't have an answer for why we fall behind early so often," said CSF Coach Bob Burton, who was coaching his 200th game at Fullerton.

"It was hard to recover. We never seemed to in this one. We were tentative against their zone, didn't penetrate and didn't play together. Zones are all we're going to see the rest of the year.

"Yet we shot 30 percent in one half and 50 percent against the same zone in the second half. We're thinking too much.

"Their offensive rebounding was our biggest problem. And getting only 9 minutes from J'V was disastrous.

"We got it down and when it was winning time, Northridge got it done."

The Titans were hurt by fouls. Both starting center Bryce Webster and power forward Jer'Vaughn Johnson, the team's leading scorer, picked up two fouls in the first 5 minutes. Later in the half, Johnson received his third foul and a fourth due to a technical at the 9:18 mark. He ended up playing only 9 minutes before fouling out with 6 second-half points. Webster fouled out with 5:34 to play with 11 points an 7 rebounds.

Fullerton is on the road next week at Pacific and UC Santa Barbara. Northridge plays a non-conference game at Seattle on Tuesday and then plays at Cal Poly.