Last Thursday I drove down to Riverside to watch Cal State Northridge play UC Riverside. With CSUN coming into the game with a 4 game win streak, and UCR having a 4 game lose streak, I felt the odds were pretty safe that CSUN would take the upper hand. Especially after their great performance the weekend before against UCI and UCSB. With that said, you cant discredit UCR. They are the only team that is younger than CSUN to enter the NCAA, but they were not about to give up on this game before it started. Just last month, UCR defeated CSUN in Northridge 70-61, so this game could really go either way. The energy in the building was not as great as the game in Santa Barbra. It was a smaller crowd, and not as loud. The game went back and fourth, with both teams trading the lead. In my opinion, there were some calls made by the refs that seemed bias, and there were a lot of free throws in the game. At halftime, UCR was leading 41-37. The second half would continue to be pretty similar to the first half. CSUN would get the lead, just to have UCR come back and stay in charge. With under a minute left in the second half, CSUN was trailing UCR 70-64. At this point it was still anyones game. There was a lot of fouling going on, and UCR was making the majority of their freethrows, while CSUN was coming up short. CSUN’s Dathan Lyles brought the ball down court and hit a 3 point shot that was good. When UCR had the ball, there was a foul, sending their leading scorer of the night, Phil Martin, to the free throw line with 26.9 seconds left. He already had 21 points up until this point. He hit both freethrows, making UCR maintiain their lead at 72 – 67. CSUN quickly brought the ball down the court, and Vinnie McGhee had an open look for the 3 point basket and it was good. It was now a 2 point lead for UCR. It was starting to look like it was going to be another nail biter for CSUN. Once UCR had the ball, CSUN had to quickly foul. With 13.5 seconds left, they sent Kareem Nitoto to the free throw line. He hit only the first shot, but missed the second. CSUN brought the ball quickly down the court, but it quickly led to a jump ball call by the refs. CSUN had possession, and with barely any time remaining on the clock, they threw the ball in, but CSUN was not able to hit the final shot, leaving just a buzzer sound and a victory for UC Riverside. It was a close game, and at the end it definitely could have gone in either direction. CSUN maintained their 2nd place in the conference, while UCR moved up. CSUN’s next game will be at home against UC Irvine. Stay tuned for highlights from that game!
Here are the highlights from the CSUN at UCR game. There is a short and extended version. Please feel free to comment and leave feedback!