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Men's Basketball

No. 1 Cal State Northridge, No. 3 Pacific To Battle In Men's Final

Files associated with this release:
CSUN-UCSB Box Score.pdf
CSUN-UCSB Quotes
PAC-LBSU Box Score.pdf
PAC-LBSU Quotes.pdf

3/13/2009

No. 1 seed Cal State Northridge will meet No. 3 seed Pacific in the Big West Men's Basketball Tournament championship game at 9:00 p.m. Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center.  The Matadors defeated fourth-seeded UC Santa Barbara 67-60 and the Tigers outlasted third-seeded Long Beach State 65-60 in tonight's semifinal round.  Saturday's championship will be televised live by ESPN2 and aired on Sirius Radio Channel 122.

S
econd-Half Spur Sends Matadors into Big West Final

Reserve guard Rodrigue Mels' game-high 28 points included 16 in the second half as the top-seeded Cal State Northridge men's basketball team broke a halftime deadlock and advanced to the championship game of the 2009 Big West Conference Tournament with a 67-60 semifinal-round victory against No. 4 UC Santa Barbara Friday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Forward Tremaine Townsend added 14 points for the Matadors (16-13), who avenged last season's 83-68 semifinal-round loss to Cal State Fullerton. The Matadors will face the survivor from Friday's later semifinal matchup between second-seeded Long Beach State and No. 3 Pacific Saturday, March 14 at 9 p.m. ESPN2 will broadcast the final.

With the scoreline knotted at intermission, 30-30, Cal State Northridge opened the second half with a 14-7 run before a layup from Gaucho forward Jaime Serna and a three-pointer from guard Jordan Weiner helped cut the Matador lead to a single point. The single-digit disadvantage was as close as UC Santa Barbara would get, however, as Cal State Northridge eventually compiled a 62-52 lead with two minutes remaining. The loss marked the second time in as many seasons that the Gauchos had been ousted from the tournament in the semifinals.

Forward Chris Devine posted a team-best 16 points for UC Santa Barbara while Serna finished with 12 and forward James Nunnally totalled 10.

Cal State Northridge's only previous appearance in the Big West championship game came in 2004, when the Matadors fell against Pacific, 75-73.

Pacific Beats Back Long Beach State to Book Championship Appearance

Pacific forward Bryan LeDuc sank four-straight free throws during the final eight seconds of play to preserve victory and a potential game-tying three-pointer from Long Beach State guard Donovan Morris fell shy as the third-seeded Tigers advanced to the 2009 Big West Conference Tournament championship game with a 65-60 semifinal win against the No. 2 49ers Friday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Guard Chad Troyer scored a game-high 22 points for Pacific (19-11), which will meet top-seeded Cal State Northridge in Saturday’s championship finale. Tipping off at 9 p.m., the game will be televised live on ESPN2. Cal State Northridge downed fourth-seeded UC Santa Barbara in Friday’s earlier semifinal matchup, 67-60.

Beginning with Anthony Brown’s jumper 34 seconds into regulation, Pacific paced Long Beach State wire-to-wire. The Tigers led by as much as nine in the first half before the second of 49ers forward T.J. Robinson’s two free throws deadlocked the scoreline, 36-36, with 16 minutes remaining. The 49ers failed to come as close again, though a steal from guard Maurice Clady that led to a Robinson jumper with 15 seconds to play cut Long Beach State’s deficit to 61-60. 

Robinson finished with a team-best 21 points for Long Beach State.

Pacific’s last tournament championship game appearance came in 2006, when Tigers defeated Long Beach State, 78-70. Cal State Northridge’s only previous appearance in the Big West championship game came in 2004, when the Matadors fell against Pacific, 75-73. Cal State Northridge men's basketball team broke a halftime deadlock and advanced to the championship game of the 2009 Big West Conference Tournament with a 67-60 semifinal-round victory against No. 4 UC Santa Barbara Friday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.



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