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Men's Basketball

Cal State Northridge Competes In Fourth Annual 76 Classic

Files associated with this release:
Men's Basketball Release No. 3

11/23/2010

In the midst of Thanksgiving feasts, a men's basketball bonanza of games also ensues as Cal State Northridge represents the Big West in the fourth annual 76 Classic in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.  The Matadors battle Virginia Tech in the first of 12 games over three days with ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com showcasing all the action.

NOTEWORTHY

KEEP AN EYE ON

Phil Martin, UC Riverside
Martin has emerged as one of the top newcomers on a revamped Highlander squad.  The junior made the SMU Invitational All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.3 points per game and making 21 of 28 (.750) floor shots.  He scored a career-high 29 points on 11 of 12 shooting as the Highlanders defeated host SMU 73-69 in overtime.  His 11 of 12 effort was the fourth-best single-game shooting percentage in school history for a player taking at least 10 shots.  Martin posted double-digit points in all three games of the tournament.  He leads the team in scoring at 13.4 points per game.

MORE NOTABLES

Cal State Northridge Represents League In 76 Classic
Cal State Northridge is the Big West’s entry in the fourth annual 76 Classic, which has developed into one of the nation’s premier holiday tournaments.  The three-day event at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena on November 25, 26 and 28 features the Matadors, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, DePaul, Murray State, Stanford, Tulsa and UNLV.  The Big West and co-hosts ESPN Regional Television (ERT) will televise all 12 games on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN360.com.  UC Irvine (2007), Cal State Fullerton (2008) and Long Beach State (2009) have taken their turn at competing in the Thanksgiving basketball bonanza.  CSUN opens with Virginia Tech at 11:00 a.m. Thanksgiving Day on ESPNU.

Thanksgiving Week Heavy On Food, Light On Games
Besides the trio of contests Cal State Northridge plays in the 76 Classic, only 11 other games are on the Thanksgiving week hoops ledger.  Pacific finishes up play in the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off against a familiar foe - Missouri State.  The Tigers lost to the Bears in the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last March, and hope to exact revenge in their return to Springfield, Mo.  Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis each play two games.  Long Beach State hosts Loyola Marymount, UC Santa Barbara travels to Portland and UC Irvine treks all the way across the country to face Marist.

Wise And Harden Near Scoring Milestones
UC Irvine junior Eric Wise and UC Davis senior Joe Harden are on the cusp of reaching career 1,000-point scoring milestones.  Wise has 984 points and needs 16 more to become the 20th player in UCI history to accomplish the feat.  Wise was hampered last week by a hip flexor injury that allowed him to play in just one of three games of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.  Harden needs 22 points to hit the 1,000-point mark and could do so on Tuesday against Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State.  He would get another chance on Saturday when the Aggies welcome Seattle.

UC Santa Barbara Picked To Win 2010-11 Title
A 23-member media voting panel gave UC Santa Barbara the nod to win the 2010-11 Big West men’s basketball regular season title.  The Gauchos, which won the conference’s regular season and tournament championships last season, received 20 first-place votes and 204 points.  The Gauchos feature the return of 2009-10 Big West Player of the Year Orlando Johnson, who led the league in scoring at 18.0 points per game.  Long Beach State captured two first-place vote and 180 points for second place.  Earning 161 points and the remaining first-place vote was Pacific.  The Tigers are coming off of a 23-12 season and a run to the championship game of the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.  UC Davis earned 126 points for fourth place and Cal Poly was fifth with 96.  Rounding out the poll was UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside.

Honda Center New Home Of Tournament
Honda Center last November announced a five-year partnership with the Big West Conference to host its annual men’s and women’s post-season basketball tournament beginning in 2011.  Each year the winner of the three-day single-elimination playoff receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Big West and Honda Center have teamed up for “March Madness” and “The Road To The Final Four” on numerous occasions including men’s basketball regionals in 1998, 2001 and 2003 and first and second round action in 2008.  In addition, the Big West and Honda Center was selected as host of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball West Regional.

The Big West Tournament is the oldest NCAA Division I post-season basketball tournament in the west, dating back to 1976 when the conference was known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association.

All-session tickets for the 2011 Big West Tournament may be purchased at hondacenter.com.  For more information, please call (714) 704-2500 or email bigwesttournament@hondacenter.com.  Courtside (first 4 rows) all-session tickets cost $144 apiece.  All other all-session tickets cost $64 apiece.

Peltier Breaks Out Of Short Shooting Slump
Cal State Fullerton guard Devon Peltier scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Titans to their first victory of the 2010-11 season - 62-59 at San Diego on Sunday.  The senior made 8 of 16 shots from the field and grabbed the final defensive rebound to preserve the triumph against the Toreros.  Peltier overcame a cold spell from the perimeter, hitting 7 of 14 from three-point range after making just 1 of 10 from long range in the first two games.

Gauchos Extend Home Court Winning Streak
UC Santa Barbara’s decisive 69-54 win against Fresno State on Saturday was the ninth straight at home for the Gauchos dating back to last season.  The next Gaucho home game is on December 1 against Loyola Marymount.

Monson To Coach 100th Game At Long Beach State
Fourth-year head coach Dan Monson will pace the sidelines for his 100th career game at Long Beach State when Loyola Marymount invades the Walter Pyramid on Saturday.  Monson is 41-58 (.414) at the school and is coming off a solid win against Big Ten Conference opponent Iowa.  The 49ers defeated the Hawkeyes 78-72 in the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin Islands on Monday.

Perfect Ten
Junior Will Donahue has recorded an identical 10 rebounds in each of his first three games with Cal Poly in 2010-11.  He ranks second in the Big West in rebounds.  He recorded double-doubles in his first two games after scoring 16 points against Seattle and 17 versus Cal State Monterey Bay.  He is also hitting at a .625 (15 of 24) clip from the floor.

Follow Your Team On BigWest.TV
The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring you exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews, and features to your home via the Internet!  Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in men’s basketball as well as women’s basketball and volleyball.  Also covered are select contests in men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference Championships.  A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you.  If you can’t make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!

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