CS-Northridge (6-16) at Pacific (9-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 10:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Spanos Center (6,150) -- Stockton, California. Television: None. Home Record: CSN 3-6, Pacific 6-6. Away Record: CSN 3-10, Pacific 3-8. Neutral Record: CSN 0-0, Pacific 0-0. Conference Record: CSN 2-9, Pacific 5-6. Series Record: Pacific leads, 21-6.
GAME NOTES: The Pacific Tigers try to hand the Cal State Northridge Matadors their fourth straight loss when the Big West Conference rivals square off at Spanos Center in Stockton tonight.
Pacific is having a lackluster season but has been playing better of late. After enduring a seven-game losing streak in December and January, the Tigers have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games. A 74-66 loss to first-place Long Beach State on Thursday dropped them to 5-6 in conference.
Northridge has experienced and even worse season, winning just six games overall and the team is a mere 2-9 in conference play. The Matadors have lost three in a row and six of their last seven, including a 79-71 defeat to UC Davis on Thursday, giving the Aggies their first conference win of the season.
Pacific has a handle on the all-time series with Northridge, winning 21 of the previous 27 matchups, though the two teams have split the last four games.
Pacific ranks in the middle of the pack in the Big West in most categories, sitting fourth in scoring defense (66.6 ppg) and sixth in scoring offense (64.1 ppg). Neither unit was particularly impressive in Thursday's loss as the Tigers allowed Long Beach State to connect on 49 percent of its field goal attempts and 10 three-pointers, while they managed to make good on only 41.3 percent of their total shots. Lorenzo McCloud didn't exactly light it up from the floor (7-of-16) but still paced the Tiger offense with 16 points. Field goal percentage hasn't been a strength for McCloud on the year (.395, .185 from three-point range), but he leads the team with 11.5 ppg and 3.4 apg. Ross Rivera (10.3 ppg) and Travis Fulton (9.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg) do what they can to help out a modest offense. Pacific rank towards the bottom of the conference in rebounding margin (-3.9), assists per game (12) and three-point FG percentage (.330).
Northridge has been plagued this season by one of the worst defenses in the country, as the team yields 74.9 ppg and 46.3 percent shooting to its opponents. The Matadors had one of their worst performances of the year on Thursday, as they allowed last-place UC Davis to score 79 points, nearly 18 points higher than its season average. The offense for Northridge failed to show up as well, connecting on just 40.6 percent of its total shots. Josh Greene was one of the few bright spots for the Matadors as he went 4-of-9 from three-point range en route to 21 points. Greene nets 11.3 ppg but has been playing the best basketball of his career lately, averaging 18.4 ppg in the last five games. Freshman Stephan Hicks has proven to be one of the conference's best players, ranking sixth in scoring (16 ppg), fourth in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and fifth in free-throw percentage (.812). Northridge takes surprisingly good care of the ball, leading the league in turnover margin (+2.19).
Northridge has been woeful on the road this year and the team's morale is pretty low after falling to lowly UC Davis. Pacific has been far from great lately, but the Tigers should have enough in the tank to handle the spiraling Matadors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pacific 76, CS-Northridge 65
02/11 10:44:22 ET