Cal State Northridge came into Wednesday night’s home game in desperate need of momentum after having lost 10 games in a row.
Senior Tavrion Dawson scored 33 points and the Matadors defeated San Diego Christian 93-63.
San Diego Christian (4-6) didn’t have an answer for Dawson who scored 20 points in the first half. Dawson nearly outscored the Hawks in the first half and CSUN lead 51-23 at halftime.
“My plan was to Tavrion down in the post because I knew that they couldn’t handle his size and strength,” coach Reggie Theus said. “He did what we expected him to do.”
The Matadors played its best stretch of defense during the season in the first ten minutes of the first half. CSUN forced 10 turnovers and went on a 16-5 run to lead 24-10 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
“Defensively we just played them one on one,” Theus said. “In fact I told our guys to not come in help and if they did, they were coming out.”
In the second half Michael Warren maintained the Matadors hot scoring night by making five three pointers in the second half. Warren finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Terrell Gomez who was key in establishing the Matadors on ball defense added 14 points and had seven assists.
The Matadors won its second game of the season but both wins have come against opponents from the NAIA. Theus pointed to his team’s youth and said his team prepares for every game with the same level of attention no matter what level.
“We really have only four players out here that have division one experience,” Theus said. “We are still learning and right now it’s just about trying to build. My job is to make sure that we are playing are best basketball come mid-January.”
Warren after the game feels his team can score with any team but says the urgency on defense will be the difference between winning and losing.
“Me and Tavrion and the team can score points. That’s not the problem,” Warren said. “It’s just about establishing ourselves on defense. If we can defend better then we will start winning some games.”
CSUN will try to win consecutive games for the first time this season on Saturday when the Matadors take on Morgan State (4-8) at home. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
Written and produced by Ethan Hanson