March 10, 2011
Anaheim, Calif. -
Lenny Daniel scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to lead No. 3-seeded Cal State Northridge to a 75-54 victory over No. 6-seeded Cal State Fullerton Thursday night to complete the opening round of the ampm Big West Conference Basketball Tournament at the Honda Center.
Northridge advances to play UC Santa Barbara with Long Beach State meeting UC Riverside in the other semifinal.
Northridge got 16 points from Vinnie McGhee and 10 from Michael Liarraga and improved to 14-17.
Fullerton didn't make a field goal in the first 8 minutes and quickly fell behind, 12-1. The Titans got as close as 5 points at 14-9 and 16-11 before Northridge pulled away with an 8-0 rn and built a 15-point halftime lead that was never threatened in the final 20 minutes.
Fullerton made only 12 of 27 free throws to compound 34 percent shooting. The Matadors shot 50 percent and won the battle of the boards, 41-34.
"It was a very depressing night for us," said Head Coach Bob Burton. "We didn't anticipate we would play so poorly. We didn't do anything well. The guys were really trying but we didn't play well. We didn't hit free throws.
"The band and cheerleaders had a good night. We should have given them more floortime.
"Daniel had us intimidated inside. I don't recall one player so controlling a game. I don't know how he wasn't defensive player of the year.
"This was one of the best group of kids I've had to work with. Unfortunately, at Div. I that's not what it's about. It's about winning."