09 Dec 2021 | 06:51 | Basketball
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—CSUN Men’s Basketball (1-3) concludes a three-game homestand on Wednesday against Saint Katherine. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. with Ghizal Hasan and Alan Zinsmeister on the call on ESPN+. The Matadors then hit the road for a Sunday afternoon contest at San Diego starting at 3 p.m. Fans can watch CSUN and USD at WCCsports.com and listen at GoMatadors.com/Radio with David Gascon and Zinsmeister calling the action.
The Matadors hosted the Good Sam Empire Classic at The Matadome last weekend and finished in third place. CSUN let a 13-point lead slip away to Eastern Washington on Friday as the Eagles prevailed in overtime 67-64. A day later, the Matadors salvaged the weekend with a 79-73 victory over Dixie State after shooting a season-high 50 percent from the field. Texas State won the Good Sam Empire Classic with victories over Dixie State and Eastern Washington.
Elijah Hardy was named to the all-tournament team at the Good Sam Empire Classic after averaging 14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists at the event. Hardy posted his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds against Eastern Washington and would add 10 points and seven assists in the win over Dixie State.
The Matadors saw standout performances throughout the weekend, which included Atin Wright scoring a team-high 18 points over Dixie State. Onyi Eyisi added 13 points and seven rebounds to help CSUN defeat the Trailblazers. Both Brendan Harrick and Miles James made their season debuts over the weekend and put forth solid efforts on the floor. Harrick hit four 3-pointers and poured in 12 points against Dixie State while James registered 11 points versus Eastern Washington.
Through four games, Wright leads the Matadors in scoring average at 11.3 points while he is shooting an even 50.0 percent from 3-point range (10-of-20). Hardy is also scoring in doubles figures with 10.0 points per game to go with 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists. In the middle, Eyisi has averaged 9.0 points on 57.1 percent shooting in the early going this season.
The Matadors defeated Saint Katherine 109-75 in the teams’ only meeting in men’s basketball on Jan. 4, 2020. Terrell Gomez scored a team-high 25 points in the victory while Elijah Harkless posted a triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The Matadors will count their game with Saint Katherine on Wednesday as a regular season game while the Firebirds will count the contest as an exhibition.
San Diego leads CSUN 21-15 in the all-time series and has won the last two meetings. The teams have played in just three games since the 2002-03 season. CSUN fell at USD 82-68 three seasons ago in the teams’ last meeting. Overall, USD has won 13 of 21 all-time games played in San Diego. CSUN’s last win over USD came in Nov. 2012 in a 74-71 victory. Stephan Hicks led the Matadors in scoring with 25 points in the win.
A Closer Look at Saint Katherine
Saint Katherine is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The team has a 3-2 overall record heading into a Tuesday game with Westmont College. The Firebirds are in the middle of a busy week that will also feature a road game at Dixie State on Saturday. The team also played a Monday game at Hope International (74-55 loss). Last season, Saint Katherine competed in 12 games and posted a 6-6 record. Head coach Kevin Williamson is in his third season.
Kody Clouet is averaging a team-high 15.8 points to go with 4.8 rebounds per game while Tavon Tarpley has averaged 15.0 points and 5.4 rebounds. Clouet has also made 10-of-32 shots from 3-point range (31.3 percent). In the rebounding department, Jacob Durham has pulled down 7.6 rebounds and scored 8.6 points per game. As a team, Saint Katherine has scored 79.2 points in five regular season games.
A Closer Look at San Diego
The Toreros moved to 3-2 on the season after splitting their games last week with UC Riverside (74-62 victory) and Cal State Fullerton (57-55 loss). Earlier this season, USD beat Nevada 75-68 on the road and narrowly fell at California, 75-70. After going 3-11 overall and 2-7 in league play a season ago, San Diego was picked to finish ninth in the West Coast Conference. Head coach Sam Scholl is in his fourth season leading the team. Before facing CSUN, USD will play two games at the Las Vegas Classic beginning Thursday.
Four players are scoring in double figures, led by Jase Townsend at 13-8 points per game to go with 3.2 assists per game. Joey Calcaterra is scoring 11.8 points on 57.1 percent shooting while Marcellus Earlington (11.6 PPG) and Terrell Brown-Soares (10.0 PPG) are also averaging double-digits in points. Brown-Soares paces the team with a team-best 9.2 rebounds. On the year, USD is holding opponents to 60.0 points per game.