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CSUN Beats Up On The Little Guys,
Defeats NAIA So.Cal. College--(Dec. 1, 1998)

Cal State Northridge men's basketball team won last night fairly easily, 92-50, and this game was yet another reason why NAIA teams should not be scheduled to play Division I schools, no matter how famous the NAIA coach.  Rico Harris, Derrick Higgins,  Brian Heinle, and Carl Holmes scored 16 consecutive points in the opening minutes to give CSUN a 16-2 lead over visiting Southern California College. Northridge accomplished the large lead on two baskets by Harris, then a layup and three-point play by Heinle, then a free throw by Higgins, followed by two baskets by Holmes, capped by another two free throws by Harris. Rico Harris had a very big night, finishing with 17 points and 12 boards.  

Southern California committed 28 turnovers and Northridge had 16 steals before Northridge resorted back to a half-court defense and put in the subs.   "We worked on our press, then we worked on our half-court defense," Braswell told the LA Times after the game. "We wanted to work on some things and I think we did a good job of it."

Harris was not the only Matador who had a great night, not by a longshot, and Greg Minor shot the lights out by hitting six threes,  while Derrick Higgins finished with 13 points and 8 boards.  Markus Carr also had 10 points and six assists, Jason Crowe finished with nine assists and four steals.  We can only wonder what they'll be like when Craig Calloway (6'-0" Sr. PG/SG) arrives next year from Long Beach Jordan. 

This is only the second time that CSUN, which is now 3-2 on the season, has been at more than .500 since joining Division I 10 years ago. The first time was when CSUN beat Long Beach State a few weeks ago.  Hard to believe, but evidently it's true. And equally hard to believe is that this is the first time that CSUN has won two in a row in a long, long time.

This may not have been a huge victory from an RPI point of view, and no one is going to claim that Northridge has suddlenly become a better team by pounding an NAIA team, but as Minor said last night after the game, "It's a game. It counts. It helps. A win's a win."

CSUN plays next at the PowerBar Invitational at Hawaii on Thursday and Friday, and then travels to Utah for the Brigham Young tournament from December 11 & 12.

The Swish Award
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