Hoops Preview - Cal State-Northridge

In what will be the last game before the inaugural Pac-12 season begins, the Washington Huskies will play host to the Matadors of Cal State Northridge with a tip time of 7 p.m. Unlike previous opponents UW has had troubles with, the Matadors have a losing record at 3-6.

With wins over just San Diego Christian, Pepperdine and Pacifica College, the Matadors have loss games to USC, Hawaii, Boise State, Drake, Cal State Bakersfield and Santa Clara.

Guiding the Matadors is long-time head coach Bobby Braswell. In 16 seasons at CSU Northridge, Braswell, who graduated from the school in 1985, has a record of 233-226 including two conference tournament titles and NCAA tournament appearances. Those are also the two times the school has been to NCAA tournaments since moving to Division I in 1990.

With only four upper classmen, the Matadors have one of the youngest teams in the nation. However, they still do have some talent, and a freshman that is leading the way.

Stephan Hicks, a 6-foot-5 freshman wing, is averaging 17.6 points on 44 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds and one steal per game. He is No. 73 in points per game, but is No. 2 for all freshman's, only behind Kyle Vinales (20.6 points per game) of Central Connecticut State. As for rebounds, he is only behind freshmen's Anthony Davis (9.9 rebounds) from Kentucky, Corey Petros (9.7 rebounds) from Oakland and LaDontae Henton (8.8 rebounds) from Providence.

Helping Hicks get the ball from the point guard position is 6-foot sophomore Josh Greene. Averaging 3.6 assists per game, the Lakeview Terrace, Calif. native not only leads the team in assists, but is second in scoring with 10.6 points a game, despite shooting just 31 percent from the field. On the defensive end, he averages 1.1 steals.

In the post for the Matadors is one of the most interesting players in the country, but not just for his playing. The only deaf player in Division I, Michael Lizarraga, a 6-foot-7, 240 pound senior, won't have to worry about the Dawg Pack in their final tune-up before conference play.

After missing the first eight games of the season, Lizarraga was granted a fifth season after only playing seven games as a true freshman. In his first game back against Pacifica, the Dixon, Calif. native put up 10 points, seven rebounds and a steal.

As a team, the Matadors are No. 10 in the country in free-throw percentage at 77.2 and are No. 18 in offensive rebounds per game with 15 per contest. However, Braswell's team is No. 1 in fouls per game at 26.6.

Historically, UW has played CSU Northridge four times, and all four were Husky victories at home. The games took place in 1992 (61-57), 2003 (89-80), 2008 (80-66) and in 2010 (88-76).


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