NORTHRIDGE – Following finals week, CSUN Men’s Basketball returns to action Sunday afternoon, hosting Pacific on The Blacktop at The Matadome with tip-off slated for 3 p.m.
Coverage on the CSUN Sports Network presented by Dignity Health begins at 2:50 p.m. with Ghizal Hasan and Alan Zinsmeister on the call.
Fans who bring a new unwrapped toy for donation will receive free admission to the game.
The Matadors fell to San Diego last Sunday, 82-68, which snapped CSUN’s two-game winning streak. The Toreros used a late second-half run to take a 40-24 advantage into halftime. CSUN would trim the deficit to 13 points early in the second half before USD regained control and led the rest of the way.
Freshman Lamine Diane scored 19 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go with eight rebounds. Also scoring in double figures, sophomore Terrell Gomez tallied 13 points and dished out five assists while senior Blair Orr and freshman Michael Ou posted 10 points apiece.
Despite scoring below his season average, Diane still ranks in the Top 10 in the nation in points per game heading into the weekend. Diane is seventh in the country in points per game (24.8) while he is 12th in field goals made (84), 13th in rebounds per game (10.5) and 28th in double-doubles (4).
In the Big West, Diane leads the conference in points per game, rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game (7.1) and blocks per game (2.1). Diane is third in the Big West in steals per game (1.9) and sixth in field goal percentage (49.7).
Gomez is also among the league leaders in points per game as he sits in fourth place (18.1). The sophomore guard is the league leader in minutes per game (37.6) while he is fifth in free throw percentage (84.4), sixth in assists per game (3.9) and eighth in 3-point percentage (41.2).
Elsewhere in the Matador backcourt, freshman Darius Brown II leads the Big West in steals per game and ranks second in assists per game (5.2).
As a team, the Matadors rank first in the Big West in several categories including points per game (77.9), field goals made per game (29.7), field goal percentage (47.2), assists per game (18.3) and steals per game (7.7).
The Matadors renew a past Big West rivalry with Pacific this weekend. In a series dating back to the 1971-72 season, the Tigers have won 24 of 30 all-time meetings. The teams have not met since Pacific left the Big West Conference in 2013 but the Tigers come into Sunday’s game on a four-game winning streak.
CSUN is 4-8 against the Tigers at The Matadome and looks to snap a five-game home losing streak. When both teams played in the Big West, the squads met five times in the conference tournament with the Tigers winning four of those games.
CSUN knocked off Pacific in the Big West Tournament finals in 2009 to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
A Closer Look at Pacific
The Tigers are 8-4 and come in with a three-game winning streak. Pacific has wins over Long Beach State (74-68) and UC Riverside (74-54) this season. Boasting a 6-1 record at home, the Tigers have dropped three of five games on the road.
The Tigers went 14-18 last season including 9-9 in West Coast Conference play, finishing tied for fourth place. Led by third-year head coach Damon Stoudamire, Pacific was picked to finish sixth in the WCC.
Sophomore Lafayette Dorsey leads the Tigers in scoring at 14.0 points per game and free throw percentage with a 95.8 clip. Also averaging in double figures, senior Roberto Gallinat is posting 13.5 points and shooting 39.6 percent from 3-point range.
On the glass, junior Jahlil Tripp is grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game to go with 11.1 points. Pacific is fourth in the nation in free throws made (211) and Dorsey is fifth in free throw percentage.