NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—CSUN Men’s Basketball returns to the road for the final time in the non-conference season this weekend.
The Matadors visit Eastern Washington on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. for the first of a two-game road trip. The game will be streamed live on WatchBigSky.com and an audio only broadcast will be available on the CSUN Sports Network presented by Dignity Health with Ghizal Hasan on the call.
After the Matadors take on the Eagles, CSUN will head to Sacramento State to tangle with another Big Sky Conference team on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. The Matadors will play their final three games of non-conference play at The Matadome against Idaho State (Dec. 23), San Diego Christian (Dec. 27) and Morgan State (Dec. 30).
The Matadors played their first home game in a month last Saturday against Loyola Marymount. CSUN played LMU close throughout most of the first half before a late Lion run before halftime turned the tide of the contest. LMU led 38-23 at the half and kept the Matadors at bay throughout the second half for a 74-57 victory.
Tavrion Dawson scored a team-high 16 points against the Lions after posting 14 after halftime. Dawson also collected six rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Matadors. Micheal Warren posted 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Terrell Gomez chipped in with eight points.
Dawson leads the Matadors in scoring with 14.8 points per game to go with 5.2 rebounds and a 44.1 field goal percentage. Also averaging in double figures, Warren is scoring 12.7 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Gomez is shooting a team-high 54.5 percent from the 3-point line and averaging 11.4 points a game. Lyrik Shreiner is averaging 10.2 points this season and 4.0 rebounds. Warren leads the Matadors with eight double figure scoring games followed by Dawson with seven and Shreiner with six. In the rebounding department, Warren has grabbed six or more rebounds eight times.
Among the Big West Top 10 leaders, Warren is third in defensive rebounds per game (6.3) while Zeno Lake is fifth in offensive rebounds per game (2.6). Warren is also fourth in free throw percentage (82.1), tied for sixth in rebounds per game and ninth in steals. Gomez sits in fourth place in 3-point percentage and Dawson is tied for sixth in points per game. As a team, the Matadors are second in the conference with the least turnovers per game (11.8).
Former Big Sky rival, Eastern Washington leads the Matadors 10-9 in the all-time series. CSUN has won the last three meetings but the teams have not met since the Matadors posted a 96-79 win on Nov. 12, 2012 at The Matadome. As a member of the Big Sky Conference from 1996-2001, the Matadors went 5-7 against the Eagles including 2-0 in the postseason. In 2001, CSUN defeated Eastern Washington 73-58 in the conference tournament final to advance to its first ever NCAA Tournament.
A Closer Look at Eastern Washington
The Eagles are 3-8 this season after dropping their fifth-straight game Tuesday at Wyoming (93-88) in overtime. Eastern Washington completed a 10-game road trip on Tuesday as it chalked up wins over Stanford (67-61) and Eastern Kentucky (83-62) during the stretch. Last season, the Eagles went 22-12 and finished second in the Big Sky Conference. Eastern Washington advanced to the College Basketball Invitational in 2016-17 for the second-straight season.
After scoring 30 points against Wyoming, senior Bogdan Bliznyuk leads the Eagles with 17.5 points per game to go with 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Three-point threat, junior Ty Gibson is shooting 36.4 percent from downtown and averaging 7.9 points. Off the bench, junior Jesse Hunt is posting a team-best 6.0 rebounds with 6.5 points. As a team, the Eagles are averaging 72.1 points and 34.5 rebounds.