Gauchos Keep it Close Early But in the End, CSUN Proves Too Much

Eric Childress (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Eric Childress (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

NORTHRIDE, Calif. – Tavrion Dawson scored 15 points and collected 13 rebounds, and Cal State Northridge ended the game on a 41-20 run en route to a 77-55 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night. 

The Gauchos (3-20 overall, 1-10 in the Big West) got as close as one-point twice early in the second half as Alex Hart scored on a lay-up to open the half and then matched a Kendall Smith jumper with one of his own to make it 36-35 with 18:26 remaining. 

But UCSB could never catch the Matadors (11-13, 7-4) and have now lost eight games in a row. 

Eric Childress finished with a team-high 16 points, including 13 in the first half as the Gauchos kept things close. Childress made 4-of-7 three-point attempts as he came within one point of matching his career-high. Max Heidegger finished with 14 points. 

After making 12 of its first 26 field goal attempts, 46.2%, UCSB finished the game by hitting just six of its last 25, 24.0%, to finish at 35.3% for the game. 

"As we've seen all year when we start missing shots other things start to break down for us," said head coach Bob Williams. "I thought we got selfish late in the game and it resulted in some bad shots. We don't have much room for error at this point." 

Dawson, who also had a double-double against the Gauchos when the teams played in Santa Barbara on Jan. 25, was one of four CSUN players to score in double figures. Kendall Smith actually finished with a game-high 17 points while Darin Johnson and Aaron Parks added 17 and 16 respectively.

In addition to Childress and Heidegger, who each scored in double-figures, Alex Hart added eight points and tied his career-high with 11 rebounds. Clifton Powell had eight points and tied his career-high with four assists.

UCSB returns home to host the University of Hawai'i on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.