Late game surge propels Toreros to victory

CSUN tries to keep San Diego out of the paint. Photo by Brian Love.
CSUN tries to keep San Diego out of the paint. Photo by Brian Love.

Northridge, Calif.– For 38 minutes it was a gritty, back-and-forth battle, but San Diego pulled away down the stretch to beat CSUN, 76-67.

Maya Hood lead the Toreros with 22 points and nine rebounds, and Patricia Brossman added 17 points and nine rebounds. Channon Fluker had a double-double for the Matadors with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Lizzy Tonks put up 12 points.

The teams exchanged leads numerous times throughout the first three and a half quarters, with neither team gaining more than a seven-point advantage. But it was a Sydney Williams layup with 1:44 remaining that gave San Diego a three-point lead, in addition to sparking the late game surge that fueled their victory. Following a CSUN turnover, the Toreros scored the next seven points, unanswered. However, for coach Cindy Fisher, she knows the win ultimately came down to her team’s defensive performance.

“I thought both teams really played hard, I thought we had to battle defensively to have a chance to pull it out,” Fisher said.

“Defense is everything, that’s what we hang our hat on. That’s what we’re all about. When we’re on our defensive pressure, getting out on passing lanes, that’s when we try to create easy offense by playing really good defense.”

Even though CSUN shot better from the field, it was San Diego that won the battle of points off turnovers, getting 26 points from them thanks to 11 steals and 21 turnovers by the Matadors. Coach Jason Flowers knows his team will need to a better job of securing the basketball if they seek to be competitive this season.

“We have to have an understanding of how valuable each possession is. I think we have to pay attention to fundamental things,” he said.

Despite the loss, Flowers still believes this game will serve as a learning experience for his squad.

“It was good for our team, obviously, us being in the situation early on to have  to make plays down the stretch is a good learning experience either way,” he said. “Unfortunately, obviously tonight they made more plays down the stretch then we did.”

The Matadors travel to play Fresno State Friday before playing Stanford two days later.