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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
First look: CS Northridge at UCLA

By Peter Yoon

What: Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-1) at UCLA Bruins (4-2)

When: Wednesday, 9 p.m. PT

Where: Pauley Pavilion

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: AM 570

Scouting the Bruins: The Bruins are coming off an embarrassing 70-68 loss to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which overcame an 18-point, second-half deficit at Pauley Pavilion. That game continued a string of poor performances by the Bruins, who have played with little energy and focus for much of the season and can ill afford to keep turning in lackadaisical efforts. Freshmen Jordan Adams (18.5 points per game) and Shabazz Muhammad (17.0) lead the way in scoring, but defense has been a real issue at times for UCLA. Cal Poly shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half Sunday. On Nov. 19, Georgetown shot 60 percent in the second half of a 78-70 victory over UCLA.

Scouting the Matadors: Northridge lost to Brigham Young, 87-75, on Saturday after starting the season with six consecutive wins. It was the longest season-opening win streak for Northridge since joining Division I in 1990-91. Coach Bobby Braswell, in his 17th season, likes to run an up-tempo offense and the Matadors are averaging 79.3 points. They have scored 92 or more twice already this season. Stephan Hicks, a 6-foot-6 swingman, is averaging 18.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. Point guard Josh Greene is averaging 13.9 points and five assists and center Stephen Maxwell is averaging 14.1 points and 7.0 rebounds.

The series: UCLA leads the series, 6-1. In their last meeting, UCLA won, 83-50, in the 2010-11 season opener for both teams. The lone Cal State Northridge victory came Nov. 21, 2000, when the Matadors shocked UCLA, 78-74, at Pauley.

Fast fact: Cal State Northridge is among the youngest teams in the nation. The Matadors have no seniors, three juniors, seven freshmen and seven sophomores. The 17 active players have a combined 11 seasons of experience.

Quick quote: "Northridge is as talented as anybody we've seen," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "They play harder than anyone. They really pressure you. We haven't seen this type of ball pressure yet that we are going to see."