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Northridge Gets a Feel-Good Win

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bobby Braswell used to tell recruits about the Pyramid when the Long Beach State venue was only a concept. But until Saturday, Braswell, a 49er assistant from 1989-92, never coached in the building, which opened in 1994.

It was worth the wait. Braswell’s Cal State Northridge Matadors ran Long Beach State ragged, posting an 83-65 season-opening victory before 2,322.

“When I was here we talked about this facility like it was a dream,” he said. “I feel like I did a little bit to make it come true, and it felt good to be back.”

Homecoming also was sweet for Matador forward Jeffrey Parris. The former Long Beach Jordan player scored a game-high 18 points on eight-of-10 shooting.

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Parris was one of seven Northridge players with at least eight points and one of nine who played more than 10 minutes. The Matadors’ depth wore down Long Beach State, which used basically a six-man rotation.

“Some of our guys got tired at the end,” said Wayne Morgan, Long Beach State coach. “They absolutely outperformed us.”

Northridge had a nine-point halftime lead, but Long Beach State pulled within 46-44 on D’Cean Bryant’s dunk four minutes into the second half. However, Bryant was hit with a technical foul for taunting Andre Larry after the shot. Rico Harris made both foul shots and nine minutes later Northridge led by 17 points.

“The technical took a lot of steam out of us,” Morgan said. “That was bad judgment on [Bryant’s] part.”

Forward Hewitt Rolle and guard Greg Minor each scored 13 for Northridge, making 10 of 11 shots between them. Richie Smalls and Mate Milisa each scored 16 for Long Beach State.

Northridge outshot the 49ers, 52.5% to 44.6%, and held a 38-30 rebounding advantage.

This marks the first time in Braswell’s three seasons that Northridge has had a winning record.


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