Northridge Knocks Irvine Out of First

Curtis Slaughter scored 21 points and Cal State Northridge knocked UC Irvine out of first place in the Big West Conference with a 69-63 victory in front of 1,268 Saturday night at Northridge.

The Anteaters (11-5, 5-2) fell into a second-place tie with UC Santa Barbara. They trail Utah State by a half-game.

"It's hard to win on the road, so with these games we have at home, we've got to take advantage of them," said Northridge swingman Ian Boylan, who had 16 points. "If we didn't get this one, we would have had to win at their place and that's tough to do."

It was an emotional victory for Northridge (9-8, 3-4), which won its third in a row after a five-game losing streak.

Senior center Armand Thomas made a free throw with 38 seconds left that gave Northridge a 67-63 lead after the Anteaters' Jordan Harris missed a shot on a baseline drive. Thomas and the driver of a car escaped injury Saturday morning when their vehicle flipped over during a traffic accident.

"The police said for all intents and purposes he should have been dead and the driver should have been dead," Northridge Coach Bobby Braswell said.

Trailing, 35-29, at halftime, Slaughter sparked the Matadors' comeback by scoring 17 second-half points.

The Anteaters didn't have a field goal in the final 8:24 and lost their first game this season when leading at halftime.

Eric Stephens


Pepperdine 70, Loyola Marymount 67 -- Boomer Brazzle had 18 points for the Waves (11-7, 3-2 West Coast), and his two free throws with 9.5 seconds left provided the winning margin before 3,720 fans at Gersten Pavilion.

The outcome wasn't secured until Jimmy Miggins blocked a three-point shot by Lion guard Charles Brown with less than five seconds left.

"It was a clean block," Brown said. "He came from the side and caught me by surprise a little."

It was the ninth consecutive victory for Pepperdine over Loyola Marymount.

Brandon Worthy had 16 points for the Lions (7-13, 1-4).

Loyola took a 25-16 lead behind the sharp shooting of Keith Kincade and Andy Osborn, who each had nine first-half points.

But Pepperdine had hot hands as well; Brazzle (10 points) and Miggins (eight points) found gaps in the Lion zone defenses for easy baskets. By halftime the Waves had caught up, 39-39.

Mike Terry


UC Santa Barbara 70, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 61 -- Mark Hull had 18 points and 11 rebounds for host Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos (8-9, 5-2 Big West) beat the Mustangs (7-9, 3-4) for the 10th consecutive game.

Santa Barbara took the lead for good when two three-pointers by Hull served as bookends to a 22-8 run midway through first half, making it 28-17.

Cal Poly pulled within three, 30-27, at halftime as Varnie Dennis scored seven of his team's 10 points during the run.

Branduinn Fullove, who had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Gauchos, was perfect on eight free throws and has made 22 in a row.

Utah State 61, Cal State Fullerton 60 -- Mark Brown had four three-point baskets and Cardell Butler made two free throws with 4.5 seconds left to clinch a victory at Logan, Utah.

Butler, who scored 15 points, gave the Aggies (15-4, 6-2 Big West) a four-point lead with the final two free throws, so Ralphy Holmes' three-point shot at the buzzer wasn't enough to send it into overtime for the Titans (5-12, 3-4).

Idaho 56, UC Riverside 53 -- Tyrone Hayes scored 17 points, including three free throws down the stretch, for the Vandals (8-9, 4-4 Big West) at Moscow, Idaho.

Riverside (3-10, 2-5) cut it to 55-53 on Aaron Hands' putback with 6.9 seconds to play, but Justin Logan added a free throw for Idaho and Mark Peters missed a three-pointer at the buzzer for Riverside.

Pacific 93, Long Beach State 60 -- Demetrius Jackson scored 16 points for the Tigers (9-7, 4-3 Big West) at Stockton.

Antoine Jackson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the 49ers. (2-14, 1-6).

The margin of victory was Pacific's biggest in the history of the 71-game rivalry between the two schools.

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