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Cal State Northridge Matadors vs. Pacific Tigers
Where and when: Alex G. Spanos Center, Stockton, California, Sunday, 6 pm EST
The Matadors of Cal State Northridge travels to the Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton, California, to battle the Pacific Tigers on Sunday afternoon at 6 pm EST. Cal State Northridge can really use a win at this point to avoid their third-straight loss; However, a victory will not be easy on the road versus a Pacific team that has won four-straight games, overall. The Matadors, to their credit, has won against spread in three of their last four meetings with the Tigers and are .500 SU in their last four contests. Pacific has won seven of eight home games this year.
Defense needs improving for TigersCal State Northridge continued to stink it up on both ends of the court in their last outing versus the Bison of North Dakota State in allowing 46% shooting in addition to 12-3 pointers in a 9-point loss. The Bison also outrebounded the Matadors in the contest by a margin of 35-30 as another dismal offensive performance doomed their chances of a win in the end. Forty-one percent shooting along with going just 5-20 from long-range was simply not enough for a team that is shooting, coincidentally enough, 41% from the field in 2019 while posting a tad under 70 points per.
Tandem duo in junior guard Terrell Gomez (22 ppg) along with sophomore guard Darius Brown II (11 ppg, 5 ass) each scored 16 points in the defeat, yet went a combined 12-31 from the field in addition to 3-12 from three-point range. Their shooting from long-range was uncharacteristic as each of these guards are shooting at least 38% from this area in 2019. Brown is also shooting a whopping 48% from the field. Nonetheless, the Matadors continue to find themselves a step back on the offensive end as they failed to reach the 70-point mark for their second-straight game.
Their defense has not played much better as the unit collectively allows 83 points per game on 47% shooting (39% 3 FG). Yet, their focus on this end of the floor has improved as of late as the squad is giving up just over 70 points per. It will be interesting to see how they approach their matchup with Pacific, as the Tigers are currently shooting 47% from the field in 2019.
Tripp must be neutralized if Tigers are to winIf the Matadors are to have a chance in this contest, they must be able to limit offensive looks for junior guard Jahlil Tripp, who is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds per game on an outstanding 50% shooting from the floor. In fact, Tripp came two rebounds shy of recording his second straight double-double in the team's most recent outing on the road versus the 49ers of Long Beach State. Sophomore Justin Moore also provides an offensive punch for the Tigers in averaging 10 points, 4 rebounds, along with 4 assists per night. And while Moore shoots 43% from the field, he is dangerous from long-range in making 48% of his shots in 2019. The Tigers prefer a slower-pace on the offensive end while allowing their defense to wear down teams with physicality.
In case you missed it ... Senior Jahlil Tripp was named the City of Stockton Human Resources Hardworking Player of the Game after leading the Tigers to a 65-46 victory at Long Beach State.— Pacific Men's Hoops (@PacificMensBB) December 8, 2019
Tripp totaled 15 points and 8 rebounds, while collected a team-high three steals. pic.twitter.com/7g70ySV9dv
Shaquillo Fritz is not a scoring machine by any stretch; However, the 6'8" junior forward and Arkansas State transfer is averaging just under a block per game while recording a total of six in his last five games, overall. As stated, the Tigers' top-40 defense looks to cause headaches for an already struggling offense for Cal State Northridge on Sunday. Important to note that Pacific has only given up 60 or more points in just one of their last eight home games.
- Tigers are 2-4 ATS in last six home games
- Tigers are 0-3 ATS in last three matchups at home versus Matadors
- Matadors are 5-1 ATS in last six games overall
- Matadors are 4-0 ATS in last four road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Though no spread has been set for this contest as of yet, I will back the visitors in this contest to make this game a tight one throughout. As stated, Pacific has been very dominant at home in 2019; However, they have not been dominant against the number during this time. Cal State Northridge, despite their offensive issues, has really shined away from home as of late. With this being the case, one should expect a grinding contest from two squads that are desperate to either continue racking up wins early in the year, or, attempting to erect themselves from a skid, as in the case of the Matadors.
Prediction: Cal State Northridge Matadors
Full-Game Total Pick
The under has not only been the result in the last three meetings in Stockton amongst these teams, but has also been the play in five of the last six games, overall. Again, Cal State Northridge will indeed struggle at times versus a Pacific defense that is allowing only 58 points per game; However, their improving defense will ensure that the Tigers are not able to blow this game open in the end. Also, the under has been the call in four of the last five road games for the Matadors, thus signaling that this game may be a lot closer than many expect.