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Key Players Return for Northridge

February 04, 1988|MIKE HISERMAN | Times Staff Writer

Cal State Northridge basketball teams will be back at full strength tonight in important California Collegiate Athletic Assn. games against Chapman.

Chuck McGavran, whose outside shooting has been sorely missed by the men's team, returns to the lineup after sitting out two games while waiting for a makeup grade to be recorded.

The women's team, which defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Saturday without guards Vicki Mallet and Joy Ridout, has regained the services of both players.

Mallett, the team's leading scorer with an average of 12.5 points a game, and Ridout, a reserve averaging 1.2 points, both had grade problems similar to McGavran's.

The men's team, which needs a victory to stay in the thick of the race to qualify for the CCAA's four-team, postseason tournament, plays Chapman in a 7:30 game at the Hutton Sports Center in Orange.

Northridge (10-7) and Chapman (11-7) were considered among the early season favorites to win the conference championship, but both have struggled so far in conference play with 2-3 records.

San Luis Obispo, Cal State Bakersfield and UC Riverside are in a three-way tie for first with 4-1 records. Pomona is 3-2.

Chapman's best player is Kelly Huston, a 6-7 senior center who played one season at Pierce College. He leads the CCAA in scoring (23.2) and rebounding (9.3).

Northridge counters with Todd Bowser, a 6-8 sophomore who averages 14.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game. In the 16 games in which Bowser has played, the opposing center has reached double figures only four times.

"It's going to be a war inside with Kelly and Todd," Northridge Coach Pete Cassidy said.

Which is where McGavran's return could come into play.

In a 72-69 loss to San Luis Obispo on Saturday, Northridge guards were dared to take outside jumpers late in the game as the Mustangs sagged inside, trying to shut off Bowser and forwards Pat Bolden and Ray Horwath.

Chapman--and future conference opponents--may pay for using that strategy with McGavran on the floor. The junior transfer from Orange Coast College is averaging 13.7 points a game and already has set a school-record for three-point attempts with 104.

The Northridge and Chapman women's teams, which are both 2-2 in conference play, meet at 7:30 in the CSUN gym.

The Lady Matadors are coming off one of their better efforts of the season. Northridge handed San Luis Obispo its first CCAA loss, 71-62, Saturday.

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