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Northridge Upsets USD, Deprives Egan of 100th Victory


NORTHRIDGE — The comments were loud, clear and to the point. They were not the comments of a happy coach.

Hank Egan, in his seventh year as coach at the University of San Diego, had a chance Friday night against Cal State Northridge to win his 100th game. He did not.

Northridge upset USD, 83-73, in front of 368 at the Matador Gymnasium, a facility a group of students are trying to get renamed the Matadome since the Matadors (2-6) are 2-0 in the building since becoming a Division I member this season.

"I thought the other team played very well," said Egan, who was visibly upset. "They outhustled us. They outexecuted us. They ran their stuff. They played like a team.

"We did none of the above. Absolutely NONE of the above. At ANY time. We had no consistency tonight."

Pete Cassidy, coach of the Matadors for 20 seasons, was asked if he was surprised his team won so handily. His reply: "I think so . . . no, what am I saying? I know so."

Behind the three-point shooting of Kyle Kerlegan, who finished with a team-high 18 points, and the slicing and driving antics of point guard Andre Chevalier, who scored nine of his 16 points in the second half, Northridge began taking control of a tight game 4:05 into the second half.

That's when Kerlegan made his second consecutive three-pointer to begin a 25-7 run that didn't end until the Matadors led, 67-52, with 9:10 left. Kerlegan added the fourth of his five three-pointers and two free throws during the run.

"We've been humiliated on the road," said Cassidy, whose team was winless on the road and had allowed more than 100 points in five road games. "And I have some guys with tremendous pride. We were tired of being humiliated."

USD made a 15-5 run to pull to 72-67 after a three-pointer by Michael Brown with 3:42 left but could not get any closer. The Toreros then missed shots, turned over the ball and had shots blocked just like in the first part of the game.

"I didn't look at the schedule and think this was going to be a cake walk. You are the ones that have been saying that," said Egan, who directed some of his frustration at the media. "I've said all along, this is a basketball team that has to perform very well and together to be good. I've had a hole in my gut all week about this game.

"But it is disappointing. This is as disappointed as I've been. Ever."

Each team missed its first three shots to set the tone for the first half. It was ugly, perhaps even pathetic.

Oh, it was close, and therefore somewhat suspenseful, but only because neither team could get anything going.

Neither team scored more than four points in a row in the first half, and neither took a lead of more than four points.

USD took a 35-34 lead into the intermission. Fittingly, Kelvin Woods rebounded his own miss and layed it back in for a 35-33 lead with 14 seconds left. The Matadors had a chance to tie it five seconds later, but Chevalier missed the second of two free throws.

The Toreros know all about missed free throws. USD, which made a season-low 50% Monday in a 72-63 loss at UC Santa Barbara to fall to 60.7% on the season, missed eight of 10 in the first half. USD made four of four in the second half, but Northridge made 18 of 25 (72%) in the game.

The Toreros weren't much better from the field, making only 32 of 82 (39%) shots, including 16 of 49 (33%) in the second half.

Center Dondi Bell led the Toreros with 18 points, followed by Pat Holbert with 17 and Anthony Thomas with 16.

USD has a week off before traveling to Eastern Washington next Saturday.

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