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Northridge Grows With 6-Foot-8 Beard

April 16, 1998

Cal State Northridge has signed Larry Beard, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound center, to a letter of intent, landing the post player Coach Bobby Braswell has sought.

Beard, who will be a junior next season, averaged 14 points, 8.9 rebounds and seven blocked shots for Angelina Community College in Lufkin, Texas.

"He jumps well, rebounds well and plays great defense," Braswell said. "He is the big body we need to take up space on the inside."

The signing of Beard, who also was recruited by Long Beach State and North Texas State, means forward Brian Hagens will not return for his senior season. Hagens averaged 3.1 points in limited playing time and was suspended midway through the season.

The status of Jabari Simmons, the Matador center who averaged 14.8 points and 6.3 rebounds but left the team late in the season, is uncertain. Braswell said Simmons is attending classes.


Meal ticket: Mike O'Quinn, a senior forward who led Northridge with 16.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game, was given the team's most valuable player award at a banquet Monday.

Forward Jeff Parris was chosen most improved player, freshman guard Carl Holmes was chosen most inspirational and senior guard Trenton Cross got the award for best defensive player.


Injured list: With Cal State Northridge holding first place in the Big West Conference, the Matadors may have to play out the season without key starters Chelo Lopez and Cheri Shinn, who were injured in Monday's doubleheader against New Mexico State.

Lopez, batting a team-high .359, injured her left shoulder while diving into third base and hasn't been able to lift her left arm beyond her hip since Monday night. Team trainers diagnosed the injury as a strained deltoid and list her as day-to-day.

Shinn (11-7), a senior right-hander, dislocated her right index finger trying to stop a low line drive with her right hand after throwing a pitch. The bone broke through the skin and she may not be able to return to the circle.

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