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BIG WEST BASKETBALL

Cal State Northridge, Cal State Long Beach remain in the hunt

Both have NCAA tournament aspirations as they face conference opponents. The top-seeded Matadors are guaranteed a bid to the National Invitation Tournament after winning regular-season title.

March 13, 2009|Robyn Norwood

BIG WEST CONFERENCE

at Anaheim Convention Center

Cal State Northridge (15-13) vs. UC Santa Barbara (16-14), 5:30 p.m., ESPNU -- The top-seeded Matadors are guaranteed a bid to the National Invitation Tournament because they won the Big West regular-season title. But they have their eyes on the school's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2001. Senior forward Tremaine Townsend is the top scorer and rebounder for a team that lost leading scorer Deon Tresvant, who is facing felony theft charges, and point guard Josh Jenkins, injured in a car accident.

Long Beach State (15-14) vs. Pacific (18-11), about 7:30 p.m., ESPNU -- The 49ers won only six games a season ago. But after clinching a bye into the semifinals by finishing second in the regular season, they are two victories from reaching the NCAA tournament. Leading scorer Donovan Morris has eased his way back after missing time because of a foot injury. Junior Stephan Gilling and freshmen Larry Anderson, Casper Ware and T.J. Robinson helped the 49ers hold onto second place. Long Beach swept Pacific in the two-game season series, winning the most recent game Feb. 7 in double-overtime, 81-80, at the Walter Pyramid.

-- Robyn Norwood

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