Santa Barbara, CA (Sports Network) - Stephen Maxwell registered a double- double of 27 points and 12 rebounds to push the Cal State Northridge Matadors to a 75-69 victory over the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in a Big West Conference matchup at The Thunderdome.
Stephan Hicks added 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and swiped four steals for Northridge (10-10, 1-7 Big West), as it finally earned its first conference win of the season despite playing without leading scorer and rebounder, Alan Williams, who sat out with a leg injury.
Taran Brown led UCSB (7-11, 3-4) by netting 18 points to go along with eight boards. Kyle Boswell and Sam Beeler scored 15 and 13 points, respectively, as the Gauchos had their two-game winning streak concluded.
The Matadors took a narrow 37-33 lead into the intermission after they shot 45.8 percent and converted 14-of-19 at the charity stripe. UCSB trailed by just four points at halftime although it connected on only 37.8 percent of its field goal tries before the break.
The Gauchos heated up to knock down 56 percent of their shots from the floor, including 6-of-15 from 3-point range. The hot shooting was not enough to overcome their 12 second half turnovers, which allowed Northridge to escape with the triumph despite a 9-of-18 performance at the free throw line over the final 20 minutes of action.
Northridge held a 41-31 edge in the rebounding battle and both sides produced 30 points in the paint.