March 13, 2009
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Rodrique Mels scored 28 points to lead Cal State Northridge to a 67-60 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals of the Big West Conference tournament Friday.
Mels added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals for the top-seeded Matadors (16-13), who have won 10 of 13. Tremaine Townsend had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Chris Devine had 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the fourth-seeded Gauchos (16-15), whose four-game winning streak ended. Jaime Serna scored a career-best 12 points and James Nunnally had 10 points.
Santa Barbara held a one-point lead before Northridge used a 10-2 surge to move ahead 44-37 with 13:52 to play.
The Gauchos narrowed the deficit to 52-50 with 5:16 remaining, but Mels scored six points and added a steal during an 8-0 spree that extended the Matadors' lead to 10 with 2:48 left. Santa Barbara failed to score a basket for a span of 5:49.