Flynn Cameron
February 22, 2023

Highlanders move into second place after blowout win

UC Riverside shoots the lights out in wire-to-wire victory over CSUN

Author: UCR News
February 22, 2023

High-octane offense was on display on both sides at Premier America Credit Union Arena, but UC Riverside proved too much for CSUN on Monday night with a resounding 96-76 win over the Matadors. 

Their 19th win, which extended a team record in Division I play, was the Highlanders third straight and vaulted them into sole possession of second place in the hypercompetitive Big West Conference. 

UCR scored the third-most points of any Highlander team in a Division I game, but the steamrolling put on in Northridge on less than two days rest was a performance head coach Mike Magpayo could only call "special."

"It's clear these guys really play for each other," Magpayo said. "They brought great energy. It's where we want to be down the stretch here, keeping our foot on the gas all the way through."

The Highlanders tied a season high with a 56.3 percent shooting clip against the Matadors, the sixth time shooting 50 percent or higher this season and the second time against CSUN. 

UCR was especially locked in from the perimeter. The sharpshooting Highlanders drained eight of their 12 triples in the first half. Monday night’s game marked the fifth conference game where the Highlanders made least 10 three pointers. 

On the other end of the floor, UCR's perimeter defense held CSUN to 2 of 13 shooting from beyond the arc. 

Flynn Cameron's hot streak continued Monday, as the newest Big West Player of the Week dropped a game-high four threes as part of a 17-point evening that saw him go perfect from the floor on a 5-for-5 clip. Backcourt partner Zyon Pullin logged 15 points while coming one assist shy of a double double. 

Down low, Lachlan Olbrich recorded his third 20-point outing in his last four games and his fourth overall – all of which have come in the last month – and Jhaylon Martinez chipped in with eight points, six rebounds, and an assist. 

Nate Pickens enjoyed a breakout performance on Monday with a career-high 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting that included a pair of first-half threes to lead UCR off the bench. 

The Highlanders are now just a game and a half back of first place UC Irvine in the race for the Big West regular season title. UCR will host the Anteaters at the SRC Arena on Thursday, March 2.

Up Next 

UC Riverside is now island-bound for a game this Thursday against Hawaii at the Stan Sheriff Center. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. Pacific time and broadcast coverage is on ESPN+.