Morgan State almost pulled off a miracle finish on Friday night in the opener of its three-game West Coast road trip, but Cal State Northridge held on with clutch foul shooting.
Sinking 10 of 12 free throws in the last 76 seconds, the Matadors claimed an 86-80 non-conference win at the Matadome in Northridge, Calif.
Guard Josh Greene and forward Stephen Maxwell each scored 28 points for Northridge, which improved to 8-5 in its first season under former NBA All-Star Reggie Theus. Maxwell grabbed 12 rebounds and teammate Stephen Hicks added 11 to go along with 10 points.
Guard Justin Black pumped in 24 points for Morgan State (3-8), including a 3-pointer off a turnover with 1:21 left to cap a seven-point, eight-second spurt that pulled the visitors within 76-73. It started with a four-point possession when Black scored as he was fouled and guard Anthony Hubbard followed Black's missed free throw with a layup.
But the Matadors were able to wrap it up with foul shooting, a category in which they rank 14th in NCAA Division I at 76.8 percent. Ironically, they made only 24 of 37 in the game.
Ian Chiles, a 7-foot-2 center, added 19 points and eight rebounds for Morgan State, which also got 15 points from guard Blake Bozeman. Hubbard contributed a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double.
The second game of the Bears' trip is Sunday at No. 12 Oregon (11-0).