December 6, 2011

CSUN Hosts San Jose State, Fresno State in Non-Conference Contests

Complete Release in PDF Format

San Jose State at CSUN

Dec. 7, 2011 (The Matadome)

Live Stats // Audio // Video

Fresno State at CSUN

Dec. 11, 2011 (The Matadome)

Live Stats // Audio // Video 

Matadors Face Spartans and Bulldogs at The Matadome

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (4-4) returns home for a pair of non-conference games at The Matadome. On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the Matadors will face the San Jose State Spartans at 7 p.m. Then on Sunday, Dec. 11, the Matadors will face Fresno State in a matinee at 2 p.m. Both games will have live stats and live Internet-only radio for both contests. It is also expected that both games will be available online at BigWest.tv for a paid subscription.

Last week the Matadors dropped a pair of games to foes from the West Coast Conference. Against Santa Clara, the Matadors saw the Broncos cash 10-of-19 3-point attempts as they handed CSUN its first home loss of the season. Two days later, the Matadors led by eight midway through the second half at Pepperdine, but turnovers and fouls caused the game to tip to the Waves in the final moments.

Despite the losses, the team enters the week with a .500 record and  several notable stats. CSUN is the top rebounding team and top free throw shooting squad in the conference. Now Northridge sets its sights on rebounding with a pair of contests against opponents from the Western Athletic Conference. 

Both games should be tight affairs. San Jose State is 1-7 on the year, but is coming off a two-point loss and is led by the WAC's Player of the Week. Fresno State is a squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago and shoots the 3-pointer as well as any team in the West.

For their next games the Matadors hit the road for their final non-conference roadtrip and another venture to the Pacific northwest. On Dec. 19, CSUN battles the Oregon Ducks of the Pac-12 Conference and then faces the Portland Pilots of the West Coast Conference two days later.

CSUN's Dr. J

Senior Jasmine Erving picked up her fifth double-double of the season and 18th of her career after finishing with 27 points and 10 rebounds in the Matadors' loss at Pepperdine. For the season, the Santa Ana, Calif., native leads the Big West Conference with an average of 9.8 rebounds per game and ranks second with a scoring average of 16.0 points per game. She also ranks second among all league players in blocks per game (1.7) and her five double-doubles rank tied for sixth among all players in Division-I. During the Thanksgiving Holiday, she earned her third career Big West Player of the Week award by posting a pair of double-doubles as CSUN won its Thanksgiving tournament. Against Colgate, Erving led Northridge with 18 points and 11 rebounds and then followed that up with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in the championship game against West Virginia. Erving also continues to ascend several career charts in school history. She ranks second in school history with 112 blocked shots, seventh with 1,202 career points and now stands fifth in school history with 596 career rebonds. 

A Guay with Words

Freshman Ashlee Guay has been a menace for opponents in her first season with the Matadors. The San Diego, Calif., native is averaging 8.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 4.1 steals for the year and ranks eighth among all players in the NCAA Division-I with her league-leading steals per game average. In other statistics, Guay ranks 15th in rebounding average and second with 35 assists on the season. She also leads the team and league with an average of 35.9 minutes per game. In the CSUN Thanksgiving tournament, she pulled down a season-high nine rebounds against Colgate and dished out a team-high six assists against West Virginia. She posted six steals at Oregon State and then followed that up with a season-high seven at Washington two days later. On the offensive side, Guay posted a season-high eight assists at Oregon State and in the season-opening victory over San Francisco, she scored a team-high 17 points and had eight rebounds and five steals. 

Do or Duarte

Freshman Jessica Duarte brings a potent offensive punch to the Matadors' line-up. Since making her debut against Colgate, Duarte is averaging 6.8 points and has hit five 3-pointers. She had seven big points, including her first career trey, in the Matadors' victory over West Virginia. More recently, she knocked down two 3-pointers in both of the Matadors' games last week (Santa Clara, Pepperdine) and had a season-high 11 points against the Waves. 

Mahl-Knechting the Dots

Freshman Camille Mahlknecht had a season-high eight rebounds and four blocked shots in the Matadors' loss to Santa Clara. For the season, the Agoura, Calif., native is averaging 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. She leads the team with a .556 field goal percentage (20-of-36) and has 10 blocks on the year, a figure that ranks third in the Big West Conference. She led the Matadors with 14 points, seven field goals and six rebounds at Oregon State on Nov. 17. 

Petersen Provides Productive Performances

Sophomore Kaitlyn Petersen was named to the all-tournament team at CSUN's Thanksgiving tournament after turning in  two impressive performances. Against Colgate, she had 13 points and three assists in 19 minutes of action. The next day, Petersen scored CSUN's first 13 points en route to a season-high 17 as Northridge knocked off West Virginia for the tournament title. Against the Mountaineers, she was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line and now ranks second in the conference with a season percentage of .879 (29-for-33). For the year, Petersen is averaging 9.9 points, third on the team, to go along with 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest.

Mighty Sharpe

Freshman Janae Sharpe had her fifth double-figure scoring game of the season in the Matadors' loss to Santa Clara, finishing with 13 points and her first three career 3-pointers. She added 13 points in the Matadors' win over Colgate at the CSUN Thanksgiving tournament. For the year, Sharpe is averaging 10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game. She also leads the Matadors with 37 free throw attempts. The Rialto, Calif., native had a big part in the Matadors' two victories on opening weekend. In the season opener at San Francisco, she came off the bench to score 14 points and add four rebounds. Three days later, Sharpe had 11 points, eight assists and five steals as the Matadors won at LMU for the first time since 1990. 

Turkey Talk

The Matadors won the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2011 by defeating West Virginia, 48-47, in the championship game. CSUN defeated Colgate, 71-60, on Friday, Nov. 25 to set up a meeting with the Mountaineers, who knocked off No. 25 UCLA. For their efforts, senior Jasmine Erving was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and Kaitlyn Petersen was also named to the all-tournament team. 

Conference and National Notes

Through the first eight games of the year, the Matadors find themselves with some pretty impressive stats thus far. CSUN ranks second in the Big West and ranks 91st among all NCAA Division-I teams with a field goal percentage defense of .361 (181-501). The team also leads the Big West and ranks 20th in the nation with a team free throw percentage of .765 (130-170). Individually, freshman Ashlee Guay leads the league and ranks eighth among all Division-I players with an average of 4.1 steals per game. Kaitlyn Petersen is second in the conference and 52nd in the nation with a season free throw percentage of .879 (29-33). Finally, Jasmine Erving leads the conference and ranks 40th in the nation with a rebounding average of 9.8 per game. She also is tied for sixth among all Division-I players with five double-doubles on the season.  

Already a Season of Firsts

Northridge has already accomplished several notable feats through the first eight games of the 2011-12 season. Northridge defeated West Virginia in the championship game of the Thanksgiving Basketball Classic, the program's first win ever over a BIG EAST program. With four wins in November, the Matadors have won their most games in the season's opening month since the 1998-99 season. The Matadors' win over Colgate in the Thanksgiving Basketball Classic was also the first time CSUN has won its home opener since the 2004-05 season. The Matadors' victory over San Francisco on Nov. 11 was the program's first ever against the Dons and head coach Jason Flowers' first career non-conference win. The win also marked the first time Northridge won a season opener since the 2004-05 season. CSUN's win against LMU was the program's first since 1997 and the first win at LMU since the 1990 season. 

Scheduling Story

The Matadors have a formidable schedule in front of them for the 2011-12 season. Northridge has four teams on its ledger who qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament (UCLA, West Virginia, Fresno State and UC Davis). In addition to those squads, CSUN will face four teams that participated in the 2011 WNIT (UC Riverside, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine) and one team that competed in the WBI Classic (CSU Bakersfield). 

Scouting San Jose State

The Spartans of the Western Athletic Conference enter the Wednesday's contest at CSUN with a 1-7 record. Their victory came in a 74-64 decision against Northern Arizona on Dec. 1 and they only lost by two in their last game, a loss at Weber State. Brittany Johnson leads the team in scoring, averaging 19.3 points per game, the 31st-highest average among all Division-I players. She is also averaging a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game and has 15 assists. Sara Plavljanin is second on the team in scoring at 14.1 ppg and has a team-high 22 assists and 22 steals. The Spartans own a 7-3 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools, but CSUN has won the past two meetings. Tim LaKose, a 1991 graduate of Cal State Northridge, is in his first season as the head coach of San Jose State. 

Scouting Fresno State

The Bulldogs of Fresno State enter the week with a 5-3 overall record, having dropped a 93-59 decision to Stanford on Dec. 4. Before they face the Matadors on Sunday, Fresno State will host Oklahoma on Dec. 8. Ki-Ki Moore leads the Bulldogs in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per game. She is shooting 48.6 percent from the field, 51.7 percent from 3-point range and also leads the team with a rebounding average of 5.9 per game. Rosie Moult is second on the team in scoring at 12.8 ppg and leads the team with 25 3-pointers on the season. Fresno State holds a 14-4 advantage in the all-time series with CSUN, having won the past 13 decisions. Northridge's last victory in the series came in 1978.