February 2, 2012

Second-Half Surge Sends CSUN to 64-58 Victory at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (13-9, 7-2 Big West) defeated UC Riverside 64-58 Thursday afternoon in a Big West Conference at the Student Rec Center Arena. The Matadors overcame a slow first half to out-score the Highlanders 42-23 in the second half as they picked up their first road win in this series in over six years.

Showing a flair for the dramatic, CSUN stormed out of the halftime and quickly started cutting into the UCR lead. Senior Jasmine Erving was especially potent in the second half, finishing with all 22 of her points and 10 rebounds in the game's final 20 minutes.

Northridge finally took the lead for good at 48-47 on a lay-up by Janae Sharpe. On the next CSUN possession, Sharpe knocked down a 3-pointer to expand the lead to four and Northridge never looked back.

Overall, CSUN shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) in the second half and knocked down 6-of-7 free throws. That came after the Matadors shot just 27.6 percent (8-of-29) in the first half. For the game, Northridge finished at 40.3 percent from the field.

After picking up two quick fouls in the first half, Erving was a dominant force for the Matadors inside. She added two assists in 25 minutes of action. Erving surpassed 700 career rebounds during the game and the double-double was her 10th of the season.

Sharpe was the other Matador to finish in double-figures, scoring 10 points to go with four assists, three rebounds and two steals.

Fellow freshmen Ashlee Guay and Randi Friess also had strong games for the Matadors. Guay finished with nine points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. She knocked down a key 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the game to seal the victory.

Friess was a menace all over the court for CSUN. The rookie finished tied her season highs with eight points and four steals and added six rebounds and an assist in 32 minutes of work. 

CSUN found itself behind early. UCR jumped out to a 17-3 lead as Northridge had trouble finding its form from the field. That translated into a 35-22 halftime lead for the Highlanders. Friess led CSUN with four points and four rebounds at the break.

As a team, UCR finished at 43.5 percent (20-of-46) from the field. Dynese Adams led the Highlanders with 15 points.

The Matadors won the rebounding battle in the game 42-27, scored 34 points in the paint and had 16 second-chance points. The victory marked the first time CSUN has swept the regular season series with UCR.

Northridge returns to action Saturday with a road contest at UC Irvine. Tip off between the Matadors and Anteaters is slated for 4 p.m. 

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