Matadors Push Past Pacific 63-56

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (15-10, 9-3 Big West) defeated Pacific 63-56 Thursday evening in a Big West Conference showdown at The Matadome. Jasmine Erving had her 12th double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Janae Sharpe scored 17 of her game-high 19 in the second half for the Matadors. 

After taking a one-point lead into halftime, CSUN quickly fell behind to start the second half. Pacific took its biggest lead 34-28 about three minutes into the final half. From there, Northridge took control behind the play of Sharpe and Erving. 

Northridge quickly erased the deficit and went on a 16-6 run to lead 44-40 with about 11 minutes to play. The Tigers hit a 3-pointer in response, but that only spurred another large run, this one 12-1 to make the lead 56-44 with six minutes to play. 

Pacific would get no closer than five the rest of the way and Sharpe knocked down two free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory. 

After going 0-for-7 from the field in the first half, Sharpe was 6-of-9 in the second half and hit two big 3-pointers in the frame. The 19 points tied a season high she had reached on two previous occasions and she added three assists and four rebounds in 31 minutes. 

Erving was 7-of-16 from the field and had five offensive boards as she produced her 12th double-double of the season and 25th of her career. She also had two blocked shots and knocked down her only 3-point attempt in 31 minutes of action. 

CSUN also got strong contributions from several other players. Freshman Ashlee Guay had eight assists, eight rebounds and two steals. Camille Mahlknecht had eight points, five rebounds and two assists. Randi Friess tied a season high with nine rebounds and had three assists, four points and two steals. Finally, Haley White had three assists and three steals off the bench. 

As a team, Northridge shot 43.1 percent from the field (25-of-58) compared to 31.0 percent (22-of-71) for Pacific. The Matadors out-rebounded the Tigers 47-41 and had 12 second-chance points. 

Erica McKenzie led Pacific with 14 points. 

Northridge returns to action Saturday, Feb. 18 with a 2 p.m. contest against UC Davis. All fans wearing pink will receive free admission to the contest as the team celebrates the Women's Basketball Coaches Association "Play 4 Kay" initiative to support breast cancer awareness.