Matadors Face Eagles and Wildcats in Non-Conference Hoops
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (1-0) plays two games over the upcoming weekend, including its second-straight contest in The Matadome to open the 2012-13 season. On Thursday, Nov. 15, the Matadors welcome Eastern Washington to the San Fernando Valley for a 7 p.m. contest. Two days later, CSUN hits the road for the first time in the young season with a game at Arizona on Nov. 17.
Last week, CSUN rallied to defeat Portland 70-51 in both teams' season opener. Trailing by four at halftime, CSUN saw the Pilots push the lead to 10 points with 15:53 left in the game. Ashlee Guay and Haley White then knocked down consecutive 3-pointers and freshman Jasmine Johnson added an old-fashioned three-point play to bring CSUN within one point. A Randi Friess 3-pointer gave Northridge the lead for good and the run wound up being a 36-7 run for CSUN to close the half.
For the game, Guay finished with 20 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals. She knocked down a career-high nine field goals in the victory and received the Big West Conference Player of the Week award for her efforts.
Freshman Marta Masoni also had a strong game for the Matadors in her official debut. The Italian national scored 17 points and knocked down five 3-pointers for the Matadors. She added three rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes of action.
This week, Northridge takes on the Eagles and Wildcats in a pair of non-conference games. Eastern Washington is 0-1 on the season, having lost to Pacific 64-51 in its home opener. Carrie Ojeda had 14 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and four assists in the loss to the Tigers. Arizona is 2-0 on the season after 83-82 win over UNLV on Nov. 13. Through two games, Davelyn White leads the team in scoring with 37 points.
Next week, CSUN hosts the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament at The Matadome. The Matadors welcome South Alabama, Detroit-Mercy and nationally ranked Penn State to The Matadome for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Lady Lions and the Titans start the event on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed by a 5 p.m. contest between CSUN and South Alabama. The next day, the two losing teams will play in the consolation game at noon followed the championship contest at 2:30 p.m.
A Guay with Words
Sophomore Ashlee Guay scored a game-high 20 points in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland. Guay knocked down a career-high nine field goals and added three rebounds, six assists and three steals in the win. For that performance, Guay was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week. Before the season, Guay was named to the Preseason All-Big West Conference Team. In her freshman season, she led all conference players in assists (129) and steals (91) while averaging 8.6 points per game.
CSUN's New Italian Sports Car
Freshman Marta Masoni finished with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, in her Matador debut as Northridge defeated Portland 70-51. Originally from Taranto, Italy, Masoni was 6-of-10 from the floor and added four rebounds, two assists and a steal in the victory over the Pilots. Before coming to CSUN, Masoni was a member of the Italian Women's Basketball team that captured the U-18 European Championships in 2010.
Junior Haley White had a strong start to her third season with the Matadors. In the win over Portland, White came off the bench to finish with eight points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes of action. The 10 dimes matched White's career high and the seven rebounds were two shy of her career best. In 62 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Violets are Matador Red
Senior Violet Alama had eight points and eight rebounds in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland. Alama started the contest against the Pilots, a different role for her after she earned Big West Co-Sixth Woman of the Year honors in the 2011-12 season. Last year, Alama averaged 7.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, the ninth-best average in the Big West. She has over 500 rebounds in her career and is also nearing 200 career free throws. In 90 career games, Alama has averaged 7.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
Mahl-Knechting the Dots
Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht finished with four points and six rebounds in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland. Last year, she averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and had 45 blocks on the year, a 1.5 per game average that finished second in the Big West Conference. The 45 rejections ranked fourth in school history for a single season. Offensively, Mahlknecht had five double-figure scoring performances on the season, including a season-high 14 points and seven field goals at Oregon State.
Georgia on My Mind
Sophomore Randi Friess finished with five points, six rebounds, two blocks and three steals in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland. In her freshman season, Friess averaged 2.6 points and 3.1 rebounds, including a season-high nine boards against CSU Bakersfield. One statistic that speaks to Friess' hustle is that 16 of her 22 steals came against Big West opponents.
Sophomore Janae Sharpe returns to the Matadors after earning Big West Conference Freshman of the Year and All-Big West Second Team honors last season. She scored a season-high 19 points four times and was the Big West Conference's top scoring rookie. For the season, Sharpe averaged 11.4 points per game, the second-best figure on the team and ninth among all Big West players. She also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals (third in the league) per game. She tied a season high for the third time when she scored 19 points, including 17 in the second half, in the home win over Pacific. Sharpe tied a season high with 19 points in the Matadors' double-overtime loss to UC Santa Barbara. Sharpe had a strong start to her Big West career, earning the league's Player of the Week after helping lead the Matadors to a pair of wins during the opening weekend of conference play. Against UC Irvine, she scored a season-high 19 points and had a season-high seven steals. Two days later, Sharpe added 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists as the Matadors defeated UC Riverside.
I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson
Senior Jianni Jackson had several strong games for the Matadors in her first season with the club. She had nine points and five boards in the home win against Cal State Fullerton and finished with 12 points, four rebounds and tied a season high with three steals in the Matadors' game at Cal Poly. She tied a season high with four field goals, including a season-high two 3-pointers, against the Mustangs. Jackson scored a season-high 14 points and had seven rebounds in the Matadors' win at Pacific. For the season, she is averaging 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
The Matadors welcome four newcomers to the roster for the 2012-13 season: Breeyon Alexander, Bernadette Fong, Jasmine Johnson and Marta Masoni. Of the group, Alexander, Johnson and Masoni are all capable of playing on the perimeter, while Fong is a 6-2 post player. Alexander has top speed and length and projects as a shooting guard/small forward. Johnson is a rugged, energetic player who coaches expect to rebound at a high volume. Masoni brings extensive international experience and can score at a high rate. Fong is a bruising post player capable of stepping out and facing up from 16 feet.
Conference and National Notes
The Matadors found themselves with some pretty impressive stats in 2011-12. Defensively, the Matadors were second in the conference in field goal percentage defense (.372), fourth in scoring defense (63.2 ppg) and second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.306). Northridge led the league and ranked 48th in the nation with an average of 4.6 blocks per game and had 317 steals, an average of 10.2 per game that ranked 62nd in the nation. On offense, CSUN ranked second in the Big West and 96th in the nation with a team free throw percentage of .713 (459-644). Individually, freshman Ashlee Guay led the league with a school-record 91 steals and ranked 24th among all Division I players with an average of 2.94 per game. Guay also ranked 87th in the nation with her league-leading assist average of 4.2 per game.
Follow Your Matadors Online
All home games this season will include live stats coverage, a free audio broadcast and free live video through Big West TV. For road contests related links to the game, including for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the contest on the schedule page of GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the Cal State Northridge Athletics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) for updates of matches in progress and news and notes throughout the week.