Matadors Face Broncos, Spartans in Road Games
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Last week, Northridge split its two games as part of the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. In their opening game, the Matadors held South Alabama to 22 percent shooting from the field in a 47-40 victory. Ashlee Guay had 15 points and six assists while Camille Mahlknecht had 14 points and a career-high five blocks in the win over the Jaguars.
The next day, CSUN gave No. 6 Penn State all it could handle for 35 minutes before the Lady Lions ultimately pulled away for an 85-73 victory. Freshman Marta Masoni had a season-high 22 points, including five 3-pointers, and Guay added 15 points and a career-high 12 assists to earn all-tournament team honors.
This week, CSUN begins a stretch where seven of its next eight games will be away from The Matadome. First up is a Santa Clara team that is 3-3 on the season and has already taken on No. 1 Stanford. Megan Fulps leads the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game and she is also averaging 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Rita Zuraustkyte is averaging 11.5 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds per game.
Following the game with the Broncos, CSUN heads to San Jose State to face a 2-3 Spartans team. Ta'Rea Cunnigan leads SJSU in scoring at 22 ppg and is also averaging 7.2 rpg and 3.1 assists per contest. Classye James is the team's second leading scorer at 13 points per game. CSUN has won the past three meetings with San Jose State, including a 62-61 victory in its last contest at The Events Center.
Upon returning from the roadtrip, CSUN hosts San Francisco in a non-conference game at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The game is part of a Matador Basketball doubleheader in which the CSUN men's team takes on Vanguard at 7:30 p.m. CSUN then hits the road to play at Fresno State on Saturday, Dec. 8 in a 4 p.m. contest.
A Guay with Words
Sophomore Ashlee Guay continues to lead the Matadors in scoring through the first five games of the season. She has reached double-figures in all five games and is averaging 15.4 points per contest, the fourth-highest average in the Big West Conference. Guay earned all-tournament honors at CSUN's Thanksgiving Classic after averaging 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds in the two games. She dished out a career-high 12 assists in the Matadors' loss to Penn State and is now averaging a league-high 5.6 assists per game. She scored a game-high 20 points in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland, including a career-high nine field goals. For that performance, Guay was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week. For the year, Guay has 28 assists, 20 rebounds and nine steals. Before the season, Guay was named to the Preseason All-Big West Conference Team. In her freshman year, she led all conference players in assists (129) and steals (91) while averaging 8.6 points per game.
Mahl-Knechting the Dots
Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht had a strong performance in the Matadors' Thanksgiving Classic. She had 14 points and a career-high five blocks in the win over South Alabama and then tied a career high with 13 rebounds against Penn State. Mahlknecht produced her first career double-double when she finished with a career-high 22 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Eastern Washington. She also had a career-high nine field goals and three blocks in the win over the Eagles. For the season, Mahlknecht is averaging 10.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. She leads the Big West Conference in blocks per game, ranks 16th in points per game and is fourth in rebounds per game. With 60 blocks in 36 career games, Mahlknecht is now ninth in school history.
CSUN's New Italian Import
Freshman Marta Masoni scored a season-high 22 points, including five 3-pointers, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. Through five games in 2012-13, Masoni is averaging 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest. She leads the Big West Conference in 3-pointers and ranks fourth in the league at 41.2 percent from beyond the arc (14-of-34). Masoni also ranks 10th in the league in scoring and 11th in field goal percentage. She started her career with a bang, finishing with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, as Northridge defeated Portland. She had 10 rebounds in the win over Eastern Washington and added 10 points in the loss at Arizona. Originally from Taranto, Italy, Masoni was a member of the Italian Women's Basketball team that captured the U-18 European Championships in 2010.
Georgia on My Mind
Sophomore Randi Friess has produced her first two career double-digit scoring performances over the last three games for CSUN. She poured in a career-high 12 points in the Matadors' loss at Arizona and then scored 10 points, including a career-high three 3-pointers, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State. Friess produced a career-high four field goals against Arizona and tied a career high with nine rebounds in the Matadors' win over Eastern Washington. She is averaging 6.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals through the first five games of the season.
Violets are Matador Red
Senior Violet Alama scored a season-high 11 points in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. The day before, she pulled down a season-high nine rebounds in the Matadors' win over South Alabama. Alama opened the season with 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 94 career games, Alama has averaged 7.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
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 66 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
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. 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 junior 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 1.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Freshman Breeyon Alexander has brought energy and intensity off the bench for the Matadors thus far in the 2012-13 season. Alexander, who goes by the nickname "Breezy," had eight points, including two 3-pointers, in the Matadors' win over Eastern Washington. She grabbed a season-high five rebounds in the Matadors' victory over South Alabama and is averaging 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.
Conference and National Notes
Through the first three weekends of play in the 2012-13 season, the Matadors have posted some interesting numbers when compared to their conference rivals. As of Nov. 26, CSUN led the Big West field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to and 29.8 percent shooting. That percentage ranks seventh among 343 teams in Division I as of Nov. 25. Northridge also leads the league 3-pointers per game (7.8), assists per game (17..2), blocked shots per game (5.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.95). Among 343 teams in Division I, CSUN ranks 23rd in assists per game and 3-pointers per game, 24th in blocked shots per game, 64th in scoring defense and 54th in assist-to-turnover ratio. Individually, Northridge has three of the league's top scorers on a per-game average (Ashlee Guay, Marta Masoni, Camille Mahlknecht) and two players among the league's top 20 rebounders (Mahlknecht, Violet Alama).
Matadors Sign Four to NLIs
Cal State Northridge head coach Jason Flowers has announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to being play with the Matadors starting in the 2013-14 season. Amber Blockmon, Emily Cole, Katelin King and Samantha Young bring prolific prep careers and outstanding character to the Matadors.
"We are excited to welcome these four outstanding young women into the Northridge family," Flowers said. "All four are exceptional student-athletes who will represent the University and its community with hard work and discipline on the court and in the classroom."
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.