Defense Keys CSUN to 65-49 Victory over UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (7-5, 1-0 Big West) defeated UC Riverside 65-49 Thursday evening in both teams' Big West opener at the Student Rec Center. Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht posted her fourth double-double of the season and the Matador defense clamped down all night on the Highlanders.

Northridge led nearly wire-to-wire in the contest Thursday. Leading 34-28 at halftime, the Matadors started the second half on a 24-10 run to pull away from the host Highlanders.

Mahlknecht finished with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in the contest, both of which led CSUN. The double-double was her fourth of the season and she added a block and three steals in 24 minutes of action.

Marta Masoni also finished in double-figures, scoring 11 points after connecting on three 3-pointers in the contest. She had a rebound and a steal in 22 minutes.

Ashlee Guay, Haley White and Janae Sharpe all had solid two-way games for CSUN. On defense, the Matadors held Tre'Shonti Notthingham, who came into the night leading the Big West in scoring at over 21 points a game, to just eight points on the evening.

White had two key 3-pointers in the first half and finished with eight points and four rebounds. Guay was a menace all night and posted seven points and a season-high six steals. Sharpe, playing in front of her hometown crowd, posted nine points and three steals.

As a team, Northridge shot 30.4 percent from the field compared to 35.2 percent for UC Riverside. The Matadors finished with 22 second-chance points and out-scored the Highlanders 26-12 in the paint.

CSUN forced 25 UCR turnovers, converting those miscues into 19 points. Northridge finished with 17 steals in the contest, two more than their previous season high. The Matadors also grabbed a season-high 54 rebounds in the contest, including 26 offensive boards.

Northridge will look to keep up the strong start to conference play on Saturday, Jan. 5 when they travel to face Cal State Fullerton. Tip off between the Matadors and Titans is slated for 3 p.m. from Titan Gym.