Second-Half Surge Sends CSUN to 73-52 Win over Long Beach State

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (9-5, 3-0 Big West) defeated Long Beach State (9-6, 2-1 Big West) 73-52 Wednesday evening in a Big West Conference contest at The Matadome. Sophomore Ashlee Guay scored a game-high 22 points and freshman Marta Masoni added 19 as the Matadors posted their largest win over the 49ers in school history.

Playing in front of a home crowd for the first time since Dec. 5, the Matadors defended their home court in stunning fashion and atoned for a pair of home losses to the 49ers last season. In fact, the home win was Northridge's first in the series since the 2008-09 season.

CSUN stayed in control for most of the contest, though Long Beach State orchestrated some runs to keep things close at points. In the first half, the Matadors went up by as many as 12 only to see the 49ers rally and even take a one point lead with 2:41 left in the half (33-32).

From there, Northridge closed the half on an 8-0 run and carried a 40-33 lead into the locker room. Masoni had 14 of her 19 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers.

After the intermission, Long Beach State scored the first five points to cut the lead to two. Guay then connected on one of her three 3-pointers and the 49ers would never get closer.

The lead swelled to as many as 25 in the second half as Northridge held LBSU to just 6-of-26 (23.1) shooting over the final 20 minutes.

Guay was 9-of-14 from the field and added three rebounds, four assists and three steals in 32 minutes of action. Masoni had three rebounds, three assists, a block and two steals in 29 minutes.

Randi Friess had all seven of her points after the break and Camille Mahlknecht posted seven points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in 19 minutes.

In all, CSUN shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the field and 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point range. The 49ers had one more rebound than CSUN, but also had four more turnovers as well. The Matadors raced out to a total of 12 fast-break points in the game compared to four for LBSU.

CSUN head coach Jason Flowers was happy with his team's performance.

"I thought we came out well and really executed the game plan. All the credit goes to our student-athletes because they came out and played extremely well," Flowers said. "We had a tough stretch towards the of the first half, but we responded well. Marta had a great game. Ashlee shot at a high percentage and took care of the basketball. I also thought Camille Malhknecht was a strong presence inside. It was a team effort. On defense, we really locked down and did what we had to do to be victorious."

Northridge will look to keep up its winning ways when it hosts UC Irvine on Saturday, Jan. 12. Tip off between the Matadors and Anteaters is at 4 p.m. from The Matadome.