NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Matadors Face Road Tests at Aggies, Tigers
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (10-5, 4-0 Big West) hit the road for the second time in its Big West schedule, traveling to Northern California for games at UC Davis and Pacific. CSUN takes on the Aggies on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in The Pavilion. Two days later, the Matadors square off with the Tigers at 4 p.m. in the final Big West trip to Stockton. Both games will feature live video, live audio and live stats, all of which are free, available at GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check with the Northridge Athletic Department's official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates.
Last week CSUN played its first two home games in over a month and came away with a pair of resounding victories. In a 73-52 victory over Long Beach State, Ashlee Guay led all scorers with 22 points and Marta Masoni added 19 as the Matadors posted their largest victory over the 49ers in school history.
The tandem of Guay and Masoni continued to light up the scoreboard against UC Irvine, finishing with 24 and 20 points, respectively, in a 59-48 win. Guay knocked down a season-high four 3-pointers and Masoni tied a season high with six 3-pointers. On defense, CSUN forced 28 UCI turnovers that it converted into 24 points.
This week Northridge returns to Northern California in hopes of continuing its strong play in Big West action. UC Davis is 5-9 overall and 0-3 in the league season thus far. Sydnee Fipps leads the Aggies and ranks second in the Big West at 17.3 points per game. She is also averaging 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Cortney French adds 12.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. CSUN has not won a game in Davis since 2005.
On Saturday, Jan. 19, the Matadors tangle with the Pacific Tigers in a meeting of the top two vote getters in the Preseason Poll. Pacific has four players averaging over 10 points per game: Kendall Rodriguez, Gena Johnson, Kendall Kenyon and Ashley Wakefield. Kenyon is also the league's top rebounder, averaging 10.3 boards per game. Thus far in 2012-13, the Tigers are undefeated on their home floor and face Hawai'i on Jan. 17 before hosting CSUN.
A Guay with Words
Sophomore Ashlee Guay had a big week as the Matadors returned home for wins over Long Beach State and UC Irvine. She led all scorers with 22 points against the 49ers and 24 points against the Anteaters. She drained a career-high 10 field goals and a season-high four 3-pointers against UCI and had three steals in each game. Guay scored a game-high 18 points in the Matadors' road win at Cal State Fullerton and poured in a career-high 28 points in the Matadors' historic victory at UCLA. She is now averaging 15.0 points per game to lead the team and rank fourth in the conference. This season, she has scored 20 points or more four times and has led the Matadors in scoring nine times. 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, matching the school record, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State and is now averaging 3.7 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 56 assists, 45 rebounds and 45 steals. In Big West Play, Guay is averaging 17.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Meet the Meteoric Marta Masoni
Freshman Marta Masoni continues to have a strong first season with the Matadors. She ranks second on the Matadors in scoring and sixth in the Big West Conference at 13.9 points per game. Against Long Beach State, Masoni scored 19 points, including a season-high six free throws, and then added 20 points and six 3-pointers in the win over UC Irvine. Masoni knocked down a season-high six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in the Matadors' win at UCLA. She matched her season high with 22 points in the win at Santa Clara, finishing 8-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. She produced a season-high 22 points, including five 3-pointers, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. Through 15 games, Masoni is averaging 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest. In Big West Play, Masoni is averaging 14.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists. She leads the Big West Conference in 3-pointers (47) and at 43.1 percent from beyond the arc (47-of-109). She started her career with a bang, finishing with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, as Northridge defeated Portland. Originally from Taranto, Italy, Masoni was a member of the Italian Women's Basketball team that captured the U-18 European Championships in 2010.
Mahl-Knechting the Dots
Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht enters the weekend averaging 7.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Against Long Beach State, she posted seven points, nine rebounds and three blocks and at UC Riverside, Mahlknecht finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Against San Francisco, she just missed a triple-double by posting 14 points, 13 rebounds and a school-record eight blocked shots. Mahlknecht also had a strong performance in the Matadors' Thanksgiving Classic. She had 14 points and five blocks in the win over South Alabama and 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. She leads the Big West Conference in blocks per game and is fourth in rebounds per game. With 81 blocks in 46 career games, Mahlknecht is eighth in school history. In Big West Play, Mahlknecht is averaging 6.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
Sophomore Janae Sharpe has made an immediate impact for CSUN since returning from a lower body injury. For the season, she is averaging 8.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. She scored 10 points in the win at Cal State Fullerton and tied for a team-high 12 points and had four steals at Oklahoma. Sharpe made her season debut for the Matadors in their games at Santa Clara and San Jose State. She finished with 16 points in the loss to the Spartans, adding five field goals, five free throws and three rebounds. Against San Francisco, Sharpe finished with 11 points, five assists and three rebounds in 18 minutes of action. At Fresno State, she produced 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. The 2011-12 Big West Freshman of the Year, Sharpe has averaged under 11 points per game in 39 career appearances for the Matadors. In Big West Play, Sharpe is averaging 7.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Georgia on My Mind
Sophomore Randi Friess continues to earn large playing time due to her hustle and defense. Through 15 games, the second-year player from Savannah, Ga., is averaging 5.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. In CSUN's win at UCLA, she pulled down a team-high nine rebounds to go with six points, three assists and two steals. She produced her first two career double-digit scoring performances earlier in the season. 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.
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. She now has 584 rebounds in her career, which stands eighth in school history. She also has 213 career free throws, the ninth-most in school history. In 104 career games, Alama has averaged 7.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson
Senior Jianni Jackson had her best game of the season in the Matadors' loss at Oklahoma. Jackson posted 12 points, a career-high five field goals and a team-high seven rebounds against the Sooners. Against San Jose State, she finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. In fact, the eight boards set a new career best for Jackson in her time at Northridge. In the win over Santa Clara, she tied a career high with two 3-pointers and is now averaging 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in nine contests.
Junior Haley White dished out a game-high six assists in the win over UC Irvine. She also hit two key 3-pointers in the Matadors' win at UCLA and finished with eight points against the Bruins. She 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. The 10 dimes matched White's career high and the seven rebounds were two shy of her career best. In 76 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Conference and National Notes
As of Jan. 13, CSUN led the Big West in field goal percentage defense (.337), 3-pointers per game (7.3), 3-point field goal percentage (.362), blocks per game (4.7) and turnover margin (+3.1). The Matadors also rank second in the conference in scoring defense (57.9), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.264), scoring margin (+5.5), steals shots per game (11.1) and defensive rebounds per game (27.7).
Among 343 teams in Division I as of Jan. 13, CSUN ranks 17th in field goal percentage defense, 20th in 3-point field goal percentage, 25th in 3-pointers per game, 41st in 3-point field goal defense, 44th in blocks per game, 53rd in steals per game, 63rd in turnover margin, 90th in assists per game and 95th in scoring defense. Freshman Marta Masoni checks in at 19th in the nation in 3-point percentage and 12th in 3-pointers per game. Camille Mahlknecht ranks 23rd in the nation in blocks per game while Ashlee Guay is 35th in steals per game and 88th in field goal percentage.
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 begin 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.
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.