NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
CSUN Fights for Playoff Seeding vs. UCR, CSUF
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (13-15, 7-9 Big West Conference) closes out its 2012-13 season with a pair of home Big West Conference match-ups that will surely have an effect on the final league standings. On Thursday, Mar. 7, Northridge hosts Cal State Fullerton at 5 p.m. as part of a CSUN basketball doubleheader with the men's team. Two days later, the Matadors will honor their three seniors (Alama, Jianni Jackson, Felicia Walker) following a 4 p.m. game with UC Riverside.
Northridge enters the weekend sitting in sixth in the conference standings and can move up to the fifth seed with a pair of victories. The Matadors are assured of playing in the Big West Tournament's opening round on Tuesday, March 12 at The Bren Events Center on the campus of UC Irvine. Who they will play will largely be determined by how they fare in their final two games.
First up is a meeting with CSUF, a team CSUN defeated 56-55 in their earlier meeting this season. Ashlee Guay finished with a team-high 18 points and blocked a Titans' 3-point attempt at the end of regulation to preserve the victory. The Titans enter Thursday's contest at 9-19 overall and 5-11 in the conference. They are currently tied for the eighth and final league tournament berth with UC Irvine. Chante Miles leads the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game and in steals with 54 while Kathleen Iwuoha averages 7.2 rebounds per game.
The Matadors regular season finale will a Saturday afternoon contest with UC Riverside. CSUN defeated the Highlanders 65-49 in Riverside in their previous meeting this year, it's third-straight victory in the series. Camille Mahlknecht had a double-double in the victory, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Highlanders, who play at Hawai'i on Mar. 7, are 11-16 overall and 4-12 in the Big West Conference. UCR must win both of its games this week in order to have a shot at qualifying for the postseason. Senior Tre'Shonti Nottingham leads the Highlanders in scoring at 17.5 points per game while freshman Brittany Crain is averaging 13.7 points for the season. Natasha Hadley is the team's leading rebounder at 6.5 boards per game to go along with 11.1 points.
A Guay with Words
Sophomore Ashlee Guay continues to lead CSUN in scoring through 28 games after finishing with 17 points in losses at Hawai'i and at Cal Poly. She finished with 15 points, including a lay-up at the buzzer, in the Matadors' win over UC Davis. She is now averaging 13.4 points per game and ranks fifth in the conference. This season, she has scored 20 points or more six times and has led the Matadors in scoring 13 times. She poured in 24 points in the loss at Long Beach State. Two days earlier in a win at UCI, Guay dished out 10 assists, the second time in her career she has reached double-figures in the category. For the year, Guay has 111 assists, 95 rebounds and 84 steals. In Big West Play, Guay is averaging 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists. She finished with 22 points in the Matadors' home loss to Hawai'i and posted 18 points in the Matadors' win over Cal Poly. She drained a career-high 10 field goals and a season-high four 3-pointers in the first game against the Anteaters. 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. 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 4.0 assists per game.
Violets are Matador Red
Senior Violet Alama finished with her second-straight 14 point performance in the Matadors' loss at Hawai'i. She earned her first career Big West Player of the Week honors after averaging a double-double as the Matadors split games against Pacific and UC Davis. In the loss to the Tigers, Alama posted a season-high 15 points and 13 rebounds to finish with her first double-double of the season. Two days later, she recorded 13 points and eight rebounds as the Matadors rallied past the Aggies. Alama has ramped up her rebounding over the last few weeks and is among the top five in school history. She now has 673 rebounds in her career, which stands fifth in school history. She had 12 boards in the win at UCI, added 10 at LBSU and posted 10 more in the Matadors' loss to Hawai'i. Alama is now averaging 6.0 rebounds per game, the 13th-best average in the conference. Against Big West opponents, Alama is averaging 7.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She scored 11 points in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. She also has 235 career free throws, the seventh-most in school history. In 117 career games, Alama has averaged 7.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest.
Sophomore Janae Sharpe posted 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals at Hawai'i. She scored 14 points and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds in the Matadors' home loss to Pacific and finished with a season-high 18 points, eight field goals and seven assists in the Matadors' loss at CSU Bakersfield. For the season, Sharpe is averaging 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. She posted 12 points and hit an important 3-pointer in the second overtime in CSUN's win against Cal Poly. At UC Davis, Sharpe had 15 points and tied a career high with 11 free throws. 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. 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 10.2 points per game in 52 career appearances for the Matadors. In Big West play, Sharpe is averaging 7.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Junior Haley White made her first start of the season at Hawai'i and finished with nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. She scored a team-high 17 points and tied a career high with four 3-pointers in the loss at UC Santa Barbara. She scored a career-high 21 points and eight field goals in the Matadors' double-overtime victory over Cal Poly. She also finished with six rebounds, five assists, three steals and tied a career best with four free throws vs. the Mustangs. White dished out a game-high six assists in the home 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 88 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Mahl-Knechting the Dots
Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht had 10 rebounds in the Matadors' dramatic victory over UC Davis. She grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to go with eight points in the loss at Long Beach State. Two days earlier, she came off the bench to block six shots in the win at UC Irvine. She enters the weekend averaging 5.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Her 65 blocks this year rank third in school history for a single season and with 110 blocks in 59 career games, Mahlknecht is tied for third in school history. In Big West Play, Mahlknecht is averaging 5.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. She pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds to go with four blocked shots and nine points in the Matadors' victory against Cal Poly. Against 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. She had 14 points and five blocks in the win over South Alabama and grabbed 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 sixth in rebounds per game.
Georgia on My Mind
Sophomore Randi Friess continues to earn large playing time due to her hustle and defense. Having appeared in 27 games, the second-year player from Savannah, Ga., is averaging 4.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. She tied a season high with three 3-pointers in the loss at Cal Poly. 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.
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 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds for the season.
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.