NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Matadors Meet Gauchos with Anaheim Awaiting
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (16-15) continues its run in March Madness with a Big West Tournament Quarterfinal contest against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Mar. 13 at the Bren Events Center on the campus of UC Irvine. The game is the second that evening and is tentatively scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. tip off. The game will feature live stats, live video and live audio available at GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the CSUN Athletic Department's official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates.
In Tuesday's opening round of the Big West Tournament, CSUN posted a convincing 61-40 victory over UC Davis. Ashlee Guay and Violet Alama each scored 14 points while Haley White added 12 and Camille Mahlknecht chipped in 11 off the bench.
The Matadors made 13 of their first 20 shots and finished at 51.1 percent (24-of-47) from the field for the contest. Conversely, Northridge held the Aggies to just 23.3 percent shooting (14-of-60) from the field and 17.2 percent (5-of-29) from 3-point range. CSUN controlled the paint as well, out-rebounding UCD (40-33) and more than doubling the Aggies' points in the paint (28-12).
The victory sets up a Wednesday night contest with UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos, who are the tournament's fourth seed, enter the contest with a 15-15 overall record and finished 11-7 in the Big West Conference.
Senior forward Sweets Underwood leads the Gauchos in scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Nicole Nesbit, a junior guard, averages 10.6 points and 3.0 assists per contest. Melissa Zornig, Angelei Aguirre, Destini Mason and Kristen Tilleman all average between 5.4 and 8.4 points per game.
UCSB employs some tough defense, holding opponents to 36 percent shooting from the field and 28.1 percent from 3-point range. As a team, the Gauchos shoot at a 40.2 percent clip from the field and 28.6 percent from downtown. They average 33.6 rebounds, 11.9 assists and 15.2 turnovers per contest.
A Guay with Words --- All Big West Second Team
Sophomore Ashlee Guay posted 14 points and eight rebounds in the Big West Tournament victory over UC Davis. She hit the game-winning basket with three seconds left to play as the Matadors defeated UC Riverside on Senior Day. She added 15 points in the home win over Cal State Fullerton and scored in double figures at Cal Poly and Hawai'i. She also finished with 15 points, including a lay-up at the buzzer, in the Matadors' home win over UC Davis. She is 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 14 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 122 assists, 109 rebounds and 91 steals. In Big West Play, Guay averaged 13.3 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 averaging 3.9 assists per game.
Junior Haley White scored 14 points and added seven rebounds and three assists in the Big West Tournament win over UC Davis. She posted a team-high 13 points in Northridge's home victory over UC Riverside. She made her first start of the season at Hawai'i and finished with nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. For the season, White is averaging a career-high 5.9 points per game. She finished with a team-high 17 points and tied a career high with four 3-pointers in the loss at UC Santa Barbara. White 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 92 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Violets are Matador Red
Senior Violet Alama recorded 14 points, a season-high seven field goals and six rebounds in the Big West Tournament victory over UC Davis. She set a new school record with her start against Cal State Fullerton, the 119th appearance of her career. 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 688 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. For the year, Alama is averaging 5.9 rebounds per game, the 12th-best average in the conference. Against Big West opponents, Alama averaged 6.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. She scored 11 points in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. She also has 236 career free throws, the seventh-most in school history. In 120 career games, Alama has averaged 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest.
Mahl-Knechting the Dots
Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht came off the bench to finish with 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in the Matadors' Big West Tournament victory over UC Davis. She pulled down 10 rebounds in the Matadors' dramatic home 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 Wednesday's contest averaging 6.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Her 73 blocks this year rank third in school history for a single season and with 117 blocks in 62 career games, Mahlknecht is third in school history. In Big West Play, Mahlknecht averaged 5.2 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 30 games, the second-year player from Savannah, Ga., is averaging 4.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. Friess scored in double-figures for the third time in her career by posting 10 points in the win over Cal State Fullerton. She also tied a career high with nine rebounds and had three assists in the win over the Titans. 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.
Sophomore Janae Sharpe sored a team-high 16 points in the Matadors' home victory over Cal State Fullerton. She added 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, 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 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 54 career appearances for the Matadors. In Big West play, Sharpe averaged 7.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
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 3.6 points and 2.7 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.