NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (13-13, 9-3 Big West) defeated UC Santa Barbara 78-54 Saturday afternoon in a Big West Conference contest at The Matadome. Cinnamon Lister became CSUN's single-season 3-point leader, Camille Mahlknecht grabbed a program-record 22 rebounds and the Matadors defeated the Gauchos in Northridge for the first time since 1984.
Playing in pink uniforms as part of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's "Play 4Kay" initiative to promote breast cancer research and awareness, the Matadors delivered an impressive performance against UC Santa Barbara.
The win over the visiting Gauchos was CSUN's first at home in the series since a 65-61 decision on Dec. 1, 1984.
Head coach Jason Flowers noted that the victory represented a lot to the Matador program.
"This win is another step in the right direction for us in reaching our goals for the season," Flowers said. "Getting the first win against UCSB since 1984 is not just for our players, it's for everyone who has ever worn the uniform."
The Matadors started hot, building a 28-9 lead with roughly eight minutes to play in the first half. UC Santa Barbara responded and cut the lead to nine (30-21) with four minutes to play before CSUN rallied to take a 39-28 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the teams traded baskets until UCSB got back within nine (57-48) with 7:37 left to play. CSUN subsequently went on a 11-2 run to regain the lead and never look back.
Mahlknecht, a 6-3 junior from Agoura, Calif., grabbed 22 rebounds to set a new program Division I single-game record. The previous record was 21 by LaJoyce King against Santa Clara on Dec. 2, 2006. With 12 offensive rebounds, Mahlknecht also tied King for the most in a single game in the program's Division I history.
Offensively, Mahlknecht led the Matadors with a season-high 21 points on a career-high 10 field goals. She also had five blocks, raising her career total to a program-record 201. The 22 rebounds also moved her into eighth in program history with 565 for her career.
"It was great for Camille to have a break through performance," Flowers said. "Her effort has gone to another level in last two weeks and it is good for her to reap the benefits of that work."
Lister finished with 10 points, her 20th game in double-figures this season. She knocked down two 3-pointers to give her 67 for the year, surpassing the previous mark held by Edniesha Curry with 66 in the 98-99 season. Lister added a team-high five assists and a steal in the win.
"Great to see Cinnamon's work ethic being rewarded," Flowers added. "Since day one, she's worked her tail off. Setting the school record in her first season is a result of getting up thousands of shots in her preparation."
Ashlee Guay continued her hot play with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. She added three 3-pointers, four rebounds and three assists in the win.
Janae Sharpe was the fourth Matador in double-figures, finishing with 15 points. She added five rebounds and four assists in the victory.
The Matadors held a 55-28 advantage on the glass and outscored the Gauchos 36-24 in the paint and 26-9 in second-chance points. CSUN shot 43.2 percent from the field compared to 36.8 percent for UCSB.
Melissa Zornig led the Gauchos with 21 points.
Northridge will have a week to prepare for its next contest, a road game at UC Irvine on Feb. 22. The game will be featured on ESPN3 with tip off slated for 4 p.m.