UC Irvine Outlasts CSUN on ESPN3

IRVINE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (13-14, 9-4 Big West) lost 76-72 to UC Irvine Saturday evening in a Big West Conference contest at the Bren Events Center. Ashlee Guay led CSUN with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists, but the Matadors could not solve the Anteaters' interior offense for the second time this season. 

Despite the loss, CSUN remains in a strong position for seeding in the upcoming Big West Tournament. At 9-4, the Matadors are tied with Cal Poly for first place in the standings, but own the tiebreaker after sweeping the Mustangs in league play. The Matadors also currently own the tiebreaker over Hawai'i (8-5) because of those wins over Cal Poly.

UC Irvine led for nearly the entire contest, although the Matadors made things interesting late. Trailing 67-60 with 5:07 to play, the Matadors whittled the lead down to two and had a chance to tie or take the lead in the final minute.

Unfortunately, the shots didn't fall and Vanessa Aguilar knocked down two big free throws to seal the Anteater victory. 

Guay was 7-of-14 from the field and knocked down five 3-pointers. She added six rebounds and a game-high six assists while playing all 40 minutes of action. 

Janae Sharpe and Cinnamon Lister each posted 15 points for CSUN. Sharpe tied for the team lead with eight rebounds while Lister had three assists and three 3-pointers.

Randi Friess had eight rebounds, including five offensive boards, and three points. Camille Mahlknecht blocked four shots to go with eight points and five rebounds. 

UCI senior forward Camille Buckley finished with a game-high 28 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Anteaters. Included in that total was a 12-of-14 effort at the free throw line. 

As a team, the Matadors shot 40.6 percent from the field compared to 46.4 percent for the Anteaters. CSUN hit 10 3-pointers but were outscored 30-22 in the paint. 

The Matadors will look to regroup with their final two home games of the conference season. CSUN hosts Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27. Two days later, senior day festivities will center around a 4 p.m. contest with UC Riverside.

Following the game with the Highlanders, CSUN will honor its two-member senior class: Mikayla Thielges and Haley White