Second-Half Surge Powers Matadors to 66-53 Victory over Titans
Jan. 16, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (3-12, 1-4 BWC) defeated Cal State Fullerton (8-10, 4-2 BWC), 66-53, in a Big West Conference game Saturday afternoon. A stifling Matador defense forced Fullerton into 4-for-38 shooting (10.5 percent) in the second-half, fueling a 14-point second-half comeback by CSUN. Jasmine Erving led three Matadors in double-figures, finishing the night with 20 points and eight rebounds.
It was a tale of two halves for Northridge and Fullerton Saturday night, with Fullerton looking like the stronger of the two in the opening frame and Northridge dominating the second. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for Northridge.
The Matadors came out hot to start the game. Katrina Thompson opened the contest with a 3-pointer, followed by a baseline jumper by Analee Viena-Lota on the very next possession, and the Matadors had an early 5-3 advantage. Another Thompson jumper at the 11:49 mark knotted the score at 12, but that would be the last bucket before an 18-2 Titan run over the next 6:41 helped Fullerton take a 37-26 lead into halftime.
A 3-pointer by Lyndsey Grove to start the second-half pushed the Titans' lead to 14, but Northridge refused to quit. Early second-half buckets by Erving and Violet Alama helped the Matadors chip away at the Fullerton lead, and a 3-pointer by Thompson at the 10:53 mark cut the deficit to three. A lay-up by Neeta SreeKanth with 9:23 remaining would pull the Matadors within one, 46-45.
A couple of Lyndsey Grove free throws would put Fullerton back up by three, but Northridge then scored seven straight to take their first lead since the 12:30 mark of the first half, going ahead by four, 52-48.
A jumper on the next play by Megan Richardson would narrow the CSUN lead to two, but that is as close as Fullerton would get. CSUN outscored the Titans 14-5 over the final 7:27, thanks in part to two more buckets by Erving and four free throws in the final minute by Bridgette Conejo.
Thompson finished the game with a season-high 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Matadors. She also had five assists, a steal and a block in the contest. Conejo chipped in with 12 points, all in the second half, to go along with nine rebounds and three assists. Both played all 40 minutes for Northridge.
Alama and Sreekanth each added six points off the bench for the Matadors, and Alama finished with six rebounds and three blocks. Janelle Nomura finished with three points, three rebounds and four assists.
As a team, CSUN shot 43.1 percent from the field (22-of-51) compared to CSF's 26 percent rate (20-of-77). Northridge out-rebounded Fullerton, 50-47, blocked seven shots to their one, and finished the game with 16 assists compared to the Titans' nine. The Matadors dominated the scoring in the paint, especially in the second half, outscoring CSUF, 18-2, in the final 20 minutes. The Matadors finished with 30 points in the key.
Britt Peters led Cal State Fullerton with 15 points to go along with six rebounds and three 3-pointers.
CSUN returns to action January 23rd, hosting Cal Poly at The Matadome. Tip-off between the Matadors and the Mustangs is slated for 4 p.m.