January 6, 2010

First League Roadtrip takes Northridge to Orange County to Face UC Irvine

Jan. 6, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Tackle `Eaters in Pivotal Big West Game

Two games into the Big West Conference season, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-9, 0-2 BWC) makes its first roadtrip of the league season to face UC Irvine. Both the Matadors and Anteaters enter Thursday's contest having dropped their first two conference games and a victory will give the winner a leg up in the race for the Big West Tournament.

A closer look at Northridge's losses to Pacific and UC Davis showed the Matadors gave up 79 free throw attempts, and 57 subsequent completions, in the two games. Conversely, The Matadors have attempted just 45 free throws, having hit on only 22, a 48.9 percent rate. CSUN committed 19 more fouls (59-40) than Pacific and Davis combined.

In spite of the two losses, CSUN should feel some confidence in its play from the league's opening weekend. Freshmen Violet Alama, Amanda Thomson, Janelle Nomura and Felicia Walker all got their first experience of Big West play with each player setting several new statistical season highs. And the team's only senior, Katrina Thompson, finished with a season-high 16 points, including a career-high four 3-pointers, and seven rebounds against UC Davis.

A closer comparison of UC Irvine and Northridge reveals two very similar squads. UCI shoots 37.6 percent from the field while CSUN checks in at an even 37 percent. UC Irvine averages 36.1 rebounds, Northridge 37.4. Both teams give-up over 20 turnovers on average and the Anteaters average 60.2 points to the Matadors' 57.9.

Matadors On the Airwaves

All Matador women's basketball games are broadcast on GoMatadors.com and hosted by IBSU.net. Dave Caldwell is in his second season as the play-by-play voice of the Matadors. All Big West Conference games are also streamed live on BigWest.TV for a determined fee.

Scouting UC Irvine

At 0-2 after the first weekend of Big West play, the UC Irvine finds itself in the same position as Cal State Northridge. The Anteaters fell 54-48 at UC Santa Barbara and 73-61 at Cal Poly. Mikah Maly-Karros, a transfer from LMU, is averaging 17.8 points and 11.2 rebounds in the six games since she regaining her eligibility. In the two league games, she is averaging 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Jade Smith-Williams is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 12.6 ppg while shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range (19-of-44). She also leads the team in assists, having dished out 50 helpers for an average of 3.6 per game. Rebecca Maessen is the final Anteater to average in double-figures, scoring 10.2 ppg. Jazmyne White leads the team with 95 rebounds, an average of 6.8 per game.

As a team, UCI shoots 37.6 percent from field, 31.2 percent from 3-point range and 63.8 percent from the free throw line. The Anteaters average of 22 fouls per game, but have only taken 41 fewer free throws than their opponents through 14 games.

The series between Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine is tied at 17-17. The Anteaters have won the last four in the series and CSUN's last victory over UCI came on Feb. 3, 2007, an 80-63 win at The Matadome. The Matadors have won only twice in their past eight trips to the Bren Events Center: Jan. 11, 2007 (76-70) and Feb. 5, 2005 (68-58). Prior to the current four-game streak, CSUN had won six of seven against UCI.

Molly Goodenbour is in her second season as the head coach at UC Irvine. The Anteaters finished 7-23 in her first year.

Stay Off the Train Tracks

In her final season with the Matadors, senior Katrina Thompson continues to be the heart and soul of the Matadors in 2009-10, averaging a career-high 8.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals. Against UC Davis, she had a season-high 16 points, including a career-high four 3-pointers, and seven rebounds. In the CSUN win over Miami, Thompson had a game-high 14 points, three 3-pointers and a career-high seven assists. She also tied a career best with seven steals against the RedHawks.

CSUN's Very Own Dr. J

Sophomore Jasmine Erving continues to lead the Matadors in scoring, averaging 12.7 points-per-game and ranking among the top scorers in the Big West Conference. She finished with her fourth career double-double against South Dakota, scoring 11 points to go with a career-high 13 rebounds. She is now averaging 5.6 rebounds and also leads the team with 15 blocks.

Roses are Blue, Violets are Red?

Over the past five games, Freshman Violet Alama has averaged over six rebounds, two assists and a block per game, earning several starts in the process. She had a season-high nine rebounds against Pacific and a season-high three blocked shots against South Dakota. She ranks third on the team with 55 rebounds and second on the squad with 11 blocked shots.

CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian

Freshman Janelle Nomura picked up her fifth double-figure scoring game of the season after collecting 12 points against UC Davis. She is averaging 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in her first season with the Matadors and leads the team with 59 free throw attempts and at 74.6 free throw percentage. In her first career game, against New Mexico State, she was 14-of-17 from the free throw line.

Conejo Brings More than Lucky Feet to CSUN

Sophomore Bridgette Conejo enters the game against UC Irvine averaging an even 12.0 points per game. She leads the team with 57 rebounds and 13 3-pointers on the season. She tied a season high with two assists against UC Davis and had a career-high 26 points and seven 3-pointers vs. Prairie View A&M on Nov. 16. The seven treys tied a school Division I record.

Matadors vs. UC Irvine

The series between Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine is tied at 17-17. The Anteaters have won the last four in the series and CSUN's last victory over UCI came on Feb. 3, 2007, an 80-63 win at The Matadome. The Matadors have won only twice in their past eight trips to the Bren Events Center: Jan. 11, 2007 (76-70) and Feb. 5, 2005 (68-58). Prior to the current four-game streak, CSUN had won six of seven against UCI.

First Things First

The Matadors' 62-61 victory at San Jose State was CSUN's first non-conference road win in November in their last 19 opportunities. In fact, the last November victory for the Matadors also came at the expense of the Spartans, a 66-63 decision on Nov. 17, 2005. CSUN is just 4-28 in November games since the start of the 2005-06 season.

Sayonara School Records

Just eight games into the season, the Matadors have already seen several noteworthy individual performances that have made a mark in the school's record book. Janelle Nomura recorded the third-most free throw completions and attempts when she finished 14-of-17 from the charity stripe against New Mexico State.

Two days later, Bridgette Conejo tied a school record with seven 3-pointer against Prairie View A&M. The sophomore 7-of-10 from the field, tying the previous mark which had been set on three previous occasions. The seven 3-pointers helped Conejo set a new career high with 26 points.

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