Northridge Breaks from Big West Play to Host San Diego, Travels to League-Leading Cal Poly

Jan. 18, 2011


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Matadors Look to Pick Up Second Road Win in Conference Season

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (1-16, 1-4 Big West) takes a break from Big West Conference action to host San Diego Wednesday, Jan. 19 in a CSUN Basketball doubleheader at The Matadome. The Matadors then return to league action on Saturday, Jan. 22 when they travel to face league-leading Cal Poly at Mott Gym.

Wednesday's game against the Toreros wil mark just the second home game for the Matadors since Dec. 9. Following the roadtrip to San Luis Obispo this weekend, CSUN will host three-straight Big West games at The Matadome. Northridge also closes its 2010-11 schedule with four of its last five conference games at The Matadome.

In action last week, Jasmine Erving dominated the paint to post her second and third-straight double-doubles over a conference opponent. At UC Riverside, she scored a then-season-high 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Two days later, she posted a career-high 34 points and 13 rebounds at Cal State Fullerton.

Despite the losses to the Highlanders and Titans, confidence remains high with the Matadors because of their favorable schedule down the stretch. Although CSUN has yet to win a home contest, having seven left remaining on the slate means that there are still plenty of opportunities.

Hailing from the West Coast Conference, USD is 10-7 overall entering Wednesday's game. The Toreros have already defeated Pacific, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State in their tour of the Big West. They have four scorers averaging in double-figures, led by Dominique Conners' 15.6 ppg.

Cal Poly is 9-7 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the Big West Conference. The Mustangs host UC Riverside Thursday night before facing the Matadors. Rachel Clancy is averaging 17.2 ppg and lead the Big West Conference with 51 3-pointers. Abby Bloetscher is averaging 11.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game as well for the Mustangs.

CSUN's Own Dr. J

Junior Jasmine Erving has seen her production reach new levels since the start of the Big West season. She has now recorded double-doubles in three-straight games against league opponents and is now averaging a career-high 14.7 points and 7.4 rebounds for the season. Against UC Riverside, she went for 24 points, then a season high, and 13 rebounds. Two days later, she finished with a career-high 34, the most by a Big West player this season, and 13 rebounds. In the Matadors' loss to Long Beach State, Erving recorded her 10th career double-double by finishing with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. In Big West games only, Erving ranks first in scoring (21.4 ppg) and second in rebounding (11.2 rpg). For the season, Erving leads the Matadors in scoring (14.7 ppg; 3rd in Big West) and rebounding (7.4 rpg; 4th in Big West). She also ranks 10th in the league in field goal percentage (.412; 98-of-238) and fifth in blocked shots with 25. At 355 career field goals, Erving stands only three makes away from tying Bridgette Ealy and Katie Holloway for ninth in school history and four away from matching Terri Gallus for eighth.

Conejo Brings Lucky Feet to CSUN

Junior Bridgette Conejo had a pair of nice performances for the Matadors last week. At UC Riverside, she finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and a season-high five assists. Two days later, she recorded the second double-double of her career, finishing with a season-high 13 points and 10 rebounds at Cal State Fullerton. In Big West play, she is averaging 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds. For the season, she checks in at 5.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg.

Hawaiian Punch

Senior Analee Viena-Lota stands on the verge of cracking the Matadors' career list in rebounding. With 481 career rebounds, Viena-Lota now stands five shy of tying Tracy Burns (486 career rebounds) for 10th in school history. For the season, she is averaging a career-high 5.6 rebounds on the season to go along with 7.8 ppg. In Big West games, those averages settle at 8.2 ppg and 5.2 rpg. Viena-Lota scored a season-high 18 points in the Matadors' overtime win at Pacific. Against the Tigers, she finished 6-of-11 from the field, knocked down two 3-pointers and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Viena-Lota is now averaging 7.8 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Viena-Lota has scored in double-figures 29 times and posted a double-double seven times. She had a career-high 16 rebounds in the Matadors' loss to Oregon State, the third-most by an individual in the Big West this year.

Roses are Blue, Violets are Matador Red

Sophomore Violet Alama recorded the third double-double of her career in the Matadors' loss to Long Beach State, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. For the season, she is averaging 11.3 ppg and 6.2 rpg. She ranks ninth free throw percentage (.779; 53-of-68). Alama has led the Matadors in scoring, including a career-high 32 points against Eastern Michigan in her return home to Hawai'i, on five occasions and in rebounding three times.

Haley's Comet

Freshman Haley White checks in at third in the Big West Conference in assists, dishing out 61 dimes through her first 17 games for an average of 3.6 per contest. She had a season-high 10 assists to just one turnover in the Matadors' overtime win at Pacific. She also finds herself among the league leaders (eighth) with a team-high 27 steals, an average of 1.6 per game. For the season, White is also averaging 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds. She has reached double-figures twice this season, scoring a season-high 13 points at then-No. 20 Iowa State.

Uncontested Shots

Through 17 games, Northridge ranks second the Big West Conference and ranks 41st in Division-I with a team free throw percentage of .734 (229-of-312). Individually, Janelle Nomura ranks fifth in the Big West and 108th in Division-I with a season percentage of .802 (69-of-86). Violet Alama also ranks among the league leaders in the category, checking in at ninth in the Big West Conference and 153rd in Division-I with a season percentage of .779 (53-of-68).

Scouting San Diego

San Diego head up the 405 Wednesday night to face CSUN in a basketball doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. The Toreros are 10-7 overall, but just 1-3 in the early parts of their WCC schedule. USD has used the same starting five for all 17 of their games and four of those players are averaging in double-figures for the season: Dominique Conners (15.6 ppg), Sam Child (12.9 ppg) Morgan Woodrow (10.5 ppg) and Emily Hatch (10.2 ppg). As a team, USD is shooting 42 percent from the field, 29.6 percent from 3-point range and 74.5 percent from the free throw line. The Toreros average 40.6 rebounds and 11.8 assists per contest. USD has won 11 of the past 12 meetings with CSUN, and the Matadors' last victory in the series came on Dec. 9, 2000 in a 75-54 decision.

Scouting Cal Poly

The surprise of the Big West Conference thus far, Cal Poly brings in a perfect 5-0 league mark to its two Big West games this week. Up first is a contest against UC Riverside, followed by a meeting with Northridge on Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. in Mott Gym. Rachel Clancy leads the team at 17.2 ppg and Abby Bloetscher, the Big West Player of the Week, is averaging 11.4 points and 6.9 rebounds. In Big West play, Clancy's scoring average jumps to 20.4 ppg and Caroline Reeves (12.6 ppg), Kayla Griffin (10.3 ppg) and Bloetscher (19.0 ppg) are also scoring in double-figures. As a team, Cal Poly is shooting 42 percent from the field, 72 percent from the free throw line and 37.4 percent from 3-point range. Although CSUN owns a 31-29 record in the all-time series between the schools, Cal Poly has won the past seven meetings. CSUN's last win came on Mar. 1, 2007, a 67-60 win at The Matadome.

Recapping Last Week

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team lost 64-53 to UC Riverside and 75-67 to Cal State Fullerton in a pair of Big West Conference road games last week. Against the Highlanders, CSUN held UCR to just two field goals in the final 12 minutes of the game, outscoring the Highlanders, 30-18, in the second half. Jasmine Erving posted her second-straight double-double and the 11th of her career by finishing with a season-high 24 points and 13 rebounds. Against the Titans, Erving had a career-high 34 points and 14 field goals and finished with 13 rebounds to post her third-straight double-double for CSUN. he game was a tight affair with the Titans clinging to a small lead for most of the game. CSUN closed to within 54-53 with 6:55 left to play, but Fullerton outscored Northridge 21-14 over the final seven minutes to seal the victory.