Northridge Hosts UC Riverside before Traveling to UC Irvine in Big West Action

Feb. 1, 2011


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Matadors To Face Highlanders, Anteaters for Second Time in 2010-11

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (1-20, 1-7 Big West) closes out a three-game homestand with a meeting against UC Riverside on Feb. 3, and then heads to Orange County to face UC Irvine on Feb. 5 in a pair of Big West contests. At 1-7 in the Big West Conference, the Matadors must defend their homecourt and figure out a way to earn a victory on the road if they hope to qualify for the Big West Tournament. Both games this week represent those opportunities.

Last week was not one CSUN would like to remember. Playing at home for only the third and fourth time in seven weeks, Northridge watched its opponents stage insurmountable runs in the second half to take the victory in both contests. The Matadors led at the half in both games, just the second and third time they've accomplished that feat in the 2010-11 season. The losses also dropped them to 0-9 at home this year.

But that is in the past and there is nothing head coach Jason Flowers and company can do to change the results. Waiting for them this week are a pair of tough teams that have already defeated CSUN this season.

Up first is a UC Riverside team that Flowers knows well, as he and assistant coach Lindsey Foster both spent time on the Highlander bench before coming to CSUN. UCR is 11-9 overall and 4-3 in the Big West and is coming off a 62-59 loss to Pacific at home on Jan. 29. The Highlanders posted a 64-53 win over the Matadors earlier this year.

For the second time in 10 days, CSUN will face a UC Irvine squad that escaped their trip to The Matadome with a 59-53 victory last week. The Anteaters face Cal State Fullerton Thursday and are 12-8 overall and 4-4 in the Big West Conference, having dropped a 91-72 decision at home to UC Davis on Jan. 29. UCI has won seven straight over the Matadors in the all-time series with CSUN's last win in Irvine coming on Jan. 11, 2007.

Climbing the Charts with Hawaiian Punch

Senior Analee Viena-Lota recorded her eighth career double-double in the Matadors' loss to UC Santa Barbara, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds. She now has 506 rebounds for her career, the eighth-most in school history. She is also tied for sixth in school history with 76 career starts and has played 2,541 minutes in her career, the seventh-most in school history. For the season, Viena-Lota is averaging a career-high 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds. She had a career-high 16 rebounds, tied for the fourth-most by a Big West individual in the 2010-11 season, against Oregon State.

Seattle's Finest

Sophomore Amanda Thomson did not waste any time against UC Santa Barbara, her first game for the Matadors in over a month. Against the Gauchos, Thomson scored a team-high 13 points in just 19 minutes off the bench. She knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and is now averaging 6.6 points on the season while shooting a team-high 45.2 percent (28-of-62) from the field.

CSUN's Dr. J

Junior Jasmine Erving also cracked the Matador career lists in two categories last week. She now stands at 374 career field goals, the eighth-most in school history, and 95 career blocked shots, the fifth-most in school history. At Cal State Fullerton, she finished with a career-high 34, the most by a Big West player this season, and 13 rebounds. In Big West games only, Erving ranks second in scoring (17.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (8.5 rpg). For the season, Erving leads the Matadors in scoring (14.1 ppg; 4th in Big West) and rebounding (7.0 rpg; 4th in Big West).

Conejo Brings Lucky Feet to CSUN

Junior Bridgette Conejo matched her season high with 13 points in the Matadors' loss at Cal Poly. In the Matadors' six Big West Conference games, Conejo is averaging 9.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. That rebounding rate ranks 13th among all Big West players in league action. For the season, Conejo is averaging 6.0 points and a career-high 5.2 rebounds. At Cal State Fullerton, she recorded the second double-double of her career, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Haley's Comet

Freshman Haley White checks in at third in the Big West Conference in assists, dishing out 71 dimes for an average of 3.4 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 (10th) with a team-high 34 steals, an average of 1.6 per game. For the season, White is also averaging 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds. She has reached double-figures twice this season, scoring a season-high 13 points at then-No. 20 Iowa State.

Scouting UC Riverside

The Highlanders of UC Riverside make their annual trip to the San Fernando Valley to face Cal State Northridge in a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday, Feb. 3. UCR is 11-9 overall and 4-3 in the Big West Conference, yet is just 3-5 in away games this season. The Highlanders took a 64-53 decision over the Matadors on Jan. 13 in Riverside. In that game, Jasmine Erving led Northridge with 24 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Bridgette Conejo chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the loss. Alyssa Morris and Tre'Shonti Nottingham lead UCR in scoring at 12.7 ppg, while Morris is also the team's top rebounder at 5.8 rpg. As a team, the Highlanders are shooting 41 percent from the field. 32.6 percent from 3-point range and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. Northridge has lost its last eight to UC Riverside. The Matadors' last home win in the series came on Jan. 6, 2007, a 69-60 victory in The Matadome.

Scouting UC Irvine

The Matadors head to Orange County on Feb. 5 for a Saturday matinee with UC Irvine at the Bren Events Center. The Anteaters took a 59-53 victory over the Matadors last week, using a 29-4 second-half run to overcome a four-point halftime deficit. In that game, Jasmine Erving led CSUN with 23 points while Bridgette Conejo added 10 off the bench. Mikah Maly-Karros leads the Anteaters in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.6 points and 10.1 rebounds on the season. Jade Smith-Williams is second on the team in scoring at 13.9 ppg and leads the team and Big West Conference with 84 assists. As a team, UC Irvine is shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from 3-point range and 71.2 percent from the free throw line. With last week's victory, UC Irvine has now won seven straight over Cal State Northridge. The Matadors' last victory in Irvine came on Jan. 11, 2007.

Recapping Last Week

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team lost 59-53 to UC Irvine and 71-48 to UC Santa Barbara in its two Big West Conference games last week. Against the Anteaters, CSUN saw a four-point halftime lead quickly evaporate as UCI went on a 29-4 run to open the second half. Jasmine Erving had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Matadors while Jade Smith-Williams led three Anteaters in double-figures with 15 points. Two days later, Northridge saw another opponent come in and mount a second-half run to erase a halftime deficit. Against UC Santa Barbara, CSUN held a 26-25 lead into halftime. However, the Gauchos stormed out in the second half on a 34-9 run and did not allow the Matadors to get closer than 18 the rest of the way in a 71-48 loss. Amanda Thomson, playing in her first game since Dec. 8, led the Matadors with 13 points in 18 minutes off the bench. Bianca Davies also played for CSUN, her first game apparence since November of 2009.