February 8, 2011

Northridge Faces Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton in Big West Action

Feb. 8, 2011

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-21, 2-8 Big West) faces a pair of opponents standing just ahead of the Matadors in the league standings in a pair of critical conference showdowns. First up for Northridge is a road game at Long Beach State on Feb. 9, which is followed by a home meeting against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 12. The Matador-Titan game is part of a CSUN basketball doubleheader that day as the game will be followed by a men's game pitting CSUN against Long Beach State.

In action last week, CSUN responded from a tough loss to UC Riverside with an 82-72 victory at UC Irvine, its first win against the Anteaters since the 2006-07 season. At UCI, Jasmine Erving finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Haley White also had a huge offensive game for CSUN, finishing with a season-high 17 points, six field goals and four 3-pointers.

Individually, CSUN has seen several players crack the school's all-time lists in numerous categories this season. Jasmine Erving is just 31 points shy of becoming the ninth player in school history to reach 1,000 points. She is also seventh in career field goals and tied for third in career blocked shots. Not to be outdone, senior Analee Viena-Lota has assumed a place among the school's all-time top rebounders with 516 career boards. She has also cracked the school's career lists in starts and minutes played.

This week, the road to the Big West Tournament pits Northridge against a pair of teams just one game ahead of the Matadors in the loss column. Long Beach State is 5-19 overall and 3-7 in the Big West. Cal State Fullerton is 8-16 overall and 4-7 in the Big West. Since the conference takes only the top eight teams to the league's tournament, both games will be crucial tests for both teams involved if they want to qualify for the postseason.

Climbing the Charts with Hawaiian Punch

Senior Analee Viena-Lota continues to leave an imprint in the record books at Cal State Northridge during her final season. She grabbed six boards in the Matadors' win at UC Irvine, moving her into seventh in school history with 516 career rebounds. She added 13 points and tied a career high with three 3-pointers against the Anteaters. She is also sixth in school history with 78 career starts and has played 2,606 minutes in her career, the sixth-most in school history. Viena-Lota posted her eighth career double-double in the Matadors' loss to UC Santa Barbara, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds. For the season, Viena-Lota is averaging a career-high 8.1 points and 5.7 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.

CSUN's Dr. J

Junior Jasmine Erving stands on the verge of becoming the ninth player in school history to amass 1,000 points for her career. She had 27 points in the Matadors' win at UC Irvine to raise her career total to 969. Erving also had 10 rebounds against the Anteaters for her seventh double-double of the season and 13th of her career. She also owns 389 career field goals, the seventh-most in school history, and 96 career blocked shots, tied for the third-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 (18.2 ppg) and third in rebounding (8.4 rpg). For the season, Erving leads the Matadors in scoring (14.9 ppg; 4th in Big West) and rebounding (7.0 rpg; 5th in Big West).

Haley's Comet

Freshman Haley White had a huge offensive game for CSUN in its win at UC Irvine. Against the Anteaters, White set new season highs for points (17), field goals (6) and 3-pointers (4). She now stands at second in the Big West Conference with 84 assists for the season, an average of 3.7 per game. White also ranks third in the Big West in steals, having recorded 42 thefts for an average of 1.8 per game. She had a season-high 10 assists to just one turnover in the Matadors' overtime win at Pacific. For the season, White is also averaging 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Conejo Brings Lucky Feet to CSUN

Junior Bridgette Conejo has increased her production for the Matadors since the start of Big West play. In the Matadors' 10 Big West Conference games, Conejo is averaging 8.6 points and 5.6 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 5.1 rebounds. At Cal State Fullerton, she recorded the second double-double of her career, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Seattle's Finest

Sophomore Amanda Thomson tied a career high with four assists against UC Irvine. She has not wasted any time since returning the Matadors' rotation. Against the Gauchos, her first game in a month, Thomson scored a team-high 13 points in just 19 minutes off the bench. She is now averaging 6.8 points while shooting a team-high 42.5 percent (34-of-80) from the field.

CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian

Sophomore Janelle Nomura returned to CSUN's rotation in the win at UC Irvine, finishing with seven points and three assists. She is averaging a career-high 9.3 ppg, thanks in large part to her proficiency at the free throw line. Nomura currently owns a 80.7 percent (71-of-88) rate from the charity stripe on the season. She is also averaging 2.7 assists and 1.8 rebounds for the year. Nomura has led the Matadors in scoring three times, including a career-high 24 points at UTEP.

Scouting Long Beach State

The Long Beach State 49ers and Matadors will meet Wednesday, Feb. 9 at The Walter Pyramid in a crucial game for both teams' playoff aspirations. At 5-19 overall and 3-7 in the Big West Conference, the 49ers are one game ahead of the Matadors in the loss column entering Wednesday's contest. LBSU posted a 64-50 victory over CSUN in the first meeting between the two teams this season. Jasmine Erving (16 points, 16 rebounds) and Violet Alama (20 points, 11 rebounds) each posted double-doubles for the Matadors, but Northridge shot just 26.1 percent (18-of-69) from the field in the loss. Courtney Jacob enters Wednesday's game leading the 49ers in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg. She also has a team-high 72 assists and 33 steals. Brandi Henton is averaging 12.9 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Long Beach State has now won the past four meetings with CSUN and the Matadors' last win at The Pyramid came in the 2006-07 season.

Scouting Cal State Fullerton

The Matadors face Cal State Fullerton at The Matadome at 4 p.m. as part of CSUN basketball doubleheader. At 8-16 overall and 4-7 in the Big West Conference, the Titans represent yet another team Northridge is battling with for a berth in the Big West Tournament. Fullerton snapped a four-game losing streak to CSUN with a 75-67 victory on Jan. 15. Jasmine Erving scored a career-high 34 points for the Matadors, the most by a Big West player this season. Megan Richardson leads Cal State Fullerton in scoring at 14.8 ppg having made 34 3-pointers on the season. Close on her heels is teammate Lyndsey Grove, who is averaging 13.4 ppg having made 39 3-pointers. Both Richardson and Grove are 80.0 percent shooters from the foul line. Jenna Breite leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 rpg, though no other Titan regular is averaging over four rebounds per game.

Recapping Last Week

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team lost 77-48 to UC Riverside, but responded with an 82-72 win over UC Irvine in its two Big West Conference games last week. Against the Highlanders, Jasmine Erving finished with 18 points to move into ninth in school history in career points. She passed former Matadors Tracey Burns and Katie Holloway to crack into the school's all-time leaders in career points. Erving also tied Denise Sitton and Carrie Dormie for third in school history with 96 career blocks. In Irvine,  Erving led CSUN with 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Matadors set a new season high by shooting 64.3 percent from the field. Erving finished 8-of-10 from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line. She added 10 rebounds to her 27 points to finish with her seventh double-double of the season. Freshman Haley White also had a phenomenal game for Northridge, finishing with 17 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes off the bench. Senior Analee Viena-Lota was the third Matador to finish in double-figures, scoring 13 points. She drained a season-high three 3-pointers and grabbed six rebounds with two assists in 37 minutes. For the game, CSUN finished 27-of-42 (63.4 percent) from the field and 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) from the free throw line. In scoring a season-high 82 points, the Matadors knocked down a season-best 11-of-18 attempts (61.1 percent) from 3-point range.

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