November 17, 2009

First Roadtrip of 2009-10 Takes CSUN to Face San Jose State Friday

Nov. 17, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Look to Regroup with Contest against Spartans

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team hits the road for the first time in the 2009-10 season, heading North to face San Jose State Friday at 7 p.m. in the Event Center. Although the Matadors dropped both of their games last week, head coach Staci Schulz and her staff saw several impressive performances.

Against New Mexico State, freshman Janelle Nomura finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in her official debut with CSUN. She was 14-of-17 from the free throw line, the third-most makes and attempts from the charity stripe in the school's Division I history. Sophomore Jasmine Erving led all scorers with 25 points, one off her career shy, in the New Mexico State game.

Two days later, sophomore Bridgette Conejo scored a career-high 26 points and tied a school record with seven 3-pointers. Conejo was an astounding 7-of-10 from long range, the second-best 3-point percentage among the four times a Matador has hit seven 3-pointers. She added five rebounds, a career-high two blocks and a steal against the Panthers.

Still, Northridge wants to break into the win column earlier than it has the past two years and Friday's meeting with San Jose State offers another chance. Last year, Northridge defeated San Jose State, 69-63, for its first win of the season. In all, CSUN is 2-1 against San Jose State in its past three meetings, including a 66-63 in San Jose on Nov. 17, 2006.

Next week, Northridge plays a pair of games, splitting their time at home and on the road. First up is a game at San Diego on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. Then, following the Thanksgiving Holiday, the Matadors will host Providence, Northern Colorado and Pepperdine as part of the Warner Center Marriott Classic at The Matadome. On Nov. 27, Providence and Pepperdine play at 5 p.m., then CSUN hosts Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. The next day, Northern Colorado and Providence play in a single game at 7 p.m.

Scouting San Jose State

For the second time in just three games, the Matadors will face an opponent from the Western Athletic Conference, San Jose State. The game is an important meeting for both leagues, as the WAC enters the week ranked 24th and the Big West ranked 26th in the early conference RPI numbers.

San Jose State, who will also host Pepperdine this week, lost their season opener to the Big West's Cal State Fullerton, 79-77, at the Events Center. Against the Titans, SJSU nearly overcame a nine point halftime deficit, shooting 17-of-30 from the field. Three Spartans came off the bench to finish in double figures, led by Chasity Shavers' 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Samantha Marez added 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting and Britney Bradley finished with 13 points, including seven free throws.

Last year, San Jose State finished 2-28 overall and 1-15 in the WAC. Pam DeCosta is in her third season as the head coach, having compiled a 5-56 record in her two seasons. The team features eight newcomers, including Bradley and Marez, who are junior college transfers to the program.

In the all-time series, the Spartans own a 7-2 advantage, though Northridge has won two of the past three meetings. Last year, CSUN took a 69-63 decision on Dec. 7 at The Matadome for its first victory of the season.

Stay Off the Train Tracks

Senior Katrina Thompson continues to be the heart and soul of the Matadors in 2009-10, entering the game against San Jose State averaging 9.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. She recorded her 13th career double-figure scoring game with 11 points against New Mexico State, including a career-high two 3-pointers. She also grabbed a team-high six rebounds against Prairie View A&M.

CSUN's Very Own Dr. J

Sophomore Jasmine Erving is averaging 18.5 points after CSUN's first two games, including a game-high 25 points against New Mexico State. In the game against the Aggies, she knocked down a career-high seven free throws and had two blocks. Two days later, Erving set a new career high with three steals, while scoring 12 points with five rebounds and dishing out 2 assists. Erving now has 12 career double-figure scoring games.

Conejo Brings More than Lucky Feet to CSUN

Sophomore Bridgette Conejo set a new career high with 26 points and tied a school record with seven 3-pointers in the Matadors' loss to Prairie View A&M. Conejo finished 8-of-14 from the field and 7-of-10 from beyond the 3-point line against the Panthers. She also had a career-high two blocked shots, one assist and one steal against PVAMU. Her previous career high was 14 points against San Diego on Nov. 19, 2008.

CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian

Freshman Janelle Nomura made quite a debut for Northridge, scoring 20 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists against New Mexico State. Coming off the bench for the Matadors, Nomura hit 14-of-17 free throws, the third-most completions and attempts from the charity stripe in the school's Division I history. She followed up that performance with six more assists against Prairie View A&M. Her 13 assists has set the early lead among all Big West Conference players.

Hawaiian Punch

Junior Analee Viena-Lota came off the bench to score 10 points in the Matadors' loss to Prairie View A&M. Viena-Lota was 5-of-8 from the field with two rebounds and a steal in 19 minutes against the Panthers. It was her 13th career double-figure scoring game.

Sayonara School Records

Just two 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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