Matador Women's Basketball Renews Rivalry with Bakersfield on Saturday

Nov. 21, 2008

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (0-3) hosts Cal State Bakersfield Saturday in a non-conference game in The Matadome at 2 p.m. The Matadors and Roadrunners split their two meetings last season, with Northridge prevailing, 73-72, in Bakersfield on Feb. 21.

The series between the two schools has taken on a new wrinkle over the past two seasons as the rivalry has moved to the Division I level. Bakersfield escaped with a 59-55 victory in the first meeting between the two schools. However, Northridge earned its only victory of the season in Bakersfield two months later, getting the winning basket with three seconds left in the game.

In the victory, junior Katrina Thompson set new career highs with 14 points, seven field goals and five steals. This season, Thompson is averaging 3.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.

Leading the charge offensively for the Matadors is sophomore Analee Viena-Lota. The Honolulu native is averaging 13.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, both representing team bests. She posted her third career double-double Wednesday, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds against San Diego.

CSUN also saw an impressive performance from freshman Bridgette Conejo against the Toreros. The rookie came off the bench to score 14 points and swipe five steals, both representing new season highs, in 19 minutes of action. She is averaging 6.7 points per game and leads the team with a 56.3 percent shooting clip from the field.

Cal State Bakersfield has played one game this season, dropping a 97-88 decision to Fresno State on Nov. 14 in Bakersfield. Christine Kepenikian led the team with 26 points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes of action against the Bulldogs. Three other Bakersfield players reached double figures in the game, as Phynique Allen added 12, Krista Arase scored 16 and Nikhol West had 12 points in the defeat.

The Runners shot 48.6 percent from the field in the game (36-of-74) and were 8-of-19 from beyond the 3-point arc (.421). Fresno State outrebounded CSUB by a sizable margin, 48-29, though the Runners forced 25 Fresno State turnovers.

Tim LaKose is in his eighth season as the head coach at Cal State Bakersfield. Last year, the team finished 12-17 as it played a full Division I schedule. The school is currently in the process of transitioning from Division II to Division I.

Following the Bakersfield game, Northridge heads to Anchorage to participate in the Great Alaska Shootout. On Nov. 25, the Matadors face host Alaska-Anchorage at 6 p.m. (AKT). The following night presents a match-up with either Syracuse or Jackson State. Dave Caldwell will provide play-by-play coverage of both games on gomatadors.com.

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