Nov. 23, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Northridge Hosts Wichita State, Wyoming & Chattanooga
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (0-4) entertains a trio of talented non-conference opponents this week at the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic at The Matadome on Nov. 26 and 27. The Matadors host Wichita State, Chattanooga and Wyoming in a two-day, four-game tournament with both days starting at 5 p.m. (PST).
Although they were unsuccessful in their four games last week, the Matadors saw several reasons to be enthusiastic for the rest of the 2010-11 season. Sophomore Violet Alama exploded in the four games, averaging 19.0 points and 8.3 rebounds and earning all-tournament honors for her performance at the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic. She concluded her time in front of the hometown crowd with a 32-point, 11-rebound performance against Eastern Michigan that helped her set several new career highs.
Other Matadors that gave head coach Jason Flowers and his staff optimism for the upcoming season were senior Analee Viena-Lota, freshman Haley White and sophomore Amanda Thomson. Viena-Lota recorded her seventh career double-double when she finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds against Oregon State. White leads the Big West Conference with 19 assists, an average of 4.8 per game, dishing out five dimes in each of Northridge's last three games. Finally, Thomson knocked down a career-high four 3-pointers against Pepperdine and has scored in double-figures twice already.
In the Shockers, Lady Mocs and Cowgirls, Northridge hosts three teams that qualified for the postseason a year ago. Wyoming is 2-1 with Hillary Carlson pacing the Cowgirls at 17.0 points-per-game. Chattanooga is 0-3 and Whitney Hood leads the team in scoring, also at 17.0 ppg. Finally, Wichita State is 2-1 and Jessica Diamond leads the team in scoring at 12.7 ppg. CSUN has faced Wyoming once in its history and never faced Chattanooga or Wichita State.
Roses are Blue, Violets are Matador Red
Sophomore Violet Alama enjoyed a breakout performance in the Matadors' four games last week. She started it with a then-career-high 20 points against Pepperdine and capped off the week with a 32-point, 11-rebound performance against Eastern Michigan. It was the second double-double of her career, the 32 points and 12 field goals set new career bests and she also established new career highs in minutes, free throws and assists against the Eagles. She currently ranks fourth in the league in scoring (19.0), sixth in rebounding (8.3), fourth in steals (2.5), sixth in field goal percentage (.527), seventh in blocks (1.3 bpg) and fifth in minutes (34.5 per game). The 32 points and 12 field goals against Eastern Michigan are the second-most by an individual in the Big West conference this season.
Sophomore Amanda Thomson has had a stellar start to her second season with the Matadors. She knocked down a career-high four 3-pointers against Pepperdine to finish with 15 points. The four treys are the second-most by an individual in the Big West Conference this season. She added another 12 points against Eastern Michigan and is second on the team in scoring average at 9.5 points-per-game. Thomson also ranks tied for sixth in the league with an average of 1.8 3-pointers-per-game. Thomson also tied a career high with four rebounds against Hawai'i and is averaging 2.5 rebounds and assists thus far.
Senior Analee Viena-Lota recorded her seventh career double-double in the Matadors' game against Oregon State, finishing with 11 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. She currently ranks ninth in the Big West Conference in rebounding average, posting 7.3 boards per game. For the season, she is also averaging 9.0 points and 1.1 assists. The 16 rebounds are the second-most by an individual in the Big West Conference this season. With 415 career rebounds, Viena-Lota is 71 away from cracking the CSUN career Top 10 list in that category.
Freshman Haley White enters her second week of NCAA Division-I women's basketball leading the Big West Conference in assists. Through four games, White has 19 assists, an average of 4.8 game to lead the league. She has recorded five dimes in each of the Matadors' last three games and has added 11 rebounds, an average of 2.8 per contest. Against Eastern Michigan, White scored a season-high five points, including her first career 3-pointer. She also ranks eighth in the Big West with a 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio (19 A, 16 TO).
Conejo Brings More than Lucky Feet to CSUN
Junior Bridgette Conejo leads the Big West Conference in assist-to-turnover ration through the Matadors' first four games. In 102 minutes of action, Conejo has 12 assists to only three turnovers, a ratio of 4.0. She had 10 points and seven rebounds against Pepperdine in CSUN's season opener. She also has 43 3-pointers in two-plus seasons with the Matadors.
CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian
Sophomore Janelle Nomura has posted 12 assists through the Matadors' first four games, an average of 3.0 per game. She tied a career high with seven assists in the season opener against Pepperdine. She also had nine points against the Waves and is coming off a 2009-10 campaign that saw her earn All-Freshman Team honors.
The Matadors will certainly face a strong group of competition in Coach Flowers' first season at the helm. Northridge will play a total of nine postseason teams from the 2009-10 season, including five squads that qualified for the WNIT. As a whole, CSUN's non-conference opponents posted a 257-212 (.548) record last year and four of those teams posted at least 20 wins last year.
Scouting Wichita State
The Matadors first opponent of the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2010 is Wichita State, who the Matadors will meet at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26. The Shockers have a 2-1 record, having defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and George Mason. Their only loss came in overtime against Arizona. WSU has three players averaging double-figures thus far, led by Jessica Diamond's 12.7 ppg. She has earned her totals at the free throw line, where she is 15-of-18 for the season.The Shockers have allowed opponents to shoot only 36.2 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from 3-point range in three games.
Chattanooga enters Friday's game with Wyoming at 0-3, having played a very difficult schedule. Their losses have come at Tennessee, at Georgia and against East Tennessee. Whitney Hood leads the team in scoring at 17.0 ppg, having shot 52 percent from the field. As a team, the Lady Mocs are shooting 36 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range. They are averaging 31 rebounds per game and have only one blocked shot as a team this year. Chattanooga has posted 11-straight Southern Conference regular season titles, postseason appearances and 20-win seasons. The Lady Mocs play Austin Peay in Chattanooga Tuesday night.
The Wyoming Cowgirls bring in a 2-1 record to the Woodland Hills Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2010. They have posted wins over Denver and Discission State while losing at Creighton. Hillary Carlson leads Wyoming in scoring at 17 ppg, having shot 60 percent from the field. She is also leading the team in rebounding, bringing down 29 for an average of 9.7 per game. Aubrey Vandiver is averaging 14.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The Cowgirls are shooting 42 percent from the field and are averaging 40.7 rebounds as a team. Wyoming has won both previous match-ups with Northridge, the last win a 72-53 decision on Dec. 30, 2003.