Northridge Closes Out 2009 with Home Contest against South Dakota

Dec. 28, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Final Game of Calender Year Pits Matadors against Coyotes

Fresh off an 18-point victory over Miami University, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-6) caps off the 2009 calender year with a home game against the University of South Dakota. CSUN will look to keep its offense going against the Coyotes after five Matadors scored in double-figures in the win over the RedHawks.

Senior Katrina Thompson led Northridge with 14 points against MU and added a career-high seven assists and three 3-pointers. Sophomore Jasmine Erving finished with 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds while fellow second-year player, Bridgette Conejo, came off the bench to score 12 points in 25 minutes of action. Finally, freshman Janelle Nomura scored 11 points, knocking down all eight of her free throws in the second half, and junior Analee Viena-Lota scored 10 points.

As a team, Northridge is now shooting 36.5 percent from the field (155-of-425) and a conference-leading 36.6 percent from 3-point range (34-of-93). The Matadors average 34.9 rebounds and 12.4 assists per game through eight contests. They have shot nine more free throws than their opponents, connecting as a team at a 72.9 percent rate.

Now the Matadors must shake off any post-Christmas sluggishness and prepare to face a South Dakota team that arrives to the San Fernando Valley with a 4-4 record after defeating Mount Marty, 67-52, on Dec. 20. Jasmine Mosley led the Coyotes with 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting while Amber Hegge posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Coyotes, who are in the process of making the transition to Division I, and Matadors have never on the hardwood. Following the game against USD, Northridge opens Big West Conference play with home games against Pacific (Jan. 2, 4 p.m.) and UC Davis (Jan. 4, 7 p.m.).

Scouting South Dakota

The Coyotes of South Dakota come calling to The Matadome on Tuesday, Dec 29th for a 7 p.m. contest. USD is currently in the transition phase of moving to Division I and enters the contest with a 4-4 record after defeating Mount Marty College, CSUN Head Coach Staci Schulz's alma mater, 67-52 on Dec. 20. USD has already faced Division I opponents UW-Green Bay, Wichita State, Nebraska and Santa Clara.

Amber Hegge leads the team with an average of 13.5 points per game. She is shooting 55.1 percent from the field, 53.3 percent from 3-point range and 53.3 percent from the free throw line. She also leads the team with an average of 7.4 rebounds per game and is the team leader with 33 assists.

Abby Kinder is the other Coyote to average in double-figures, putting up 10.4 ppg. She is the team's top 3-point threat, having hit 15 treys on the season. Annie Roche averages 8.8 ppg and 2.1 rpg as well. Hegge, Kinder and Roche all average over 30 minutes per game through eight contests.

As a team, South Dakota shoots 44.4 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from 3-point range and 56.9 percent from the free throw line. The Coyotes average 30.1 rebounds per game and 17.5 turnovers per contest. They have made 19 more 3-pointers than their opponents, but have surrendered 57 more free throws than they have taken.

Ryun Williams is in his second season as the head coach of South Dakota. In his first season, WIlliams led the Coyotes to an 18-11 mark. USD and CSUN have never met on the hardwood.

Matadors Among Big West Leaders

Through eight games, CSUN finds itself among the conference leaders in several categories. As a team, Northridge is first in 3-point percentage (.366, 34-of-93) and fourth the Big West in free throw percentage (.729, 121-of-166). The Matadors are also second in the league at an average of 4.3 blocks per game and third with an average of 9.3 steals per contest.

Individually, sophomore Jasmine Erving is eighth in free throw percentage (.818, 18-of-22), seventh in scoring (13.9 ppg), 10th in field goal percentage (.464, 39-of-84) and third in blocked shots (1.6 bpg). Sophomore Bridgette Conejo ranks 10th in rebounding (5.4 rpg), ninth in scoring (13.1 ppg), second in steals (2.3 spg) and sixth in 3-point percentage (.400, 12-of-30). Freshman Janelle Nomura checks in at ninth in assists (2.9 apg) and 10th in free throw percentage (.792, 38-of-48), while junior Analee Viena-Lota is fourth in the conference with a .462 3-point percentage (6-of-13). Senior Katrina Thompson is fourth in assists (3.4 apg) and fifth in steals (2.3 spg) in addition to holding the fifth-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) in the league.

CSUN's Very Own Dr. J

Sophomore Jasmine Erving continues to lead the Matadors in scoring, averaging 13.9 points-per-game, the seventh-highest average in the Big West Conference. She leads all Matadors in free throw percentage at .818, hitting 18-of-22 attempts so far this season. Erving also leads or is tied for the team lead in points (97) and blocks (11). She is also shooting a team-high 46.4 percent from the field (39-of-84).

CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian

Freshman Janelle Nomura has turned in an impressive freshman season thus far through eight games. The rookie from Honolulu is averaging 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while playing an average of 27.6 minutes per game. She leads the Matadors with 48 free throw attempts and ranks in the Big West Top 10 in free throw percentage (.792, 10th), steals (1.6, 10th) and assists (2.9, 9th). Finally, despite her 5-4 frame, Nomura leads CSUN with 15 offensive rebounds.

Conejo Brings More than Lucky Feet to CSUN

Sophomore Bridgette Conejo has elevated her scoring prowess in her second season with the Matadors. She came off the bench to score 12 points against Miami and at Eastern Washington, Conejo scored 21 points and knocked down a career-high 10 free throws. She is now averaging 13.1 points, the ninth-most in the conference, and is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range, the sixth-best figure in the league. She is also averaging 2.3 steals to rank second in the league and 5.4 rebounds to rank 10th in the league.

Stay Off the Train Tracks

Senior Katrina Thompson continues to be the heart and soul of the Matadors in 2009-10, displaying a multi-talented arsenal that has her averaging 7.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.3 steals per game through eight contests. Against Miami, Thompson had a game-high 14 points and a career-high three 3-pointers and seven assists. She also tied a career best with seven steals against the RedHawks. Thompson now ranks among the conference leaders in steals (2.3, 5th), assists (3.4, 4th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2, 5th).

First Things First

The Matadors' 62-61 victory at San Jose State was CSUN's first non-conference road win in November in their last 19 opportunities. In fact, the last November victory for the Matadors also came at the expense of the Spartans, a 66-63 decision on Nov. 17, 2005. CSUN is just 4-28 in November games since the start of the 2005-06 season.

Sayonara School Records

Just eight 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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