December 29, 2010

CSUN Ushers in New Year with Start of Big West Play at Pacific and UC Davis

Dec. 29, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Travel to Face Tigers, Aggies

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (0-12) continues its time on the road with the opening of the 2010-11 Big West Conference season. Making the trip to Northern California, the Matadors will face the Pacific Tigers and UC Davis Aggies in search of their first win of the season. Despite their preseason record, Northridge and head coach Jason Flowers know that this season will ultimately be judged by their league results.

When CSUN faces Pacific on Dec. 31, it will have been 11 days since Northridge last played. In that loss to No. 20 Iowa State, junior Jasmine Erving came off the bench to finish with 21 points and six rebounds. She is now averaging a team-high 11.9 points on the season, the 10th-best average in the Big West Conference.

As a team, Northridge is shooting 35.9 percent from the field and an even 74 percent from the free throw line, the second-best average in the league. Janelle Nomura ranks fourth among Big West players with an 81.6 percent rate at the charity stripe, having made 62-of-76 attempts on the season. Violet Alama is ninth in the Big West Conference at 78 percent, having hit 39-of-50 attempts this year.

Pacific brings a 3-10 record into Friday's matinee. The Tigers dropped an 85-42 decision to No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 28 in Stockton. Freshman Danielle Peacon figures to be key figure for the Matadors to contain, as she leads Pacific in both scoring (12.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg). The Tigers are one of the better rebounding teams in the Big West, pulling down an average of 39.6 per game. However, Pacific is averaging over 20 turnovers per game and is shooting 25.6 percent (68-of-226) from 3-point range.

UC Davis enters the weekend with a league-best 10-2 record. The Aggies have won seven of their past eight games and are a perfect 5-0 at home. Paige Mintun leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 13.3 ppg and 5.2 rpg. Vicky Deely is averaging 10.6 ppg and is shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range. As a team, UC Davis has limited its opponents to a .251 rate (62-of-247) from 3-point range.

CSUN's Own Dr. J

Junior Jasmine Erving leads the Matadors in scoring after finishing with a team-high 21 points at Iowa State and she is now averaging 11.9 ppg. That figure ranks 10th in the Big West Conference. Erving also checks in at 11th in rebounding (5.9 rpg), sixth in blocked shots (1.3 bpg) and 10th in field goal percentage (.408). She has recoded three double-doubles this year, the third-most among individuals in the conference, and she is eight blocks shy of moving into a tie for seventh in school history.

Roses are Blue, Violets are Matador Red

Sophomore Violet Alama will look to regain her early-season form as the Matadors open their Big West season. For the year, Alama is averaging 11.7 points, good for 11th in the Big West, and 5.9 rebounds, ranking 10th in the Big West. She also checks in at ninth in field goal percentage (.438) and free throw percentage (.780) among Big West players. Against Eastern Michigan, Alama had a career-high 32 points and 11 rebounds. The 32 points and 12 field goals against Eastern Michigan are the second-most by an individual in the Big West Conference this season.

CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian

Sophomore Janelle Nomura continues to be CSUN's best long-range threat thus far in 2010-11. For the season, she is shooting .379 (11-of-29) from downtown and hit a career-high three 3-pointers in the Matadors' loss at UTEP. Nomura is averaging 10.1 ppg, 2.6 apg and 1.6 rpg. She ranks fourth in the Big West with an .816 (62-of-76) rate from the free throw line and her 13 free throws against Chattanooga are the most by a Big West player this season.

Hawaiian Punch

Senior Analee Viena-Lota enters the weekend averaging 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in her fourth and final season with the Matadors. She ranks 12th among all Big West players in rebounding average. 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. The 16 rebounds are the second-most by an individual in the Big West Conference this season. With 456 career rebounds, Viena-Lota is 30 away from cracking the CSUN career Top 10.

Haley's Comet

Freshman Haley White posted back-to-back career scoring nights in the Matadors' roadtrip to South Dakota and Iowa State. Against the Coyotes, she posted 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 34 minutes of action. Two days later, White finished with a season-high 13 points, three assists and three 3-pointers against the nationally ranked Cyclones.

Conejo Brings Lucky Feet to CSUN

Junior Bridgette Conejo knocked down a season-high two 3-pointers in the Matadors' loss to South Dakota, giving her 45 for her career. For the season, Conejo is averaging 4.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg. She also has a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio (19 A, 12 TO).

Road Warriors

The two Big West Conference games this weekend continue what has been a prolonged roadtrip for the Matadors. Aside from a Dec. 8 home game against Washington, the Matadors will have played six of their past seven games away from The Matadome. That streak will eventually reach eight of 10 games away from home following CSUN's league trip to UC Riverside (Jan. 13) and Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 15). In fact, the Matadors will have traveled over 5,800 miles between their Dec. 3 game at UTEP and their Jan. 2 contest at UC Davis.

Scouting Pacific

The Tigers enter Friday's game with a 3-10 overall record having lost most recently to No. 1 Connecticut, 85-42. Danielle Peacon, a 6-3 freshman forward from Sparks, Nev., leads Pacific in scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg). Jordan Rogers, a 5-9 sophomore also from Sparks, is second on the team in scoring at 11.0 ppg and has hit a team-high 25 3-pointers. As a team, Pacific is shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 25.6 percent from 3-point range. The Tigers average 39.6 rebounds per game, one of the top figures in the league. It took overtime in both meetings last season to separate the Tigers and Matadors in their two meetings. Pacific won both contests and advanced to the Big West Tournament as the No. 8 seed.

Scouting UC Davis

The preseason favorite to win the Big West Conference, UC Davis is 10-2 overall and also plays Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 31. Paige Mintun leads the team in scoring and rebounding and was a 2009-10 All-Big West First Team selection. Vicky Deely comes off the bench as the squad's second-leading scorer. The Aggies are forcing opponents into an average of 25 turnovers per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the field. They won both meetings with the Matadors a season ago and CSUN's last victory in the series came in the 2009 Big West Championship Quarterfinals.

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