Matadors Host Raiders, Bruins and Mountaineers
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-2) plays its first two home games of the 2011-12 season this weekend as the Matadors host the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2011 Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 at The Matadome. Northridge welcomes in UCLA, Colgate and West Virginia to the San Fernando Valley for a four-team, two-day tournament.
The Mountaineers and Bruins will open the tournament with a 5 p.m. contest and be followed by CSUN and Colgate at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 25. The next day, and following the same timing schedule as on the first day, the two losing teams from the day before will meet in the consolation game followed by the two winning teams squaring off in the championship game.
All four contests will have live stats provided on GoMatadors.com, while the two CSUN games will also feature a live internet-only broadcast. A tournament central page exists on the women's basketball home page on GoMatadors.com containing team and ticketing information. All four games will be played at The Matadome on the campus of Cal State Northridge.
The Matadors will look to get back to their winning ways in front of the home crowd. CSUN suffered a pair of tough losses last week, falling at Oregon State and Washington of the Pac 12 Conference. Despite the losses, the team is still at .500 for the season and has produced several notable program firsts already this year.
Next week, the Matadors split their time between the comforts of home and the rigors of travel. On Thursday, Dec. 1, the Matadors open the month with a home game against Santa Clara at 7 p.m. Two days later, the Matadors travel up the California coast to face Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif., for a 2 p.m. game.
CSUN's Dr. J
Senior Jasmine Erving has moved into seventh in school history in points, having scored 1,137 for her career. Last week, the Santa Ana, Calif., native picked up her second double-double of the season and 15th of her career after finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds at Washington. In the season-opener at San Francisco, Erving overcame a difficult shooting night to finish with a team-high 11 rebounds and a career-high seven steals. Three days later, she poured in a game-high 28 points and 14 rebounds in the Matadors' victory at LMU. Among other career notes for Erving is that she now stands two blocks shy of moving into second in school history and that she now checks in at sixth in school history with 558 career rebounds. Among Big West players, Erving ranks fourth in scoring (15.8 ppg), fourth in rebounding (10.0 rpg), ninth in steals (2.3 spg) and third in blocks (1.5 bpg).
A Guay with Words
Freshman Ashlee Guay has been a menace for opponents through the Matadors' first four contests. The San Diego, Calif., native had six steals at Oregon State and then followed that up with a season-high seven at Washington two days later. On the offensive side, Guay posted a season-high eight assists at Oregon State and in the season-opening victory over San Francisco, she scored a team-high 17 points and had eight rebounds and five steals. Against LMU, she added eight points and five assists and is averaging 9.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 steals for the season.
Mahl-Knechting the Dots
Freshman Camille Mahlknecht led the Matadors with 14 points, seven field goals and six rebounds at Oregon State on Nov. 17. The Agoura, Calif., native leads the Matadors and ranks third in the Big West Conference with a .650 field goal percentage (13-of-20). She also is tied with teammate Jasmine Erving for the team lead with six blocks, a number that ranks third in the league as well.
Freshman Janae Sharpe picked up the third double-figure scoring performance of her young career by finishing with 12 points at Washington. The Rialto, Calif., native was also a big part of the Matadors' two victories during their opening weekend. In the season opener at San Francisco, she came off the bench to score 14 points and add four rebounds. Three days later, Sharpe had 11 points, eight assists and five steals as the Matadors won at LMU for the first time since the 1990 season. For the year, Sharpe is averaging 10.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
Roses are Blue, Violets are Matador Red
Junior Violet Alama produced her sixth career double-double in the Matadors' victory at San Francisco, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Then in CSUN's win at LMU, she added 14 points, including two 3-pointers, and eight rebounds. Through the two games, Alama is averaging 11.0 points and 7.5 rebounds, averages that rank 15th and seventh, respectively, among all league players. Last season, she averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and shot 79 percent from the free throw line.
Petersen Provides Productive Performances
Sophomore Kaitlyn Petersen scored in double-figures in both Matador victories this season. A transfer from Gonzaga, Petersen scored 10 points and had three rebounds and two steals in the season-opening victory at San Francisco. Against LMU, she added 11 points, including three 3-pointers, to go along with three rebounds and a steal. She also posted a season-high five assists at Washington.
For the third-straight year, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball program will be hosting a four-team tournament around the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. This year, CSUN and the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn have partnered to bring out a group of tough and talented teams to the San Fernando Valley on Nov. 25 and 26. Competing this year will be West Virginia, UCLA, Colgate and Northridge. The Lady Mountaineers and Bruins will open the festivities with a 5 p.m. contest on Nov. 25, followed by a match-up between Colgate and Northridge at approximately 7:30 p.m. The following day, the two losing teams from the previous day will meet in the consolation game at 5 p.m., with the championship game following 30 minutes later.
Already a Season of Firsts
Northridge has already accomplished several notable feats through the first two games of the 2011-12 season. The Matadors' victory over San Francisco on Nov. 11 was the program's first ever against the Dons and head coach Jason Flowers' first career non-conference win. The win also marked the first time Northridge won a season opener since the 2004-05 season. CSUN's win against LMU was the program's first since 1997 and the first win at LMU since the 1990 season. Finally, Northridge has started 2-0 for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
The Matadors were picked to finish seventh by the members of the media in the Big West Conference Preseason Poll, earning 73 points. Senior Jasmine Erving was named to the All-Big West Preseason Team, becoming the first Northridge player to earn the distinction under head coach Jason Flowers. Cal Poly was picked to win the league with 11 first-place votes and 200 total points. Erving and freshman Janae Sharpe also received recognition on the College Sports Madness All-Big West Preseason Team, with Erving earning First Team honors and Sharpe being named Freshman of the Year.
The Matadors have a formidable schedule in front of them for the 2011-12 season. Northridge has four teams on its ledger who qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament (UCLA, West Virginia, Fresno State and UC Davis). In addition to those squads, CSUN will face four teams that participated in the 2011 WNIT (UC Riverside, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine) and one team that competed in the WBI Classic (CSU Bakersfield). The team opens with its first four games on the road and then plays five of its next six at home, which includes hosting the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2011 on Nov. 25 and 26.
The Raiders of Colgate are 0-5 on the season, but have lost games by as few as two, three and six points. Junior Jhazmine Lynch, a San Diego, Calif., native and product of Mater Dei High School, leads the team at 13.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. She had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Colgate's season opening loss to Bryant. Candice Green is averaging 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists on the year as well. Nicci Hays Fort is in her first season as the head coach at Colgate and Friday's meeting will be the first ever between the two schools.
Scouting West Virginia
West Virginia makes the trip to the West Coast with a 2-1 record. The Mountaineers have defeated Youngstown State and North Carolina Central, but also suffered a home loss to Saint Bonaventure. Taylor Palmer is leading the team in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game thanks in part to 11 3-pointers thus far. Jessica Harlee is averaging 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds while Christal Caldwell is the third Mountaineer in double figures at 10.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Mike Carey is in his 11th season as the head coach at West Virginia and has led the squad to five consecutive postseason appearances. CSUN and West Virginia have never met in women's basketball.
Scouting No. 25 UCLA
The Bruins of the Pac 12 Conference carry a 2-1 record into the weekend, having picked up wins against McNeese State and Tennessee Tech before falling at No. 1 Baylor. Rebekah Gardner leads the team in scoring at 15.0 ppg while also averaging 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Atonye Nyingifa is averaging a double-double for the season, 12.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. UCLA is 2-0 all-time against West Virginia and 9-0 all-time against CSUN. Cori Close is in her first season as the head coach at UCLA.