Santa Clara at CSUN
7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2011
CSUN at Pepperdine
4 p.m. Dec. 3, 2011
Matadors Meet WCC Foes Broncos, Waves
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (4-2) faces a pair of West Coast Conference opponents this week, hosting Santa Clara on Dec. 1 before traveling to Malibu, Calif., to face Pepperdine on Dec. 3. Both games will have live stats and a live, internet-only radio broadcast on GoMatadors.com.
Last week, CSUN won its home tournament behind a pair of outstanding performances. The Matadors downed Colgate 71-60 on Nov. 25 and then posted a 48-47 victory over West Virginia in the championship game. The win over the Mountaineers was the first victory over a BIG EAST opponent in school history.
Senior Jasmine Erving led the way for the Matadors, earning the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award after posting a pair of double-doubles. She later earned Big West Player of the Week honors for her performances. Sophomore Kaitlyn Petersen also earned all-tournament honors after averaging 15 points in the two games and shooting a perfect 16-for-16 from the free throw line.
This week, the Matadors face a pair of formidable opponents in Santa Clara and Pepperdine. The Broncos are 5-1 on the week and defeated UC Davis in their last game. The Waves have already recorded wins over Fresno State and New Mexico and take on Cal Poly on Nov. 30.
Next week, CSUN stays at home for a pair of non-conference games. On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the Matadors will take on the Spartans of San Jose State at 7 p.m. Four days later, a Sunday matinee will pit the Matadors against the Bulldogs of Fresno State at 4 p.m. in The Matadome.
CSUN's Dr. J --- Big West Player of the Week
Senior Jasmine Erving earned her third career Big West Player of the Week honors by posting a pair of double-doubles as CSUN won its Thanksgiving tournament. Against Colgate, Erving led Northridge with 18 points and 11 rebounds and then followed that up with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in the championship game against West Virginia. For the season, Erving is averaging 15.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, the second-best averages in the league among all players. She also ranks among the league's top 10 in steals per game (2.3) and blocks per game (1.7). Her four doubles-doubles on the year ranks her tied for fifth place among all players in Division-I. Erving also continues to ascend several career charts in school history. She ranks second in school history with 112 blocked shots, seventh with 1,165 career points and now stands eight rebounds shy of fifth in school history (590).
Petersen Provides Productive Performances
Sophomore Kaitlyn Petersen was named to the all-tournament team at CSUN's Thanksgiving tournament after turning in two impressive performances. Against Colgate, she had 13 points and three assists in 19 minutes of action. The next day, Petersen scored CSUN's first 13 points en route to a season-high 17 as Northridge knocked off West Virginia for the tournament title. Against the Mountaineers, she was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line and now ranks second in the conference with a season percentage of .903 (28-for-31). For the year, Petersen is averaging 11.2 points, second on the team and 15th in the league, to go along with 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest.
A Guay with Words
Freshman Ashlee Guay has been a menace for opponents through the Matadors' first six contests. The San Diego, Calif., native is averaging 8.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.5 steals for the year and ranks seventh among all players in the NCAA Division-I with her league-leading steals per game average. In the CSUN Thanksgiving tournament, she pulled down a season-high nine rebounds against Colgate and dished out a team-high six assists against West Virginia. She posted 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.
Freshman Janae Sharpe picked up the fourth double-figure scoring performance of her young career by finishing with 13 points in the Matadors' win over Colgate at the CSUN Thanksgiving tournament. For the year, Sharpe is averaging 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. She leads the Matadors with 35 free throw attempts and ranks 10th in the league with a season percentage of .743 (26-of-35). The Rialto, Calif., native had a big part in the Matadors' two victories on 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 1990.
The Matadors won the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2011 by defeating West Virginia, 48-47, in the championship game. CSUN defeated Colgate, 71-60, on Friday, Nov. 25 to set up a meeting with the Mountaineers, who knocked off No. 25 UCLA. For their efforts, senior Jasmine Erving was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and Kaitlyn Petersen was also named to the all-tournament team.
Conference and National Notes
Through the first six games of the year, the Matadors find themselves with some pretty impressive stats thus far. CSUN leads the Big West and ranks 42nd among all NCAA Division-I teams with a field goal percentage defense of .335 (126-376). The team also leads the Big West and ranks 28th in the nation with a team free throw percentage of .762 (112-147). Individually, freshman Ashlee Guay leads the league and ranks seventh among all Division-I players with an average of 4.5 steals per game. Kaitlyn Petersen is second in the conference and 45th in the nation with a season free throw percentage of .903 (28-31). Finally, Jasmine Erving ranks second in the conference and 24th in the nation with a rebounding average of 10.7 per game. She also is tied for fifth among all Division-I players with four double-doubles on the season.
Already a Season of Firsts
Northridge has already accomplished several notable feats through the first six games of the 2011-12 season. Northridge defeated West Virginia in the championship game of the Thanksgiving Basketball Classic, the program's first win ever over a BIG EAST program. With four wins in November, the Matadors have won their most games in the season's opening month since the 1998-99 season. The Matadors' win over Colgate in the Thanksgiving Basketball Classic was also the first time CSUN has won its home opener since the 2004-05 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.
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).
Scouting Santa Clara
Santa Clara enters Thursday's contest off to a 5-1 start after defeating UC Davis by three on Nov. 28. All the Broncos' wins have come at home and their only loss was at Fresno State. Alyssa Shoji leads the team in scoring at 17 points per game while shooting a blistering 57.8 percent (26-of-45) from 3-point range. Ruta Zurauskyte leads the team in rebounding at 9.0 per game and is also averaging 13 ppg. Megan Fulps (12.8) and Ashley Armstrong (10.8) are also scoring double-figures through Santa Clara's first six contests. As a team, the Broncos are shooting 44.2 percent (161-364) from the field and 38.3 percent (49-128) from 3-point range. Although Santa Clara leads the all-time series 6-1 against Northridge, the Matadors took the last game between the schools.
The Waves of Pepperdine will host the Matadors in a Saturday matinee at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Pepperdine is 3-3 on the season and will host Cal Poly on Nov. 30. As of Nov. 27, Jazmine Jackson leads the team in scoring at 16.8 ppg while also averaging 5.5 rebounds. Lauren Bell is the team's second-leading scorer at 12.7 ppg and has 17 assists on the season. Katie Menton is the third Wave in averaging in double-figures at 11.7 ppg. Pepperdine has already won a game in double-overtime (Fresno State) and overtime (at New Mexico). The Waves lead the all-time series with the Matadors 22-3 and have won the past seven meetings. CSUN's last win the series came in 1999 and their only road win in the series came in 1978.