December 3, 2011

Matadors Fall at Pepperdine 68-64

MALIBU, Calif. -

Turnovers and fouls spelled the difference in a tightly contested game as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-4) dropped a 68-64 decision to the Pepperdine Waves (5-3) on Saturday afternoon at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu. Senior Jasmine Erving led all scorers with 27 points (13-for-24) to pass Patricia De La Riva and move into fourth place all-time at Northridge for career field goals made (487).

Erving added 10 rebounds and is now fifth in school history with 596 career boards.

The Matadors raced out to an early 7-3 lead behind seven points from Erving before a three pointer for the Waves cut the margin to one four minutes into the game. Pepperdine led by as many as eight points in the first half but Northridge was able to cut it to four at halftime thanks to points in the paint by Erving and Ashlee Guay.

After the first 20 minutes of play, the Matadors led in field goal percentage (36.7 percent to 31 percent) and rebounds (22-18) but found themselves down 30-26 after committing 13 turnovers and seeing Pepperdine shoot 9-for-11 from the free throw line. Erving had 17 of her game-high 27 points in the first half for Northridge, while Violet Alama added six rebounds and Camille Mahlknecht chipped in four points and three boards.

Northridge took charge quickly in the second half, scoring two fast layups to tie the game at 30-30. Pepperdine slowly built back its lead on free throws and jumpers in the paint before an Erving layup with exactly 14 minutes remaining to go ahead 39-38 gave the Matadors their first lead since being up 12-11 with 13:20 to play in the first half.

The Matadors took their largest lead of the afternoon at 55-47 with 6:30 to go after Jessica Duarte made a layup and drew a foul before completing a traditional three point play. Pepperdine responded with two quick baskets to cut the lead to four and eventually regained the lead at 60-59 with 2:06 left.

Down by three with 16 seconds to go, Duarte calmly rose up for three and drained a shot to tie the score at 64-64 and it looked as if the game would head to overtime. The Waves responded by making a layup with six seconds left and Northridge could not tie at the end.

Jazmine Jackson led Pepperdine in scoring with 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting and 9-for-10 from the free throw line, as the Waves shot 20-for-23 from the charity stripe compared to 4-for-5 for Northridge.

Overall, Duarte finished with 11 points and two rebounds after making her first career start for Northridge. Guay tallied six points, three rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block in 36 minutes and Erving added three blocks and two assists to her scoring numbers.

The Matadors return to action with a home game against San Jose State on Dec. 7 at The Matadome. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.