Janae Sharpe Named Big West Conference Player of the Week

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- After helping lead the Matadors to a 2-0 start to league play, freshman Janae Sharpe was named Big West Conference Player of the Week the league office announced Monday. In home victories over UC Irvine and UC Riverside, Sharpe averaged 17.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 steals as CSUN improved to 7-7 for the season.

"It feels great to receive this award and I want to thank my teammates and coaches for their help and support," Sharpe said. "I started watching more film and saw that I needed to make a bigger offensive impact for my team. I took that aggressive mindset to the court and I look forward to doing again."

In the league opener, Sharpe finished with a season-high 19 points and seven steals. Trailing by three with roughly eight minutes left in the game, Sharpe scored eight of the Matadors' final 14 points to help lead CSUN to a 55-49 victory.

Two days later, Sharpe added 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals as Northridge defeated UC Riverside 63-55. The victory was the Matadors' first in 10 meetings with the Highlanders and sent CSUN off to its best start in league play in seven years.

For the season, Sharpe is averaging 10.8 points per game, the 11th-best average in the Big West Conference. She is also averaging 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals, the fourth-best average in the league.

Her head coach, Jason Flowers, was happy to see the rookie recognized for her hard work.

"Janae continues to improve with each game," Flowers said. "She has fought through some things from earlier in the year and is really starting to excel."

Sharpe becomes the second Matador to earn the league's weekly award. Jasmine Erving earned the honors on Nov. 28 after CSUN won the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2011.

Sharpe, Flowers and Northridge return to action on Saturday, Jan. 7 with a contest at Long Beach State. Tip off between the Matadors and 49ers is set for 4 p.m. from The Walter Pyramid.

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