January 19, 2012

CSUN Edges Cal Poly 79-77 in Wild Finish

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (10-8, 5-1 Big West) defeated Cal Poly 79-77 Thursday evening in a Big West Conference contest at The Matadome. Violet Alama made the game-winning basket with 30 seconds left and added an insurance free throw to cap a wild game. 

Trailing by as many as 11 early in the second half, CSUN mounted a spirited rally to defeat Cal Poly in a match-up of the two top teams in the conference. Northridge closed the game on a decisive 8-4 run that was filled with dramatics. 

After the teams traded 3-point baskets with about three minutes to play, Janae Sharpe converted an old-fashioned three-point play to bring CSUN back within two points. Haley White then added two free throws and after Kayla Griffin hit one of two from the charity stripe, CSUN sat within one point with two minutes to play. 

CSUN head coach Jason Flowers then drew up an inbounds play that left Alama alone underneath the basket for the eventual game winner. Caroline Reeves missed a lay-up with six seconds remaining, Alama grabbed the rebound and she hit her first free throw to put CSUN up two points. The second missed and a desperation attempt by the Mustangs sailed wide. 

Ashlee Guay led the Matadors with a season-high 23 points on the night. She tied a school record by finishing with a season-high seven 3-pointers and did not miss an attempt from behind the arc. Guay also finished with four assists, three rebounds and a steal in 38 minutes of action. 

Jasmine Erving added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Northridge, her eighth double-double of the season and 21st of her career. She also finished with a career-high five blocked shots in the contest and is now just five rejections shy of tying Crystal Hahs for the school record at 136 career blocks. 

Sharpe posted 12 points, five boards and a season-high nine assists in 35 minutes of action. White was the fourth Matador to finish in double-figures, going for 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. 

As a team, CSUN shot 43.3 percent (29-of-67) from the field and a season-high 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from 3-point range. Northridge edged Cal Poly on the boards, 44-42, and finished with 22 assists for the game. 

Kristina Santiago led Cal Poly with 20 points and seven rebounds. The Mustangs shot 39.7 percent (27-of-68) from the field and an even 50 percent (6-of-12) from downtown. 

The Matadors return to action Saturday, Jan. 21 when they host the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos for in a league contest. Tip off from The Matadome is slated for 4 p.m.