CSUN Welcomes Detroit, No. 6 Penn State and South Alabama for Thanksgiving Tournament

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Matadors Host Titans, Lady Lions and Jaguars for Holiday Hoops

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-1) hosts the Radisson Chatsworth Hotel Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament 2012 at The Matadome this weekend. The Matadors welcome South Alabama, Detroit and nationally ranked Penn State to The Matadome for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

The Lady Lions and the Titans start the event on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed by a 5 p.m. contest between CSUN and South Alabama. The next day, the two losing teams will play in the consolation game at noon followed the championship contest at 2:30 p.m. 

All four games will feature live stats and the two Cal State Northridge women's basketball games will be streamed live on BigWest.TV. Links for all live stats and team rosters, stats and schedules are available at GoMatadors.com. 

Last week, CSUN split its two contests. The Matadors posted a 66-44 victory over Eastern Washington in which Camille Mahlknecht produced her first career double-double. The sophomore center finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds and added three blocks in the victory over the Eagles. 

Two days later, CSUN suffered its first loss of the season in a 53-46 defeat at Arizona. Despite holding the Wildcats to 26.2 percent shooting (17-of-65) and forcing 24 turnovers, the Matadors committed 25 miscues of their own and could not hold onto a six-point lead in the second half. 

This week should provide plenty of quality basketball for fans in attendance at The Matadome. All four teams carry winning records into the weekend and Penn State is ranked sixth by the Associated Press. All four teams won at least 17 games last season and feature multiple all-league players.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors (60+), members of the military, CSUN Alumni Association members or CSUN Faculty/Staff members. All youth under 17 years of age will receive free admission all weekend. Separate tickets will be needed for each day and a ticket gains admission to both games that day.   

A Guay with Words 

Sophomore Ashlee Guay continues to lead the Matadors in scoring through the first three games of the season. She has reached double-figures in all three games and is averaging 15.7 points per contest, the fifth-highest average in the Big West Conference. She scored a game-high 20 points in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland. Guay knocked down a career-high nine field goals and added three rebounds, six assists and three steals in the win. For that performance, Guay was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week. For the year, Guay has 10 assists, 10 rebounds and five steals. Before the season, Guay was named to the Preseason All-Big West Conference Team. In her freshman year, she led all conference players in assists (129) and steals (91) while averaging 8.6 points per game.

Mahl-Knechting the Dots

Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht produced her first career double-double when she finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Eastern Washington. The 22 points represented a new career best while the 13 boards matched a previous career high. She also had a career-high nine field goals and three blocks in the win over the Eagles. For the season, Mahlknecht is averaging 10.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. With 53 blocks in 34 career games, Mahlknecht needs just two more to tie for ninth in school history.

Georgia on My Mind

Sophomore Randi Friess scored a career-high 12 points in the Matadors' loss at Arizona. She knocked down a career-high four field goals, including two 3-pointers, while adding four rebounds and a steal in the defeat. She tied a career high with nine rebounds in the Matadors' win over Eastern Washington and is averaging 7.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals through the first three games of the season. 

CSUN's New Italian Sports Car

Freshman Marta Masoni has logged a team-high 110 minutes and is averaging 12.0 points through the first three games of the season. She started her career with a bang, finishing with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, as Northridge defeated Portland. She had 10 rebounds in the win over Eastern Washington and added 10 points in the loss at Arizona. For the season, Masoni has 30 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Originally from Taranto, Italy, Masoni was 6-of-10 from the floor and added four rebounds, two assists and a steal in the victory over the Pilots. Before coming to CSUN, Masoni was a member of the Italian Women's Basketball team that captured the U-18 European Championships in 2010.

Haley's Comet

Junior Haley White had a strong start to her third season with the Matadors. In the win over Portland, White came off the bench to finish with eight points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes of action. The 10 dimes matched White's career high and the seven rebounds were two shy of her career best. In 64 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Violets are Matador Red

Senior Violet Alama had eight points and eight rebounds in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland. Alama started the contest against the Pilots, a different role for her after she earned Big West Co-Sixth Woman of the Year honors in the 2011-12 season. Last year, Alama averaged 7.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, the ninth-best average in the Big West. She has over 500 rebounds in her career and is also nearing 200 career free throws. In 92 career games, Alama has averaged 7.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest.

Mighty Sharpe

Sophomore Janae Sharpe returns to the Matadors after earning Big West Conference Freshman of the Year and All-Big West Second Team honors last season. She scored a season-high 19 points four times and was the Big West Conference's top scoring rookie. For the season, Sharpe averaged 11.4 points per game, the second-best figure on the team and ninth among all Big West players. She also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals (third in the league) per game. Sharpe had a strong start to her Big West career, earning the league's Player of the Week after helping lead the Matadors to a pair of wins during the opening weekend of conference play. Against UC Irvine, she scored a season-high 19 points and had a season-high seven steals. Two days later, Sharpe added 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists as the Matadors defeated UC Riverside.

I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson

Senior Jianni Jackson had several strong games for the Matadors in her junior season with the club. She had nine points and five boards in the home win against Cal State Fullerton and finished with 12 points, four rebounds and tied a season high with three steals in the Matadors' game at Cal Poly. She tied a season high with four field goals, including a season-high two 3-pointers, against the Mustangs. Jackson scored a season-high 14 points and had seven rebounds in the Matadors' win at Pacific. For the season, she is averaging 1.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. 

Newcomer Notes

The Matadors welcome four newcomers to the roster for the 2012-13 season: Breeyon Alexander, Bernadette Fong, Jasmine Johnson and Marta Masoni. Of the group, Alexander, Johnson and Masoni are all capable of playing on the perimeter, while Fong is a 6-2 post player. Alexander has top speed and length and projects as a shooting guard/small forward. Johnson is a rugged, energetic player who coaches expect to rebound at a high volume. Masoni brings extensive international experience and can score at a high rate. Fong is a bruising post player capable of stepping out and facing up from 16 feet. 

Conference Notes

Through the first two weekends of play in the 2012-13 season, the Matadors have posted some interesting numbers when compared to their conference rivals. As of Nov. 19, CSUN led the Big West in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 49.3 points per game and 27.3 percent shooting. Northridge also leads the league in scoring margin (+11.3), 3-pointers per game (8.3), blocked shots per game (5.7), turnover margin (+5.00), and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.82). Conversely, CSUN checks in last in rebounding defense (48.3 opponent rebounds per game) and in team free throw percentage (.528, 19-of-36). Individually, Northridge has three of the league's top scorers on a per-game average (Ashlee Guay, Marta Masoni, Camille Mahlknecht) and four players among the league's top 20 rebounders (Mahlknecht, Randi Friess, Masoni, Violet Alama). 

Matadors Sign Four to NLIs

Cal State Northridge head coach Jason Flowers has announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to being play with the Matadors starting in the 2013-14 season. Amber Blockmon, Emily Cole, Katelin King and Samantha Young bring prolific prep careers and outstanding character to the Matadors. 

"We are excited to welcome these four outstanding young women into the Northridge family," Flowers said. "All four are exceptional student-athletes who will represent the University and its community with hard work and discipline on the court and in the classroom."

Follow Your Matadors Online

All home games this season will include live stats coverage, a free audio broadcast and free live video through Big West TV. For road contests related links to the game, including for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the contest on the schedule page of GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the Cal State Northridge Athletics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) for updates of matches in progress and news and notes throughout the week.