Matadors Fall to No. 6 Penn State 85-73 in Thanksgiving Classic Final

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Fueled by a 17-0 run that spanned both halves, the No. 6 Penn State Lady Lions (5-0) defeated the Cal State Northridge Matadors (3-2) 85-73 in the championship of the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2012 on Saturday afternoon at The Matadome. Marta Masoni led the scoring attack for Northridge with a season-high 22 points, including five three-pointers, and Ashlee Guay added 15 points and a career-high 12 assists.

The final score was not indicative of how close the game was Saturday. CSUN came out of the gates quickly, building a lead as large as 17 in the first half. Penn State then inched its way back into the game with an 9-0 run to close the half.

Trailing by six at halftime, the Lady Lions scored the first eight points of the second half to take a two point lead. From there, CSUN mounted its own rally and went on an 11-2 run to go up seven with 14:26 remaining in the game.

From there, the teams traded baskets and the game was tied at 70-70 with 4:09 left in the second half. From there, Penn State was able to knock down its free throws and closed out the game on a 15-3 run to seal the victory.

Guay, who earned all-tournament team honors, finished 6-of-15 from the field and added five assists and three steals in 37 minutes of action. Through five games in 2012-13, the sophomore is averaging 15.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

Masoni was lethal from downtown all night. She tied a season best with five 3-pointers and also had three rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 37 minutes of action. She is averaging 13.0 points and 5.0 rebounds so far this season.

Camille Mahlknecht tied a career high with 13 rebounds and had eight points and two blocks before fouling out. Violet Alama scored a season-high 11 points to go with four rebounds while Randi Friess was the fourth Matador in double-figures, finishing with 10 points in addition to three assists and a steal.

For Penn State, Maggie Lucas, the tournament's MVP, led the Lady Lions with 23 points and had three assists and two steals. Nikki Greene earned all-tournament honors after posting 21 points and 20 rebounds for PSU.

As a team, CSUN shot 41.9 percent (26-of-62) from the field compared to Penn State's 44.6 percent (29-of-65) rate. Penn State won the battle on the glass, out-rebounding CSUN 42-35.

Northridge hits the road for its next two contests. On Nov. 29, the Matadors face Santa Clara and then take on San Jose State on Dec. 1. The next Matador home game will be against San Francisco at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. The contest is part of a CSUN basketball doubleheader with the men's program and separate tickets will be required for each contest.