NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Matadors Host Dons in CSUN Basketball Doubleheader
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (4-3) plays a pair of nonconference contests this week, splitting their time between a home game against San Francisco (12/5, 5 p.m.) and a road game at Fresno State (12/8, 2 p.m.). Both games will feature live stats and live, internet-only radio broadcasts and video streaming. Fans are also encouraged to check with the CSUN official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates for both contests.
Last week CSUN split a pair of nonconference road tests, defeating Santa Clara before falling at San Jose State. In the program's first-ever victory on the home floor of the Broncos, Marta Masoni's 22 points helped pace the Matadors to a 70-67 victory. Masoni finished 8-of-12 from the field and knocked down three 3-pointers while Ashlee Guay added 13 points, three assists and five steals.
Two days later, CSUN could not hold on to a five-point halftime lead in a 73-63 loss to the Spartans. Janae Sharpe, who made her season debut against the Broncos after missing the first five games with a lower body injury, led the Matadors with 16 points. In fact, four Matadors finished in double figures against SJSU but the Spartans shot over 50 percent from the field in the second half to pull away with the victory.
This week CSUN will face another pair of challenges from two teams carrying winning records. San Francisco holds an identical 4-3 record to CSUN and has already defeated both Hawai'i and UC Davis in the young season. Mel Khlok, a 5-9 senior guard, leads the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game. Freshman Taylor Proctor is averaging 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in her rookie season. The Dons are led by third-year head coach Jennifer Azzi.
On Saturday, Dec. 8, Northridge travels to Fresno State for a 2 p.m. contest. The Bulldogs are 4-2 on the season under first-year head coach Raegan Pebley. Fresno State faces USC on Dec. 5 before hosting the Matadors. Junior Ki-Ki Moore leads the team in scoring at 16.7 points per game and also averages 6.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore Alex Sheedy averages 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Meet the Meteoric Marta Masoni
Freshman Marta Masoni continues to have a strong start to her first season with the Matadors. She matched her season high with 22 points in the win at Santa Clara, finishing 8-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. At San Jose State, she scored 13 points and added another three 3-pointers. She produced a season-high 22 points, including five 3-pointers, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. Through seven games, Masoni is averaging 14.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per contest. She leads the Big West Conference in 3-pointers (20) and ranks fourth in the league at 40.8 percent from beyond the arc (20-of-49). Masoni also ranks sixth in the league in scoring and ninth in field goal percentage. 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. Originally from Taranto, Italy, Masoni was a member of the Italian Women's Basketball team that captured the U-18 European Championships in 2010.
A Guay with Words
Sophomore Ashlee Guay continues to lead the Matadors in scoring through the first seven games of the season. She has reached double-figures in all seven games and is averaging 14.4 points per contest, the fifth-highest average in the Big West Conference. Guay earned all-tournament honors at CSUN's Thanksgiving Classic after averaging 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds in the two games. She dished out a career-high 12 assists in the Matadors' loss to Penn State and is now averaging a league-high 5.3 assists per game. She scored a game-high 20 points in the Matadors' season-opening victory over Portland, including a career-high nine field goals. For that performance, Guay was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week. For the year, Guay has 37 assists, 23 rebounds and 19 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.
Georgia on My Mind
Sophomore Randi Friess continues to earn large playing time due to her hustle and defense. Through seven games, the second-year player from Savannah, Ga., is averaging 6.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals per contest. She produced her first two career double-digit scoring performances over the last three games for CSUN. She poured in a career-high 12 points in the Matadors' loss at Arizona and then scored 10 points, including a career-high three 3-pointers, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State. Friess produced a career-high four field goals against Arizona and tied a career high with nine rebounds in the Matadors' win over Eastern Washington.
Sophomore Janae Sharpe made her season debut for the Matadors in their games at Santa Clara and San Jose State. She finished with 16 points in the loss to the Spartans, adding five field goals, five free throws and three rebounds. Sharpe added four points and three assists in the win over the Broncos. The 2011-12 Big West Freshman of the Year, Sharpe has averaged over 11 points per game in 31 career appearances for the Matadors.
Violets are Matador Red
Senior Violet Alama scored a season-high 11 points in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. The day before, she pulled down a season-high nine rebounds in the Matadors' win over South Alabama. Alama opened the season with 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. She has 544 rebounds in her career, three shy of moving into eighth in school history and eight short of climbing to eighth. She also has 201 career free throws, needing one more to move into a tie for 10th in school history. In 94 career games, Alama has averaged 7.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
Mahl-Knechting the Dots
Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht had a strong performance in the Matadors' Thanksgiving Classic. She had 14 points and a career-high five blocks in the win over South Alabama and then tied a career high with 13 rebounds against Penn State. Mahlknecht produced her first career double-double when she finished with a career-high 22 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Eastern Washington. She also had a career-high nine field goals and three blocks in the win over the Eagles. For the season, Mahlknecht is averaging 7.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. She leads the Big West Conference in blocks per game and is fourth in rebounds per game. With 64 blocks in 38 career games, Mahlknecht is now ninth in school history.
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 68 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson
Senior Jianni Jackson had her best game of the season in the Matadors' loss to San Jose State. She finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in the contest, both of which established new season highs. In fact, the eight boards set a new career best for Jackson in her time at Northridge. In the win over Santa Clara, she tied a career high with two 3-pointers and is now averaging 3.8 points and 3.7 rebounds through seven contests.
Freshman Breeyon Alexander has brought energy and intensity off the bench for the Matadors thus far in the 2012-13 season. Alexander, who goes by the nickname "Breezy," had eight points, including two 3-pointers, in the Matadors' win over Eastern Washington. She grabbed a season-high five rebounds in the Matadors' victory over South Alabama and is averaging 2.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game.
Conference and National Notes
Through the first four weekends of play in the 2012-13 season, the Matadors have posted some interesting numbers when compared to their conference rivals. As of Dec. 3, CSUN led the Big West in 3-pointers per game (7.9), assists per game (16.6) and blocked shots per game (5.1). Among 343 teams in Division I, CSUN ranks 28th in assists per game, 15th in 3-pointers per game, 34th in blocked shots per game, 32nd in both 3-point percentage and field goal percentage defense, 68th in 3-point field goal percentage defense and 100th in assist-to-turnover ratio. Individually, Northridge has two of the league's top scorers on a per-game average (Ashlee Guay, Marta Masoni) and two players among the league's top 20 rebounders (Mahlknecht, Violet Alama). Guay leads the conference in both steals and assists per game, ranking 91st and 47th in the nation respectively in those categories.
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.