Matadors Face Anteaters, 49ers in Big West Road Contests

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NORTHRIDGE, CALIF. --- 

CSUN Looks to Rebound vs. UC Irvine, Long Beach State

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (11-10, 5-4 Big West Conference) host the road to start the second half of Big West Conference play. On Thursday, Feb. 7, the Matadors travel to Orange County to face UC Irvine at 7 p.m. at the Bren Events Center. Two days later, CSUN meets Long Beach State at 4 p.m. in The Walter Pyramid. Both games will feature live video, live audio and live stats, all of which are free, available at GoMatadors.com.

Last week, CSUN dropped a pair of tough decisions in falling to CSU Bakersfield and Hawai'i. Janae Sharpe had her best game of the season against the Roadrunners and Ashlee Guay scored a game-high 22 points against the Rainbow Wahine, but it was not enough to give the Matadors a victory in either contest.

This week, CSUN faces a UC Irvine team coming off its first win of the conference season. Camille Buckley scored 15 points and grabbed 22 rebounds as the Anteaters defeated UC Davis on the road 70-57. Buckley is averaging 11.0 points and 9.1 rebounds for the season and 11.5 points and 11.3 rebounds in nine league contests. As a team, UCI is shooting 34.7 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from 3-point range while averaging 37.7 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game.

Two days later, the Matadors square off with Long Beach State in a game that always features a lot of emotion. LBSU, which plays Hawai'i Thursday night, is 11-10 on the season and 4-5 in Big West play. Alex Sanchez is averaging 10.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. In Big West play, Devin Hudson is averaging a team-high 10.3 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 47.4 percent from the field. As a team, the 49ers are shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 30.2 percent 3-point range while averaging 39.8 rebounds and 13.2 assists per game.

Following the games with the Anteaters and 49ers, the Matadors will return to The Matadome for their next two contests. On Feb. 14, Northridge hosts Big West leading Pacific followed two days later by a contest against UC Davis. Northridge will be honoring survivors of breast cancer at the Feb. 16 game against the Aggies and fans wearing pink will receive free admission. 

A Guay with Words 

Sophomore Ashlee Guay continues to lead CSUN in scoring through 21 games after scoring a game-high 22 points in the Matadors' loss to Hawai'i and posting 18 points in the Matadors' win over Cal Poly. She led all scorers with 22 points against LBSU and 24 points against UCI. She drained a career-high 10 field goals and a season-high four 3-pointers against the Anteaters and had three steals in each game. Guay scored a game-high 18 points in the Matadors' road win at Cal State Fullerton and poured in a career-high 28 points in the Matadors' historic victory at UCLA. She is now averaging 13.6 points per game to lead the team and rank fourth in the conference. This season, she has scored 20 points or more five times and has led the Matadors in scoring nine times. 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, matching the school record, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State and is now averaging 3.9 assists per game. For the year, Guay has 81 assists, 71 rebounds and 62 steals. In Big West Play, Guay is averaging 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Meet the Meteoric Marta Masoni 

Freshman Marta Masoni continues to have a strong first season with the Matadors. She ranks second on the Matadors in scoring and ninth in the Big West Conference at 12.2 points per game. She totaled five 3-pointers in the games against UCSB and Cal Poly and had 13 points at Pacific. Against Long Beach State, Masoni scored 19 points, including a season-high six free throws, and then added 20 points and six 3-pointers in the win over UC Irvine. Masoni knocked down a season-high six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in the Matadors' win at UCLA. 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. She produced a season-high 22 points, including five 3-pointers, in the Matadors' loss to Penn State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic. Through 21 games, Masoni is averaging 12.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. In Big West Play, Masoni is averaging 10.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists. She leads the Big West Conference in 3-pointers (58) and ranks third at 37.9 percent from beyond the arc (58-of-153). She started her career with a bang, finishing with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, as Northridge defeated Portland. Originally from Taranto, Italy, Masoni was a member of the Italian Women's Basketball team that captured the U-18 European Championships in 2010.

Mighty Sharpe

Sophomore Janae Sharpe finished with a season-high 18 points, eight field goals and seven assists in the Matadors' loss at CSU Bakersfield. For the season, she is averaging 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game. She posted 12 points and hit an important 3-pointer in the second overtime in CSUN's win against Cal Poly. At UC Davis, Sharpe had 15 points and tied a career high with 11 free throws. She scored 10 points in the win at Cal State Fullerton and tied for a team-high 12 points and had four steals at Oklahoma. She finished with 16 points in the loss to the Spartans, adding five field goals, five free throws and three rebounds. Against San Francisco, Sharpe finished with 11 points, five assists and three rebounds in 18 minutes of action. At Fresno State, she produced 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. The 2011-12 Big West Freshman of the Year, Sharpe has averaged 10.6 points per game in 45 career appearances for the Matadors. In Big West play, Sharpe is averaging 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Mahl-Knechting the Dots

Sophomore Camille Mahlknecht had a team-high 10 rebounds to go with four blocked shots and nine points in the Matadors' victory against Cal Poly. She enters the weekend averaging 6.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. She pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds at Pacific and also finished with five blocks. Against Long Beach State, she posted seven points, nine rebounds and three blocks and at UC Riverside, Mahlknecht finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Against San Francisco, she just missed a triple-double by posting 14 points, 13 rebounds and a school-record eight blocked shots. She had 14 points and five blocks in the win over South Alabama and 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. She leads the Big West Conference in blocks per game and is fourth in rebounds per game. Her 49 blocks this season rank third in school history for a single season and with 94 blocks in 52 career games, Mahlknecht is sixth in school history. In Big West Play, Mahlknecht is averaging 5.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

Haley's Comet

Junior Haley White scored a career-high 21 points and eight field goals in the Matadors' double-overtime victory over Cal Poly. She also finished with six rebounds, five assists, three steals and tied a career best with four free throws. White dished out a game-high six assists in the win over UC Irvine. She also hit two key 3-pointers in the Matadors' win at UCLA and finished with eight points against the Bruins. She 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. The 10 dimes matched White's career high and the seven rebounds were two shy of her career best. In 82 career games with the Matadors, White has averaged 4.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Georgia on My Mind

Sophomore Randi Friess continues to earn large playing time due to her hustle and defense. Through 20 games, the second-year player from Savannah, Ga., is averaging 4.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.5 steals per contest. In CSUN's win at UCLA, she pulled down a team-high nine rebounds to go with six points, three assists and two steals. She produced her first two career double-digit scoring performances earlier in the season. 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.

Violets are Matador Red

Senior Violet Alama grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds in the Matadors' loss to Hawai'i. She 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. She now has 621 rebounds in her career, which stands sixth in school history. She also has 222 career free throws, the eighth-most in school history. In 110 career games, Alama has averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.

I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson

Senior Jianni Jackson had her best game of the season in the Matadors' loss at Oklahoma. Jackson posted 12 points, a career-high five field goals and a team-high seven rebounds against the Sooners. Against San Jose State, she finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. 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 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds for the season.

Conference and National Notes

As of Feb. 4, CSUN leads the Big West in field goal percentage defense (.354) and blocked shots (4.4) per game. The Matadors also rank second in the conference in scoring defense (59.6), turnover margin (+2.5) and steals per game (11.4).

Among 343 teams in Division I as of Feb. 4, CSUN ranks 35th in steals per game, 39th in field goal percentage defense, 52nd in blocks per game, 55th in 3-pointers per game, 82nd in 3-point field goal percentage defense, and 75th in turnover margin. Freshman Marta Masoni checks in at 29th in 3-pointers per game and 49th in 3-point percentage. Camille Mahlknecht ranks 22nd in the nation in blocks per game while Ashlee Guay is 37th in steals per game and 114th in field goal percentage.

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 begin 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.