NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team opens the 2013-14 season with an exhibition contest against Cal State San Marcos Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. in The Matadome. Picked to finish third in the Big West Conference Preseason Media Poll, the Matadors feature four returning starters, eight returning letterwinners and eight newcomers to their line-up.
Tickets for the game cost $5 and are good for both the women's basketball exhibition contest as well as the men's basketball exhibition contest against Cal State Los Angeles, which will follow the women's game. CSUN Students receive free admission with their school I.D.
Coming off a season that saw them finish 16-16 overall and 9-9 against league competition, the Matadors are confident heading into the campaign. Head coach Jason Flowers is in his fourth season at the helm and has assembled what he believes is his most talented squad.
Among the four returning starters, junior Ashlee Guay was named to the Preseason All-Big West Team and is on pace to shatter the school record for steals at some point this season. She led the team in scoring and assists last year en route to All-Big West Second Team honors.
Fellow junior Camille Mahlknecht had a strong season last year, leading the team in rebounding at 7.3 per game and is on pace to set a new school record for career blocks during the year. Junior Cinnamon Lister is coming off a redshirt and projects to have an immediate impact while a fourth junior, Randi Friess, brings energy, defense and rebounding.
The team has two seniors, Haley White and Mikayla Thielges. White is a three-year letterwinner capable of playing a variety of positions while Thielges is making the transition from softball to basketball look easy.
The team adds four true freshmen to the mix: Emily Cole, Aliyah Dickson, Katelin King and Samantha Young. CSUN also has two transfers who have joined the squad that will practice fully with the team and will become eligible next season: Destini Price and Travis Newman.
Cal State San Marcos is an NAIA school that has already started its season. In a 61-57 loss to William Jessup, Sherika Miller led all scorers with 18 points and added seven rebounds and three assists. Sherri Jennum is the head coach of the Cougars and has built the third-year program from scratch.
The Matadors officially open the season on Nov. 8 with a road contest at Sacramento State. Tip off is slated for 5 p.m.