Matadors Storm Back to Down Eagles 70-58

STATESBORO, Ga. ---

Trailing by three at halftime, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-2) rallied to defeat Georgia Southern 70-58 Tuesday evening at Hanner Fieldhouse in a non-conference contest. A sluggish first half was quickly forgotten as the Matadors out-scored the Eagles 42-27 in the second half.  

The first half was a struggle offensively for the Matadors. CSUN shot 7-of-30 (23.3 percent) from the field and 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from beyond the arc. However, Northridge got to the free throw line 16 times and made 12 of those (75 percent) to keep things close. Trailing 31-28 at the break, Ashlee Guay had 10 points while Cinnamon Lister had nine.

The second half proved an entirely different story. CSUN opened the half on a 12-2 run and led by as many 18 (66-48) before Georgia Southern tightened things, but never threatened, towards the end of the period. As a team, CSUN shot 63 percent (17-of-27) in the second half and connected on four 3-pointers.

"We challenged the team at halftime. We didn't feel like we played like we were capable of in the first half," CSUN head coach Jason Flowers said. "We responded much better this weekend than last weekend and that is definitely a step in the right direction."

Lister led the Matadors with 19 points and added four assists and two steals in 36 minutes. Guay finished with 16 points and added four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 32 minutes.

For the second-straight contest, Camille Mahlknecht just missed a double-double by posting 10 points and nine rebounds. She also blocked three shots in the game and now is 19 away from setting a new program record.

Mikayla Thielges had a dominant game on the glass Tuesday evening. She totaled 17 rebounds, six on the offensive glass, and added three points in 27 minutes of action. The 17 boards were two shy of tying for second in school history for a single contest.

"Mikayla was big time tonight. Her work on the boards was proof to the public how hard she works. She doesn't care about scoring. She cares about winning and tonight she was big time," Flowers said.

Emily Cole added a pair of second-half 3-pointers and Jasmine Johnson scored a career-high six points, all coming in the second half.

For the game, CSUN shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the field and 24 percent (6-of-25) from 3-point range. The Matadors out-rebounded the Eagles 46-38 and both teams had 19 fouls in the contest.

Anna Claire Knight led Georgia Southern with 28 points.

The win over the Eagles capped off a successful Eastern road trip for CSUN. The victory over Clemson was its first ever over an Atlantic Coast Conference and represented the third-straight year that CSUN has defeated a BCS opponent.  The back-to-back overnight road wins represents the first time CSUN has accomplished the feat since February of 2005.  

Northridge now starts a stretch where six of its next eight games will be at The Matadome. First up is a meeting with BYU in CSUN's home opener on Saturday, Nov. 23. Tip off between the Cougars and Matadors is slated for 4 p.m.

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