NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
A prolonged run in the first half sent the Utah State Aggies to a 75-67 victory over the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-5) Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Radisson Chatsworth Hotel Thanksgiving Classic. Junior Camille Mahlknecht (11 points, 12 rebounds) and sophomore Bernadette Fong (12 points, 10 rebounds) each had double-doubles for the Matadors, but it was not enough to give CSUN its first home win of the year.
When reviewing the film of this weekend's contests with Santa Clara and Utah State, the Matadors will look back to how opponent scoring runs hurt in a pair of losses. Friday night, Santa Clara closed the contest on a 14-2 run to win. Saturday, after trailing by eight six minutes into the contest, Utah State reeled off a 33-11 run over the final 14 minutes of the half to take a commanding lead.
The first half started well for CSUN. Solid inside play by Fong had the Matadors leading 20-12 with 14:14 left in the half. However, the Aggies fought back and went on that lengthy run and took a 45-31 lead into halftime. CSUN shot 36.7 percent from the field, but just 15.4 percent from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
CSUN opened the second half with a 3-pointer, but Utah State stretched its lead to 15 with 17 minutes left in the game. The lead swelled to 18 before CSUN clawed back into the game. A lay-up by Mahlknecht cut the lead to six with seven minutes to play. However, Utah State answered with seven-straight points before the Matadors could counter.
Utah State held a 70-60 advantage with 3:30 left in the second half. CSUN got some late baskets from Cinnamon Lister, but six would be as close as they would get before the final whistle blew.
Mahlknecht played strong inside for CSUN. She was 4-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. Seven of her game and season-high 12 rebounds came on the offensive glass. She is averaging 9.0 points and 6.9 rebounds on the year.
Fong set new a new career high with her 12 points and four free throws. She was 4-of-7 from the field in 12 minutes Saturday and is averaging 5.3 points and 5.7 rebounds on the year.
Ashlee Guay scored all 14 of her points in the second half and knocked down four 3-pointers. She added five rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes. She is averaging 16 points on the year through seven games. For her work, Guay earned a spot on the all-tournament team.
Lister finished with a team-high 18 points and knocked down four 3-pointers. She had two assists in 29 minutes and is averaging a team-high 16.4 points on the season.
As a team, CSUN shot 33.3 percent (23-of-69) from the field and 26.5 percent (9-of-34) from 3-point range. Perimeter shooting plagued the Matadors all weekend. The team shot 12-of-55 (21.8 percent) from beyond the arc in the two games.
The Matadors out-rebounded the Aggies 48-35, but Utah State managed 17 fast-break points to zero for Northridge. Utah State also scored 27 points off 20 Matador turnovers.
The Matadors hit the road for their next two contests, heading to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of games in Washington. On Wednesday, Dec. 4, CSUN takes on Washington State at 7 p.m. Two days later, CSUN faces Eastern Washington at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6.
After those three contests, Northridge will be at home for three straight. The Matadors will host USC (Dec. 10, 6 p.m.), Northern Arizona (Dec. 19, 7 p.m.) and Saint Mary's (Dec. 21, 4 p.m.) at The Matadome.