December 9, 2013

CSUN Squares off with USC Tuesday at The Matadome For First Time Since 1993

COMPLETE RELEASE IN PDF FORMAT

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Matadors Return Home to Face Women of Troy

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (2-7) returns home this week for a Tuesday night contest with USC at The Matadome. Tip off between the Matadors and Women of Troy is set for 6 p.m. and the contest will be the first in the San Fernando Valley since the 1993 season. Live video, audio and stats will be available for the contest with links available at GoMatadors.com.

Last week, CSUN dropped road contests at Washington State and Eastern Washington. The Matadors got off to strong starts in both contests, only to endure lengthy scoring runs from the Cougars and Eagles. Cinnamon Lister scored a team-high 21 points vs. Washington State while Ashlee Guay added 16 against the Eagles.

This week, CSUN tangles with a USC squad that is 5-3 and coming off wins over UNC-Wilmington and Boston College. Ariya Cook leads the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game while shooting over 41 percent from 3-point range and nearly 45 percent from the field. Cassie Harberts is second on the team at 12.4 ppg and is also averaging five rebounds and two assists.

Northridge has never defeated USC at the Division I level and are looking to post a victory over a Pac-12 school for the second-straight year and just the third time in school history.

After USC, the Matadors have eleven days off before their next contest, a Dec. 19 meeting with Northern Arizona at 7 p.m. Two days later, CSUN hosts Saint Mary's College in a 4 p.m. matinée. 

Fuel for Finals

Join the Women's basketball team for a study break on Tuesday, December 10 when they take on the Trojans of USC. The first 100 CSUN students will enjoy free coffee and free snacks along with scantron and blue book give-aways. There will be prizes and giveaways throughout the game that include Pizza Rev gift cards gas cards and more.

CSUN's Secret Ingredient

Junior Cinnamon Lister has scored in double-figures in seven of the Matadors' nine games and has led the team in scoring on six occasions. She has reached 20+ three times this year, including a career-high 24 points and nine field goals in the victory at Clemson.  She poured in a team-high 20 points and a career-high five 3-pointers against BYU and posted 21 in the Matadors' contest at Washington State. She ranks second on the team and sixth in the Big West Conference at 15.9 points per game and also leads the league with 23 3-pointers on the year. Lister is one of three Matadors to average over three assists and ranks ninth in the league at 3.3 per game. She also checks in at eighth in steals per game (1.8) and is playing 33.3 minutes per game.

A Guay with Words

Junior Ashlee Guay enters Tuesday's contest averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game, the top mark on the team and the fifth best average in the Big West. After scoring a season-high 25 points, including a career-high 11 field goals, at Montana State, Guay has scored between 14-17 in every game and finished with 16 on four occasions. She earned All-Tournament Team honors at the CSUN Thanksgiving Classic by averaging 15.5 points in games against Santa Clara and Utah State. Guay earned a spot on the Preseason All-Big West Team after a sophomore campaign when she paced the Matadors in scoring at 13.2 points per game to rank sixth in the conference. Guay needs 12 steals to set a new program record and 54 assists to set the career mark for that category as well. 

From Diamonds to Keys

Senior Mikayla Thielges continues to impress in her only season of Division I women's basketball. She leads the team in rebounding at 8.2 per game to rank sixth in the Big West Conference. She pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds in the Matadors' victory at Georgia Southern, two shy of tying for second in school history for a single game. She also had a game-high 13 boards at Montana State and is averaging over three offensive rebounds per game. Thielges scored a career-high 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field in the game against Santa Clara. A pickup from the CSUN softball program, where she was a two-time All-Big West catcher, Thielges is also averaging 5.2 points, on 65.6 percent shooting from the field, and 1.3 assists per game.

Mighty Sharpe

Junior Janae Sharpe scored a season-high 10 points and had five rebounds against Santa Clara and then dished out a season-high six assists against Utah State in the CSUN Thanksgiving Tournament. She has averaged 9.8 points over her Matador career and has been especially menacing at the free throw line. In the middle of her third season, Sharpe is 195-of-256 (.762) from the stripe and is currently 14-of-20 on the year. Sharpe is also a tough defensive asset for CSUN, having amassed 101 career steals compared to just 84 career fouls. For the season, Sharpe is averaging 6.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists on the year. Sharpe was the 2011-12 Big West Freshman of the Year and earned All-Big West Second Team honors that year.

Mahl-Knechting the Dots

Junior Camille Mahlknecht tied a season high with four blocks against Washington State and needs just nine more rejections to reach 150 for her career and set a new school record. She recorded her first double-double of the year with 11 points and 12 rebounds against Utah State. She just missed a pair of double-doubles in the Matadors' victories at Clemson and Georgia Southern. Against the Tigers, she finished with 12 points and nine rebounds while against the Eagles she totaled 10 points and nine rebounds. She is averaging 7.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game on the year. She leads the Big West in blocked shots (21)  and ranks ninth in rebounds. Last season, Mahlknect posted a league-high 75 and finished 25th in all of Division I at 2.34 blocks per game.

Jumping Jasmine Johnson

Sophomore Jasmine Johnson has rewarded the coaching staff with increased productivity this season. She recorded a career-high 10 points and five field goals vs. Eastern Washington to go with a season-high six rebounds and her first career blocked shot. Johnson added six points off the bench in the victory at Georgia Southern and is shooting 57.1 percent from the field. She is averaging 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

The Bernadette Fong Show

Sophomore Bernadette Fong posted the first double-double of her career in the game against Utah State. In just 12 minutes off the bench, Fong scored a career-high 12 points, including a career-high four free throws, to go with 10 rebounds.  She is averaging 4.4 points and 5.3 rebounds through the first nine contests. She finished with seven points and seven rebounds against Sacramento State. Two days later, she posted nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds, two steals and 15 minutes at Montana State.

Georgia on My Mind

Junior Randi Friess has been a steady contributor to the Matadors over her first two-plus seasons, starting 46 of the 69 games in which she's played. Over her Matador career, Friess has averaged 3.5 points and 3.6 rebounds. Last year, she surpassed both figures by averaging 4.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. This season, Friess dished out a career-high four assists to go along with a season-high nine points in the win at Clemson. She totaled six rebounds at both Sacramento State and  Montana State and had eight points and three steals against the Hornets.

CSUN's Block Party

The Matadors have led the Big West Conference in blocked shots the past two-plus seasons, totaling 304 rejections for an average of 4.2 per game. Junior Camille Mahlknecht is the Matadors' best rim protector, posting 141 blocks in her Matador career. She stands on pace to break the school's all-time mark of 149 blocked shots held by her former teammate Jasmine Erving. Mahlknecht had 75 blocks last season, the third-most in school history for a single season.

Thou Shalt Steal

The Matadors have totaled 753 steals over the past two-plus seasons, an average of 10.5 per game. They finished second in the Big West in the 2011-12 season after recording 312 thefts. Last year, CSUN improved on that figure by posting 357 steals in 32 games, the 28th-best average in all of Division I women's hoops. Junior Ashlee Guay has led the league in steals in each of her first two seasons and is on pace to break the school's all-time record during the 2013-14 season. Joining Guay is fellow junior Janae Sharpe, who has more career steals (101) than career fouls (84).

On the Rebound

The Matadors have grabbed 383 rebounds through nine games, an average of 42.6 per contest. In the season opener, the Matadors set a new program record by grabbing 62 rebounds. Of that total, 23 boards came on the offensive glass and CSUN has 147 offensive rebounds for the year, an average of 16.3 per game. Individually, Mikayla Thielges grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds at Georgia Southern, two shy of tying for second in school history. Thielges also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds while Bernadette Fong snared a career-high 11 rebounds at Montana State and 10 vs. Utah State. Camille Mahlknecht registered a season-high 12 boards against the Aggies.

Big Conference Hunting

The Matadors' victory at Clemson was their first ever over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. The win also represented a win vs. a BCS opponent for the third-straight season: West Virginia (Big East, 2011), UCLA (Pac-12, 2012), Clemson (ACC, 2013). The win over the Mountaineers was CSUN's first against a Big East foe and the upset over nationally ranked UCLA at Pauley Pavilion was Northridge's first win over a Pac-12 opponent since 1996. The Matadors still have contests remaining with USC and Oregon in the non-conference slate.

Head East Young Women

The Matadors' victories at Clemson and Georgia Southern were CSUN's first wins in the Eastern Time Zone since a victory over Central Connecticut State in New York on Nov. 25, 1995. In fact, that victory over CCSU was at a neutral site, so the wins were CSUN's first true road victories in the Eastern time zone. The victories also represented the first time CSUN had won a pair of overnight road games since the 2004-05 season.