Feb. 28, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (18-9, 13-1 BWC) defeated Cal State Northridge (6-21, 3-11 BWC) Saturday afternoon at The Thunderdome in Big West Conference action. Neeta SreeKanth came off the bench to lead the Matadors with 12 points and eight rebounds while Tonicia Tademy had nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
The loss means that Northridge must win at least one of its final two games next week as UC Irvine lost, 60-35, to UC Riverside Saturday afternoon. The Matadors must finish with more conference wins than the Anteaters, who also have three, to earn a berth in the Big West Tournament in Anaheim, Calif., starting on Mar. 11.
Despite shooting just 22 percent from the field in the first half, Northridge trailed only by six, 29-23. However, UCSB would build its leads to as much as 12 in the second half, although they outscored the Matadors only 27-25 in the frame.
Sreekanth was 5-of-13 from the field and the eight rebounds set a new career high. She also hit both her free throws and is now averaging 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds for the season.
Tademy had only three turnovers to her seven assists while playing all 40 minutes of the contest. She now has a school record 182 assists on the season, an average of 6.7 per game. She is also averaging 4.9 rebounds and 6.7 points and owns a league-best 1.58 assist-to-turnover ratio.
As a team, Northridge finished shooting 34.6 percent from the field while the Gauchos checked in at 35.3 percent. UCSB outscored CSUN 20-6 in the paint and its bench poured in 19 to the Matadors' six. Jenna Green scored 20 points in the final home game of her career to lead UCSB.
The Matadors, still looking to qualify for the Big West Tournament, host UC Davis and Pacific in a pair of critical games next week. The Matadors meet the Aggies on Mar. 4 at 7 p.m. and face Pacific on senior day, Mar. 7, at 4 p.m.
Before the game against the Tigers, the team will honor its three graduating seniors: Whitney Ligon, Tonicia Tademy and Ashley Blake. Also, Northridge will look to set a new attendance record at the contest as part of the Big West's "Pack the House" promotion.