Dec. 31, 2010
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (1-12, 1-0 Big West) defeated Pacific 74-68 in overtime Friday afternoon in both team's Big West Conference season opener. Analee Viena-Lota led the Matadors with a season-high 18 points as head coach Jason Flowers picked up his first career victory.
For the third-straight game in their series, the Matadors and Tigers needed overtime to decide things. The two teams entered the five-minute frame tied at 59-59 and CSUN quickly scored the first three points of the frame. Pacific fought back, tying the game at 62-62 before Northridge closed the game on a 12-6 run.
"This win is a testament to our team never giving up and battling through some tough moments," Flowers said. "We have worked extremely hard all season and to win on the road is a great feeling."
Things certainly got tense late in the second half. After controlling play for most of the game and leading by as many as 13 in the second half, Northridge saw Pacific battle back and eventually take a two-point lead with 1:40 left to play. However, Northridge cleaned up a missed field goal with a lay-up and the teams went into the extra frame.
In all, CSUN shot a season-high 48.3 percent (29-of-60) from the field and four Matadors finished in double-figures. Viena-Lota was 6-of-11 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. She added five rebounds and two steals in 35 minutes of action.
Violet Alama came off the bench to score 17 points and grab six rebounds. She also had three assists, a block and was also a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line for the game. Bridgette Conejo also came off the bench to score in double-figures, matching her season high with 12 points. She knocked down two 3-pointers and added five rebounds and three steals.
Jasmine Erving was the final Matador to finish in double-figures, scoring 10 points and leading CSUN with seven rebounds. Despite some early foul trouble, she also had two blocks and a steal in 21 minutes of action.
Freshman Haley White dished out a season-high 10 assists in the game and added four points and five rebounds for CSUN before fouling out. Janelle Nomura added nine points, three steals and two assists while playing 39 minutes of action. Janet Alvarado made the first start of her collegiate career for Northridge, finishing with two points and three rebounds.
Northridge took a 35-28 lead into halftime, the first time this season that they led after the initial 20 minutes. CSUN shot a blistering 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field and 50 percent (5-of-10) from 3-point range. Alama led the Matadors with 11 points while Viena-Lota and Conejo each added eight.
Christina Thompson led Pacific with 20 points off the bench. Jennifer Fath added 13 points for the Tigers before fouling out.
"What I liked about the game today was that we never gave up," Flowers added. "We are making progress and I am excited to see how this win propels us for the rest of the season."
Northridge will ring in 2011 with a league road contest at UC Davis. The Matadors and Aggies will meet on Sunday, Jan. 2 at 2 p.m. Following that game, CSUN will return home to The Matadome for the first time since Dec. 8 when Long Beach State comes calling for a 7 p.m. game on Jan. 5.