Northridge Travels for League Games at UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton

Jan. 11, 2011


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Matadors Look to Pick Up Second Road Win in Conference Season

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (1-14, 1-2 Big West Conference) heads back out on the road for its next two Big West games, facing UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. With more than a week since their last game, the Matadors should enter this weekend's contests with the Highlanders and Titans determined to post their second road win against a league opponent.

Their last time out, CSUN suffered a tough loss to Long Beach State, falling 64-50 at The Matadome on Jan. 5. Despite the outcome, two Matadors recorded double-doubles in the game. Jasmine Erving finished with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds against the 49ers, her fourth double-double of the season and 10th of her career. Violet Alama added a team-high 20 points and 11 boards, her second double-double of the season.

For the season, Northridge is shooting 36.2 percent from the field, 28.9 percent from 3-point range and 74.2 percent from the free throw line. The Matadors are averaging 35.4 rebounds, 13.1 assists and 18.9 turnovers per game. However, in their three Big West games, CSUN has shot 37.6 percent from the field and limited its opponents to a 28.4 percent clip from 3-point range.

Among Big West schools, CSUN leads the Big West with a team free throw percentage of .742 (201-of-271). The Matadors feature two of the conference's top shooters from the charity stripe in Janelle Nomura (.802, fifth) and Violet Alama (.790, sixth).

UC Riverside enters Thursday's contest with a 7-7 record overall and a 1-1 mark in Big West play. Cal State Fullerton is 5-11 overall and 1-3 in the league thus far. The two teams played each other on Jan. 8, with the Highlanders prevailing 73-61 behind 20 points from Rhaya Neabors. CSUN has lost its last seven to UC Riverside, yet has won the past four meetings with Cal State Fullerton. Before facing the Matadors on Jan. 15, the Titans will host Cal Poly on Jan. 13.

CSUN's Own Dr. J

Junior Jasmine Erving has seen her production reach new levels since the start of the Big West season. In the Matadors' loss to Long Beach State, Erving recorded her 10th career double-double by finishing with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Against Pacific, she scored 10 points and followed that up with a season-high 23 points at UC Davis two days later. In Big West games only, Erving ranks fifth in scoring (16.4 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (10.0 rpg). For the season, Erving leads the Matadors in scoring (12.8 ppg; 9th in Big West) and rebounding (6.7 rpg; 6th in Big West). She also ranks 10th in the league in field goal percentage (.411; 76-of-185) and fifth in blocked shots with 22. On the year, Erving has led the Matadors in scoring in five games and in rebounding seven times. Finally, she has had four double-doubles and scored at least 20 points on three occasions.

Roses are Blue, Violets are Matador Red

Sophomore Violet Alama recorded the third double-double of her career in the Matadors' loss to Long Beach State, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. For the season, she is averaging 12.1 ppg, the 12th-highest average in the Big West Conference. Alama also checks in at 11th in rebounding at 6.1 rpg, seventh in field goal percentage (.454; 64-of-141) and sixth in free throw percentage (.790; 49-of-62). Alama has led the Matadors in scoring, including a career-high 32 points against Eastern Michigan in her return home to Hawai'i, on five occasions and in rebounding three times.

CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian

Sophomore Janelle Nomura leads the Matadors in 3-pointers this season, having hit 12-of-33 attempts (.364). She is averaging a career-high 9.4 ppg, thanks in large part to her proficiency at the free throw line. Nomura currently owns a 80.2 percent (69-of-85) rate from the charity stripe on the season, the fifth-best average in the conference and 109th among all qualifying players at the Division-I level. She is also averaging 2.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds for the year. Nomura has led the Matadors in scoring three times, including a career-high 24 points at UTEP.

Hawaiian Punch

Senior Analee Viena-Lota scored a season-high 18 points in the Matadors' overtime win at Pacific. Against the Tigers, she finished 6-of-11 from the field, knocked down two 3-pointers and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Viena-Lota is now averaging 7.7 ppg and 5.5 rpg. With 470 career rebounds, Viena-Lota now stands 16 shy of tying Tracy Burns (486 career rebounds) for 10th in school history. For her career, Viena-Lota has scored in double-figures 28 times and posted a double-double seven times. She had a career-high 16 rebounds in the Matadors' loss to Oregon State, the third-most by an individual in the Big West this year.

Haley's Comet

Freshman Haley White has regained the conference lead in assists, having dished out 57 through 15 games for an average of 3.8 per contest. White had a season-high 10 assists to just one turnover in the Matadors' overtime win at Pacific. She also finds herself among the league leaders (eighth) with a team-high 26 steals, an average of 1.7 per game. For the season, White is also averaging 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds. She has reached double-figures twice this season, scoring a season-high 13 points at then-No. 20 Iowa State. White also has a 1.02 assist-to-turnover ratio, the seventh-best figure in the Big West Conference.

Uncontested Shots

Through 15 games, Northridge leads the Big West Conference and ranks 37th in Division-I with a team free throw percentage of .742 (201-of-271). Individually, Janelle Nomura ranks fifth in the Big West and 109th in Division-I with a season percentage of .802 (69-of-86). Violet Alama also ranks among the league leaders in the category, checking in at sixth in the Big West Conference and 134th in Division-I with a season percentage of .790 (49-of-62).

Scouting UC Riverside

The defending Big West Tournament champions, UC Riverside enters Thursday's game with a 7-7 overall record and 1-1 mark in the Big West Conference. The Highlanders snapped a five-game losing streak with a 73-61 victory at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 8, as Rhaya Neabors had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in the victory. Alyssa Morris leads UCR in scoring at 11.6 ppg and Tre'Shonti Nottingham is averaging 10.8 ppg. The Highlanders are shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 30.2 percent from 3-point range and 70.3 percent from the free throw line as a team. UC Riverside has won the last seven meetings in the all-time series between the schools. CSUN's last win against UCR came on Jan. 6, 2007, a 69-60 victory at The Matadome.

Scouting Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton enters the weekend with a 5-11 overall record and a 1-3 mark in the Big West. The Titans host Cal Poly on Jan. 13, two days before they meet the Matadors. Megan Richardson, a preseason All-Big West selection, leads Cal State Fullerton in scoring at 13.5 ppg. She is shooting 36.5 percent from the field and is also averaging 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists on th year. Lyndsey Grove is the other Titan to average in double-figures, scoring 12.9 points per game. She is a 47.9 percent shooter from the field and leads the team 22 3-pointers. As a team, Cal State Fullerton is shooting 40.2 percent from the field, 30.6 percent from 3-point range and 73.5 percent from the free throw line. Cal State Northridge has won the last four games between the two teams, although Cal State Fullerton owns a 26-10 advantage in the all-time standings.

Recapping Last Week

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team lost a tough 64-50 decision at home to Long Beach State in its only action last week. The Matadors shot 26.1 percent (18-of-69) from the field, their second-worst outing of the season. After trading baskets early, Long Beach State went on a 17-2 run midway through the first half to take a 26-12 lead, though CSUN fought back to trail only 30-22 at halftime. In the second frame, the Matadors closed to within nine points only to see the 49ers respond with a 9-1 run of their own. Northridge would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way as Long Beach State earned its first conference win of the year. Jasmine Erving posted her fourth double-double of the year, finishing with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Violet Alama went for 20 points and 11 rebounds, her third career double-double.