January 14, 2008

CSUN to Battle UC Riverside in Wednesday Night Action


CSUN to Battle UC Riverside in Wednesday Night Action
This Week's Matador Women's Basketball Release



NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- A return to The Matadome welcomes the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (0-14, 0-4 BWC) as it hosts defending Big West champ UC Riverside (4-9, 2-0 BWC) in Big West Conference action. Junior Whitney Ligon, the team's top scorer at 14.2 points per game, dropped a conference-best 40 in her last outing and is averaging 19.8 ppg over her last five contests.

Against Pacific on Jan. 12, Ligon finished 12-of-20 from the field, 6-of-10 from 3-point range and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. She accounted for 54 percent of the Matadors' loss to the Tigers, 79-73. Ligon has scored in double figures in 11 of her past 12 games and is shooting 41 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range for the season.

In conference play, Ligon's numbers are even more impressive, increasing to 20 ppg on 43 percent shooting from both the field and beyond the 3-point arc. Ligon became the first Matador since Edniesha Curry over nine years ago to reach 40 points, which also stands as the school record. The performance ranks fifth this season among all of NCAA Division I women's basketball for points in an single game.

Senior Katie Holloway continues to perform valiantly in her swan song, averaging career highs in points (11.3), rebounds (7.5) minutes per game (27.5). Against Pacific, Holloway finished with 10 rebounds and a season-high three steals. She also added 13 points and five rebounds against UC Davis and is shooting 48 percent from the field for the season.

Like Ligon, Holloway's numbers take a jump in league play. She has shot 57 percent from the field and averaged 14.2 ppg in Northridge's four Big West contests.

Holloway's fellow frontline mate, junior Crystal Hahs remains the conference leader in blocks after swatting five Tiger attempts on Jan. 10. She now has 31 blocks on the season, an average of 2.2 per game.

Hahs has also performed well on offense, averaging a career-high 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Against Pacific, Hahs recorded her sixth career double-figure rebounding game and her 17 points against UC Davis led the team. She is shooting 38 percent from the field.

Freshman Analee Viena-Lota has also turned up her performance since the start of Big West play, averaging 5.5 rebounds in the Matadors' four games.

As a team, the Matadors are shooting 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range. Their opponents are hitting at a 44 percent clip from the field and 39 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Northridge did out-rebound both opponents on its most recent road trip, the first time this season that the Matadors have won the battle on the glass. CSUN now averaged 36.6 rebounds per game compared to 46.6 for its opponents.

UC Riverside (4-9, 2-0 BWC) enters Wednesday's contest having picked up league victories over UC Davis, 68-57, and over Pacific 83-61.

Seyram Gbewonyo leads the Highlanders in points, averaging 12.7 in their 13 contests. In the two conference games, Gbewonyo has averaged 16.5 ppg to go with 3.5 rpg.

Tainoisouti Lott has also stepped up her performance for UC Riverside in league play, averaging 17.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg. For the season, Lott is averaging 9.6 ppg and is shooting 48.1 percent from the field.

UC Riverside is averaging 62.2 points per game on 39 percent shooting from the field. On defense, the Highlanders surrender 65.4 points on 40.9 percent shooting from the field.

In the all-time series between the schools, Northridge owns a 22-18 record. Last season, the schools split the series, with CSUN defending its home court, 69-60, and falling at Riverside, 81-70.