January 23, 2009

Northridge Meets UC Irvine in Big West Conference Showdown

Jan. 23, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Northridge Faces Pivotal League Game with Anteaters

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (5-13, 2-3 BWC) heads back to Orange County Saturday for a meeting with UC Irvine at the Bren Events Center. Despite picking up their first road win of the season Wednesday at Fullerton, the Matadors know that Saturday's game represents another compelling opportunity.

In snapping a 10-game road losing streak against conference rivals, Northridge moved to 2-3 in the Big West Conference and into a tie for sixth place. One of the Matadors' many goals entering the season was to make an appearance in Anaheim at the Big West Championships and a win over the Anteaters would go along way to realizing that goal.

Scouting UC Irvine

Northridge faces UC Irvine Saturday night at the Bren Events Center. The Anteaters are 3-15 record and an 0-5 record in Big West Conference action. UCI has lost 13-straight games, including a 61-37 decision at Pacific and a 68-56 loss at UC Davis last weekend.

Rebecca Maessen and Mary Has are averaging 12.8 and 12.1 points per game, respectively, for the season. However, Has missed both games in Northern California last weekend. Jovana Petrovic scored a team-high 20 points against the Aggies. The Anteaters shoot 34.4 percent from the field and averaging 34.1 rebounds per game.

Molly Goodenbour is in her first season as the head coach at UC Irvine. Northridge owns a 17-15 advantage in the all-time series between the schools, though UC Irvine won both contests last season, including a 65-61 victory in Northridge on Mar. 1.

Tademy among National and Conference Leaders

Senior Tonicia Tademy leads the Big West with an average of 6.2 assists-per-game after posting her second double-figure assist game of the season with 10 Wednesday against Fullerton. She also tied a career-high with 11 helpers against Columbia. That performance is tied for the 15th-most in a single game in all of Division I and she ranks seventh in the nation at 6.2 apg.

Li-Gon Me When you're not strong

Senior Whitney Ligon continues to lead the Matadors in scoring at 12.8 ppg, which ranks seventh in the Big West Conference.. She scored a season-high 28 points at Fullerton Wednesday and against Long Beach State, she had 23 points. Ligon is now tied with teammate Ashley Blake for sixth in school history with 69 career treys and has shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) from 3-point range in the five league games.. She is also the team's top free throw shooter, having connected on 62-of-78 attempts (.795), which ranks sixth in the Big West Conference. In CSUN's five league games, she is averaging 19.2 ppg to lead the team.

Matadors Among Top Turnarounds in Country

Having already won five games in the 2008-09 season, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team is now tied for fourth in Division I with a four-game improvement from last year. The Matadors are tied with Kent State, Alabama, Central Michigan and Eastern Washington, a team they defeated 54-47.

Dishing it out for T-Time

One season removed from a conference-best 4.7 assists-per-game, senior Tonicia Tademy has improved her distributing skills, averaging 6.1 apg to again lead the league. In addition to her 111 assists, she has raised her shooting percentage by over 100 points from the field this season (.244 to .361) and set a new career high with 24 points and 10 field goals against UC Riverside For the season, Tademy is averaging a career-high 7.3 ppg.

Stay off the Train Tracks

Junior Katrina Thompson picked up her second career double-double in as many games Wednesday, finishing with 10 points and 15 rebounds. It was the second-straight game that Thompson set a career high in rebounds. Against LBSU, Thompson had a career-high 15 points and 14 rebounds. She is now averaging career highs in minutes (25.4), points (5.8) and rebounds (6.1) per game. She ranks seventh in the league in rebounding and is tied for fourth in steals (1.9).

CSUN's Very Own Dr. J

Freshman Jasmine Erving has quickly made an impact in the Big West Conference. In the win at Fullerton, she finished with 24 points and added a team-high 25 points and 11 rebounds for her second career double-double against Long Beach State. She currently is averaging 10.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and leads the team with 23 blocks and with a .486 field goal percentage (72-of-148). The rookie now ranks third in the Big West in field goal percentage and third in blocks.

Conejo Brings More than Lucky Feet to Matadors

Freshman Bridgette Conejo has played an important role for Northridge in during her rookie season. She has appeared in 17 games, making three starts and averaging 5.1 points. She had 11 points off the bench in the victory at Fullerton and also had a season-high three assists and two 3-pointers.

Hawaiian Punch

Sophomore Analee Viena-Lota (Honolulu, HI) regained a role in the starting line-up in Northridge's game against Long Beach State. She responded with six points, four rebounds and two steals in 35 minutes of action. She is averaging 6.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. She posted her first career double-double at Cal State Fullerton last season, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds on Feb. 2, 2008.

She's Blake!

Senior Ashley Blake is now tied for sixth in school history with teammate Whitney Ligon with 69 career 3-pointers. Blake scored nine crucial points, including two 3-pointers, off the bench at Fullerton. She leads also leads the team with 26 treys on the season and is averaging a 7.7 points, a new career high, and 2.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game.

Matadors Sign Four Recruits to Begin Play in 2009-10 Season

Head Coach Staci Schulz announced on Nov. 26 that the Matadors had signed four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent. Violet Alama (Kalani HS/Honolulu, Hawai'i), Felicia Walker (McClymonds HS/Oakland, Calif.), Amanda Thomson (Auburn Riverside HS/Auburn Riverside, Wash.) and Janelle Nomura (Punahou HS/Honolulu, Hawai'i) will all play their college basketball at Cal State Northridge beginning in the 2009-10 season.

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