Feb. 12, 2009
You are the leading scorer on the team at 12 points per game this season and in the last twelve you are averaging 16 a game. Do you sense that opposing teams key in on you trying to stop you from scoring?
Sometimes I sense that. The opposing team will often put a better defender on me. But when they key in on me, we run our offense through my teammates like Jasmine Erving. Our opponents like to double-team her, which can leave me and my other teammates wide open.
Last year you tied a school record by scoring 40 points at Pacific. Looking back, what are your memories of that game?
It just came to me on that night. At the time, I didn't know I was scoring that much. It just flowed and everything seemed to be going in. But we lost that game. It would have been much better if we won. I give credit to my teammates for that game because they got me open a lot and they gave me the ball in good spots.
Does the accomplishment have added success since no player has scored more in Northridge history in a single game?
I don't put too much emphasis on that. It was just one game. If we're not winning games, scoring so many points doesn't matter. I would rather score 0 points and win then scoring 50 points and lose.
You are seventh in school history with 71 3-point field goals. What goes into shooting well from behind the arc? How much preparation does it take?
Shooting well depends on confidence and also practice. If you're shooting well in practice and in a rhythm, then you will be confident during a game. I try to shoot as many shots as possible during practice. Shooting well in a game has a lot to do with my teammates. They set the screens for me and find me when I'm open for those shots behind the arc.
Coach Staci Schulz has said that "Whitney not only has a great outside shot, but her ability to penetrate makes her tough to defend." Is Coach Schulz right on her assessment of your game?
I would say so. Since I have been at CSUN, I have been trying to drive more to the basket instead of shooting so much from the outside. Sometimes there are games when my shot isn't working, so when that happens I will try to drive to basket and score that way.
Aside from your 3-point shooting and your terrific scoring ability, what other aspect of your game is often overlooked?
I do like to play defense. Our conference has many fast players making it difficult to play defense. I do have a lot to work on at this point, but I am improving on the defensive end. I'm trying to put many aspects of my game together.
The Matadors were projected to finish last in the Big West according to the league's coaches and media. What were your expectations at the beginning of the year?
When they had media day and made those predictions, we knew we were going to be put in last place. Our team is much better though than last year. Our chemistry this year is improved and is a huge part of our team. And I just know this year we are going to make it to the Big West Conference Tournament. We are an underdog, but we are determined to prove everyone wrong.
Your team has shown improvement from last year. What is different about your team this year in comparison to last year's team?
For the returnees, we just didn't want the same thing to happen this year. It was very rough last year only winning one game. Our team has a lot of heart and what happened last year has driven us to do better. The newcomers also had the same mind set; they didn't want us to have a repeat year. Our chemistry is a big part of improvement. Last year we were not on the same page; some of us were on page 10, while others were on page 11 or 12. This year, we are all on the same page.
Tonicia owns the court. She is our point guard. She gives the ball to everybody in good places and helps set me up for success. Ashley is my ace. If I'm not hitting my shots, she is most likely going to be hitting her shots and vice versa. We are the yin and yang and we try to help each other out as much as possible. Katrina has all of our backs. She does all the work nobody sees. She sets screens, rebounds, defends and does all the dirty work.
What can we expect from the Matadors the rest of the season?
Well, right now we're in a slump, but we are going to pick it again. I expect three more wins. We know what we have to do to be successful and to win games. I just know we are definitely going to be in the Big West Tournament-I know that for certain.
When you are away from the court, where are you focusing your attention?
Most definitely my attention is on school. Most of my teammates will say I'm the nerd of the team. I'm always studying and doing my homework.
Written by By Nicholas Bocanegra, Media Relations Intern