March 2, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Matadors Must Sweep Aggies, Tigers to Earn Berth in Big West Tournament
With just two games remaining on the schedule, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (4-22, 2-12 BWC) knows precisely what it must do to earn a berth in the Big West Tournament: defeat both UC Davis and Pacific on the road this weekend. Although seemingly a tall task, the Matadors remain quietly confident that they can accomplish the feat and pack their bags for Anaheim.
In action last week, Northridge lost its final two regular season home games of the year, falling to UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. Against the Gauchos, Katrina Thompson scored a career-high 19 points and two days later, Amanda Thomson set a new career best with 13 points against the Anteaters. Still, CSUN was hoping for at least one final home victory, and instead saw their home record stand at 2-13 for the year.
Now Northridge must regroup quickly for the fina roadtrip of the season. First up is a date with second-place UC Davis. The Aggies, whom CSUN defeated in last season's Big West Tournament, are 10-4 in the Big West Conference. They defeated CSUN in Northridge, 82-56, on Jan. 4.
The second game of the weekend is an equally pivotal contest for the Matadors, a saturday afternoon meeting with Pacific. The Tigers upset Long Beach State ast week to take a one-game lead over the Matadors in the Big Wes Standings and are 3-11 in league play.
CSUN would lose the tiebreaker between the two schools should they finish with the same record due to Pacific's victory over UC Davis earlier in the season. The Tigers and Matadors went to overtime in their earlier meeting this season, with the Tigers prevailing 76-70.
The Matadors have not win in Davis since the 2004-05 season, a 76-68 overtime victory on Feb. 26. CSUN's last victory in Stockton was during the 2006-07 campaign, a 72-51 decision on Feb. 24.
The Matadors enter Wednesday's game ranked 51st in the nation in 3-point percentage at 35.2 percent. Katrina Thompson has shot 41.9 percent from long range, having hit 36-of-86 attempts. That mark ranks among the top percentages in school history for a single year and has vaulted Thompson into the career percentage ranks in school history. In league action, Thompson is 27-of-63 (.429).
Stay Off the Train Tracks
With just two regular season games remaining in her collegiate career, senior Katrina Thompson hopes to lead the Matadors to the Big West Tournament. She scored a career-high 19 points in the Matadors' loss to UC Santa Barbara, the 20th double-figure scoring game of her career. For the season, she is averaging a career-high 9.4 points, a number that swells to 10.7 points in league games. Thompson also ranks among the league's top 10 in rebounding (5.8 rpg, 9th), steals (1.9 spg, 6th) and assists (3.2 apg, 7th).
CSUN's Own Dr. J
Sophomore Jasmine Erving leads the Matadors in scoring, averaging 13.5 points to rank fifth among all Big West players. She set a new career high with 31 points at Cal Poly and earned Big West Player of the Week honors on Feb. 22 following that performance. She also leads the team in field goal percentage at .446 and with 30 blocks. She ranks among the Big West Top 10 in field goal percentage, blocks per game and points per game.
Simmons Toast Crunch
Junior Anna Simmons has started the past five games for Northridge, setting numerous season highs in the process. Against Cal Poly, she knocked down two 3-pointer and dished out three assists. At Cal State Fullerton, Simmons scored a season-high eight points, grabbed a season-high six rebounds and knocked down a season-high five free throws. At Arizona, Simmons played 36 minutes and tied a season high with three assists. For the year, she is averaging 1.7 points and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 38.1 percent from 3-point range (8-of-21).
CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian
Freshman Janelle Nomura has had a pretty impactful season in her first year with the Matadors. She enters the final weekend averaging 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Nomura also leads the team in trips to the charity stripe, having attempted 108 free throws while connecting on a team-high 79 free throws. She led CSUN with 15 points against UC Irvine, her eighth double-figure game of the season.
Freshman Amanda Thomson set a new season high with her 13 points against UC Irvine. In that game, she also knocked down a season-high five free throws to raise her season average from the charity stripe to 70.8 percent (17-of-24). In her first season at CSUN, she is averaging 4.3 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Northridge vs. UC Davis
UC Davis enters Thursday's game with an 11-10 all-time record against Cal State Northridge. The Aggies have won seven of the past nine meetings between the two teams by an average of over 14 points. Northridge's last victory in the series came in the 2009 Big West Tournament, a 64-56 decision in the No. 5-No. 8 contest.
Northridge vs. Pacific
Pacific enters Saturday's game with a 13-8 all-time record against Cal State Northridge. The Matadors are 2-8 all time in games played in Stockton. Their last victory at Pacific came on Feb. 24, 2007, a 72-51 CSUN victory. The other Northridge victory at Pacific came in the 2004-05 season, a 63-57 decision on Feb. 24, 2005.