March 10, 2009

No. 8 CSUN Opens Big West Tournament with No. 5 UC Davis Wednesday in Anaheim

March 10, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Northridge Returns to Big West Tournament

The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team makes it return to the Big West Tournament Wednesday, facing UC Irvine in the opening game of the tournament at noon. At the start of the year, Northridge vowed to make it to the Anaheim Convention Center, and with six more wins than last season, they have accomplished that goal and simply have nothing to lose once the games commence.

First up is a meeting with UC Davis, who will meet the Matadors for the second time in a week. The Aggies defeated CSUN, 53-50, on Mar. 4, when the Matadors had two looks at the buzzer to tie the game and send it into overtime. Katrina Thompson had seven points in limited minutes due to an injury, but returned in the Matadors' 70-61 win against Pacific to grab a game-high 10 rebounds.

Matadors Among Top Turnarounds in Country

Having now won six games in the 2008-09 season, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team is now tied for 26th in Division I for best turnarounds. The Matadors are tied with 16 other schools for the distinction. Central Conn. State has increased its wins from 4 last year to 18 this year to lead the nation.

Tademy Among National and Conference Leaders

Senior Tonicia Tademy has had quite a successful season, setting a school record with her 191 assists. Her average of 6.6 assists per game ranks first and her 1.49 assist-to-turnover is second in the Big West Conference and rank eighth and 70th in the nation, respectively. She is also averaging a career-high 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this season. She has reached double-figures in assists five times this season and recorded her first two career double-doubles this season: 11 points, 11 assists vs. Columbia (12/28/08) and 10 rebounds, 10 assists vs. Fullerton (2/21/08). For her efforts, she received All-Big West Honorable Mention, the league announced Monday.

Li-Gon Me When You're Not Strong

Senior Whitney Ligon continues to lead the Matadors in scoring at 10.9 ppg. Ligon has hit 35 3-pointers this season, giving her 80 since arriving at Northridge before last season. She is also one of the team's top free throw shooter, hitting 87-of-115 attempts on the season (.757).

Stay off the Train Tracks

Junior Katrina Thompson is averaging a career-high 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds, numbers that improve to 9.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in Big West Conference play. She had her first four career double-doubles over a four-game stretch in league play and also has a team-high 56 steals.

CSUN's Very Own Dr. J

Freshman Jasmine Erving earned a spot on the All-Big West Freshman Team after averaging 8.9 points and 5.6 rebounds, figures that jumped to 9.2 and 5.9 in league play. She is shooting a team-high .447 from the field and also leads the team with 32 blocked shots.

Blake's Bombs Boast Big Bangs

With only a handful of games left in her career, senior Ashley Blake continues to be the Matadors' most consistent long-range threat. She leads the team with a career-high 53 3-pointers, the fourth-most in school history. She is also averaging a career-high 8.7 points and ranks fifth in school history with 96 career 3-pointers.

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

Head Coach Staci Schulz has announced 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.

Scouting UC Davis

The Matadors and Aggies meet for the second time in a week to open the Big West Tournament in a showdown at high noon on Wednesday. The Aggies narrowly escaped the Matadome on Mar. 4 with a 53-50 victory. However, the Matadors had a pair of open looks to tie the game at the end of regulation.

Paige Minutn led UC Davis in scoring and rebounding during the regular season, averaging 13.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game en route to a spot All-Big West First Team. Against CSUN this season, she averaged 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. Kasey Riecks and Lauren Juric are a pair of All-Big West Freshmen, averaging 8.8 and 8.5 points, respectively. Genevieve Costello is the team's point guard, having finished the year with 63 assists and 102 turnovers.

As a team, UCD shot 41.8 percent from the field and held opponents to a 38.2 percent rate for the season. The Aggies finished last in among all the league in team rebounding, averaging only 32.2 rebounds per game. They also committed 225 more turnovers then assists for the season. UCD is a good free throw shooting team, shooting 73.3 percent as a team from the charity stripe.

Sandy Simpson is in his 11th season as the head coach of the Aggies. They have won the past five meetings with the Matadors and own a 10-9 record in the all-time series between the schools.