Dec. 18, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Matadors Return Home for Game against RedHawks With the pressure of finals off, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team (1-6) returns from a two-week hiatus for a non-conference game at The Matadome during the holiday break. Miami University comes calling to the San Fernando Valley in the waning days of the calendar year, presenting Northridge with an opportunity to double their season win total.
After dropping both contests in their road trip to Eastern Washington and Gonzaga, the Matadors hope to recapture their winning ways. Sophomores Jasmine Erving and Bridgette Conejo continue to lead Northridge in scoring through seven games, averaging 14.0 and 13.3 points, respectively. Conejo also leads the team in rebounds with 36 and steals with 14. In the post, Erving leads the team with a 46.5 field goal percentage and a 90 percent free throw rate.
As a team, CSUN enters Sunday's game shooting 35.6 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from 3-point range. The Matadors are averaging 33.4 rebounds per game and 11.7 assists per contest. The game with Miami University starts a four-game homestand for Northridge that includes a non-conference game with South Dakota and the opening weekend of Big West Conference play.
One area that has given the Matadors some prosperity has been the 3-point line. Northridge is shooting 34.6 from long range on the year, the third-best figure in the league, and both Analee Viena-Lota (46.2 - 4th) and Conejo (42.3 - 8th) rank among the Big West Conference's Top 10 in 3-point percentage.
The RedHawks enter Sunday's contest with a 1-8 record, having dropped a 84-75 loss to No. 20 Dayton in their last game. Only a freshman, Courtney Osborn leads MU in scoring at 20.7 ppg. Sunday's game will be the first meeting between the two schools in over 12 years, when the RedHawks took a 78-66 victory on Dec. 2, 1997.
Matadors Among Big West Leaders Through seven games, CSUN finds itself among the conference leaders in several categories. As a team, Northridge is third the Big West in free throw percentage (.746, 106-of-142) and in 3-point percentage (.346, 27-of-78). The Matadors are also second in the league with 27 blocked shots.
Individually, sophomore Jasmine Erving is tied for the conference lead in free throw percentage (.900, 18-of-20), seventh in scoring (14.0 ppg) and second in blocked shots (1.3 bpg). Sophomore Bridgette Conejo ranks 10th in rebounding (6.3 rpg), 11th in scoring (13.3 ppg) and eighth in 3-point percentage (.423, 11-of-26). She also checks in at second in the conference at 2.3 steals-per-game and 1.8 3-pointers-per-game and is averaging a team-high 31.5 minutes-per-game, the seventh-most in the league. Freshman Janelle Nomura checks in at eighth in assists (3.0 apg) and 10th in free throw percentage (.750, 30-of-40) Finally, junior Analee Viena-Lota is fourth in the conference with a .462 3-point percentage (6-of-13).
Scouting Miami University
The RedHawks of Miami University make their first-ever trip to The Matadome on Dec. 20 for a 4 p.m. non-conference game against the Matadors. MU has already played a challenging schedule, having faced Arizona, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Dayton in the young season.
Although only a freshman, Courtney Osborn leads the team in scoring at a robust 20.7 points-per-game. She is shooting 40.1 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from 3-point range and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line while also averaging 2.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Osborn also leads the RedHawks in steals, having recorded 26 in nine games, an average of nearly three a game. Ashleigh Brown and Kirsten Olowinski are the team's top rebounders, averaging 6.2 and 5.3 boards per game, respectively.
As a team, MU is shooting 37.8 percent from the field comapred to a 45.3 percent rate for its opponents. The RedHawks average only 32.4 rebounds while giving up 45 rebounds to their opponents. They have forced their opponents into an average of 22 turnovers per game and are averaging over 10 steals a game.
CSUN's Very Own Dr. J Sophomore Jasmine Erving continues to lead the Matadors in scoring, averaging 14.0 points-per-game, the seventh-highest average in the Big West Conference. She leads all league players in free throw percentage at .900, hitting 18-of-20 attempts so far this season. Erving also leads or is tied for the team lead in points (84) and blocks (8). She is also shooting a team-high 46.5 percent from the field (33-of-71).
CSUN's Flyin Hawaiian Freshman Janelle Nomura has turned in an impressive freshman season thus far through seven games. The rookie from Honolulu is averaging 9.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while playing an average of 27.9 minutes per game. She leads the Matadors with 40 free throw attempts and ranks in the Big West Top 10 in free throw percentage (.750, 10th) and assists (3.0, 8th). Finally, despite her 5-4 frame, Nomura leads CSUN with 15 offensive rebounds.
Conejo Brings More than Lucky Feet to CSUN Sophomore Bridgette Conejo has elevated her scoring prowess in her second season with the Matadors. Against Eastern Washington, Conejo scored a game-high 21 points and knocked down a career-high 10 free throws. She is now averaging 13.3 points, the 11th-most in the conference, and is shooting 42.3 percent from 3-point range, the eighth-best figure in the league. She is also averaging 2.3 steals to rank second in the league and 6.0 rebounds to rank 10th in the league.
Stay Off The Train Tracks Senior Katrina Thompson continues to be the heart and soul of the Matadors in 2009-10, displaying a multi-talented arsenal that has her averaging 6.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game through five contests. She is 20-of-27 from the free throw line for the season, a 74.1 percent success rate.
First Things First The Matadors' 62-61 victory at San Jose State was CSUN's first non-conference road win in November in their last 19 opportunities. In fact, the last November victory for the Matadors also came at the expense of the Spartans, a 66-63 decision on Nov. 17, 2005. CSUN is just 4-28 in November games since the start of the 2005-06 season.
Sayonara School Records Just five games into the season, the Matadors have already seen several noteworthy individual performances that have made a mark in the school's record book. Janelle Nomura recorded the third-most free throw completions and attempts when she finished 14-of-17 from the charity stripe against New Mexico State.
Two days later, Bridgette Conejo tied a school record with seven 3-pointer against Prairie View A&M. The sophomore 7-of-10 from the field, tying the previous mark which had been set on three previous occasions. The seven 3-pointers helped Conejo set a new career high with 26 points.