Matadors losing traction, falters against UC Riverside

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Matadors losing traction, falters against UC Riverside

The CSUN women's basketball has now lost three straight games, all by double figures.

The CSUN women's basketball has now lost three straight games, all by double figures.

The CSUN women's basketball has now lost three straight games, all by double figures.

The CSUN women's basketball has now lost three straight games, all by double figures.

David Yapkowitz

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The CSUN women’s basketball team lost their second consecutive game, 83-76 on the road against the UC Riverside Highlanders on Saturday afternoon.

The loss drops the Matadors to 5-18, 3-6 in Big West Conference play.

For the Highlanders, it was their eighth straight victory improving them to 8-0 in conference play.

Despite the loss, freshman center Channon Fluker continued her string of dominant performances as she recorded her sixth consecutive double double. She finished with 20 points on 53.3 percent shooting and 17 rebounds. Sophomore guard Katelin King added 17 points on 62.5 percent shooting with all of her shots coming from the three point line.

The Highlanders were led by sophomore guard Michelle Curry who scored 24 points on 81.8 percent shooting and dished out four assists. Senior guard Brittany Crain chipped in with 21 points on 50 percent shooting and six rebounds.

The Matadors got off to a solid start offensively, shooting 48.4 percent from the field and trailing only by four points at the half.

Their defense however was not as strong. They allowed the Highlanders to shoot 51.5 percent from the field in the first half. Their defensive woes continued in the second half as the Highlanders built a 14 point lead at one point in the third quarter and the game began to slip away.

The Matadors tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead down to 73-70 off a three point shot by King with two minutes remaining, but would get no closer than that.

The Highlanders were able to convert on 10 consecutive free throws that effectively sealed the game.

Turnovers continued to be an issue for the Matadors. They gave up the ball 24 times compared to only 12 for the Highlanders. The Highlanders were able to convert the Matadors turnovers into 26 points.

And despite outrebounding the Highlanders, 38-30, the Matadors were outscored 34-22 in the paint.

The Matadors will return home for their next match on Saturday Feb. 13 against the UC Irvine Anteaters. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.