The CSUN women’s basketball team waited until the last minute to get things done at the Matadome Tuesday night.
With just 41 seconds left to play, the Matadors finally regained the lead in their game against The Master’s College. It was a lead CSUN lost one minute after scoring the first basket of the game and the Matadors then trailed for most of the night, at one time by as many as 12 points. Then, when the Master’s sophomore guard Annie Gillespie put up a three with 17 seconds left, it looked like it was over for CSUN. But, senior center Katie Holloway answered back with four quick points and sealed the win for CSUN 83-80.
“It wasn’t really me, it was pretty much team defense, team play all the way,” Holloway said. “It was pretty much a team effort the whole entire game, not only the last 30 seconds.”
The Matadors had four players in double-figures, led by junior guard Ashley Blake with 20 points. Holloway followed with 18 points, junior guard Whitney Ligon put up 17 and freshman forward Bianca Davies came off the bench and scored 13 points.
“Having four people in double-figures is huge,” said Staci Schulz, head coach. “One player coming off the bench as a freshman – Bianca Davies -I’m estatic about her performance.”
Schulz also praised the play of sophomore Katrina Thompson, who scored eight points, pulled down seven rebounds, and had eight assists.
“Probably the biggest spark and crowd winner is Katrina Thompson,” Schulz said. ” Her unselfish play led to some really great things.”
For The Master’s, Jen Ayers-Stamper came off the bench to score a team-high 18 points. Three other players scored in double-figures, including Gillespie with 15, forward Stacy Nanninga with 11 and guard Amanda Durocher with 10.
CSUN shot 43.8 percent (14-32) in the first half, but were 0-5 from three-point range and just 7-13 from the free-throw line. The Master’s shot 53.1 percent (17-32), 40 percent from three-point range and 71.4 percent at the free-throw line, giving them a 43-35 lead at halftime.
The Matadors picked up their shooting in the second half, improving to 48.5 percent (16-33) overall, 42.9 percent (3-7) for three-point shooting and 81.3 percent (13-16) for free throws.
CSUN made its way back into the game with a couple of key three-point shots from Ligon late in the second half. Blake and Thompson also had some key plays in the final minute and a layup by Thompson put CSUN ahead by two points with 41 seconds to go.
As Schulz yelled “No three” the Master’s Gillespie stepped behind the arc and put one through the basket to give her team a one point lead.
After a Matador timeout, Hahs passed the ball in to Holloway who scored on a layup and drew the foul. Holloway made both the free throws to give CSUN the 83-80 win.
Blake said the win was all about heart.
“We battled back,” Blake said. “We were down the whole game and usually we’d hang our heads…but then this game we kept coming back and we kept fighting – it was all about heart. ”
With the last exhibition game behind them Schulz said the team is ready for the seaon to start.
“We have a challenging pre-conference schedule, so we just gotta keep our wits about us and make sure we take out of every one of those games something that makes us better for the next one,” Schulz said.
The Matadors open their season on the road Friday at 7 p.m. in Malibu against the Pepperdine Waves. They head south on Sunday for a game against University of San Diego at 2 p.m.