It was clearly a Friday night to forget for the CSUN women’s basketball team at Firestone Fieldhouse.
One week after poor shooting cost the Matadors their exhibition opener, the same problem came back to haunt them in their season opener, as they were routed by the host Pepperdine Waves.
“Everything happened faster than we anticipated and that caused a lot of problems” head coach Staci Schulz said.
Junior center Crystal Hahs led the Matadors with eight points and six rebounds. Forward Katie Holloway, guard Tonicia Tademy and guard Ashley Blake each scored six points.
Pepperdine’s Daphne Kennedy led the Waves with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Jessica Ross and Alisha Bryant scored 11 points apiece and Teiosha George grabbed 11 rebounds.
Pepperdine scored the first nine points of the game. Hahs scored the Matadors first basket at 17:23, but the Waves got hot, going on a 12-4 run to take a 21-6 lead. Pepperdine’s lead reached 21 on a Kennedy three at 5:20, its largest lead of the first half. CSUN made a bit of a run towards the end of the first half, getting the lead down to 32-19 with just under a minute left, but George converted a three-point play with 25 seconds left and a basket by Shannon Johnson raised the Pepperdine lead to 37-19 at halftime.
“I thought we were going to compete at that point,” Schulz said.
However, the second half was all Pepperdine, as they started the second half on a 12-2 run to lead 49-21. That was only the beginning for the Waves, as their lead reached 30 at 53-23 on a Ross score at 12:47. Pepperdine’s lead stayed above 30 for most of the second half.
The Matadors shot 25.9 percent from the field, including 1-13 from the three-point line. The only good news for CSUN was that it forced 24 Pepperdine turnovers and scored 15 points on those turnovers.
“We just have to keep working hard,” Hahs said.
Unfortunately, it didn’t get any better for the Matadors when they went down to San Diego to face the West Coast Conference favorite Toreros on Sunday. San Diego defeated CSUN 79-50 despite Hahs’ 12 points and 12 rebounds for her first double-double of her career. Sophomore Morgan Pryor came off the bench to score 21 points, including four three-pointers for a career-high.
The Matadors will try to rebound on Wednesday night, though it won’t be easy, as they host the UCLA Bruins at the Matadome. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.