The Matadors took a beating Friday night at the Matadome, losing to the Rice Owls 81-55.
CSUN didn’t take care of the ball, turning it over 27 times and giving the Owls 43 points, more than half their total, from the Matadors’ turnovers.
“They didn’t beat us – we beat ourselves,” said sophomore forward Morgan Pryor, who had a team-high 13 points for the Matadors..
Pryor, who shot 4-7 from three-point range said poor decision-making led to the turnovers.
“We just gotta work on when we get down to be able to come back, like when they make a run on us,” Pryor said. “But, we’ll get there.”
Senior center Katie Holloway scored her fourth career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“It didn’t come tonight for us,” Holloway said. “We couldn’t hold on to it.”
Junior forward Crystal Hahs grabbed 10 rebounds and junior guard Whitney Ligon scored 10 points off the bench.
For the Owls, senior center Valeriya Berezhynska scored a double-double game-high 19 points and 16 rebounds. Junior guard Maudess Fulton scored 14, followed by sophomore guard Tara Watts with 13 and senior guard Kadie Riverin with 11 points.
The Matadors shot poorly from the free-throw line, shooting just 50 percent (13-24) while the Owls shot 77.4% (24-31). From the floor, the Matadors were shooting 33.9% compared to 36.6 percent by Rice. CSUN did a better job beyond the arc, shooting 42.9% (6-14).
“It doesn’t really matter what your shooting percentage is if you don’t have the ball on offense,” Holloway said. “We could only get on offense so many times because of all the turnovers,” CSUN jumped out to an early lead on a three-pointer by Pryor and extended that lead on an 8-0 run. The Matadors were able to hold onto the lead for most of the first half, even though Rice kept creeping back into it. But, with 8:29 left in the first half, Rice took its first lead of the game and never gave it up. The Matadors cooled on their shooting while the Owls heated up, heading into the locker room at halftime with a 12-point lead and a score of 43-31.
Scoring in the second half was started like the game, on a three by Pryor. CSUN cut the Owls lead to seven, but couldn’t get any closer. In fact, the Matadors turned the ball over six times before getting another basket and by that time Rice had increased their lead to 23 points. Northridge put a few more points on the board, but couldn’t come back, losing the game 81-55.
With the loss the Matadors fall to 0-4, while Rice improves to 4-0.
The Matadors will travel to Oregon this weekend to play Portland State at 7:05 on Friday and the University of Portland on Sunday at 2:00.