While most of CSUN’s students enjoyed a nice long winter vacation, the women’s basketball team just couldn’t get a break.
The Matadors are still fighting for their first win of the season and are now 0-15 overall and 0-5 in Big West play after losing their most recent game 67-48 to UC Riverside (5-9, 3-0 Big West) last Wednesday at the Matadome.
“It’s a confidence issue at this point,” said head coach Staci Schulz.
Schulz said the team has plenty of talent, as shown during the first half of the game when CSUN trailed by just three points at 32-29 going into the break.
“Shots go down, we execute plays and when its crunch time, they lose their confidence,” Schulz said.
After keeping the game close in the first half, Riverside’s defense held the Matadors to just 19 points in the second half, while the Highlanders scored 29, winning the game.
Overall, CSUN shot just 25.5 percent for the game, compared to 40 percent by Riverside. The Matadors also didn’t do as well at the free-throw line, making just 63 percent at the stripe while the Highlanders made 81.1 percent. Riverside also out-rebounded CSUN, 46 to 31.
“We stop executing,” Schulz said.” We let a little bit of pressure defense take away what we can do.”
Neither team did very well at three-point shooting, but CSUN shot 16.7 percent from beyond the arc, while Riverside shot just 11.1 percent. The Matadors also committed fewer turnovers, 20, compared to 26 by Riverside.
Senior center Katie Holloway was the leading scorer for the Matadors with 14 points, while junior forward Crystal Hahs scored 12. Holloway and sophomore guard Shanice Howard pulled down seven rebounds each.
Riverside had four players in double-figures, led by guard Seyram Gbewonyo with 19 points. Forward Roney Friend and Brittany Waddell each chipped in 13 points and center Tainoisouti Lott had 10 points. Friend also led the team in rebounds with 11, giving her a double-double.
Hahs had five blocks in the game, tying her with Denise Sutton at 96 for the all-time record. Holloway also had a block, putting her in fourth place on the all-time list with 92.
Hahs said that blocking shots is her favorite part of the game and although losing is disappointing, she remains optimistic about the team.
“As much as our record doesn’t show it, we’re really improving, especially in conference,” Hahs said.
Schulz said that getting that one win will make a big difference for the team.
“Now we’re just trying to fight to get that one win.” Schulz said. “I think if we get a win, things will be completely different.”
The team continues to work hard toward that win.
“My personality is never to dwell on the past, to always look towards the future and work hard every single day,” Hahs said. “That’s what I’m trying to do, that’s what everyone’s trying to do. Everyone’s just trying to stay positive and come every day to get that win.”