Double-doubles by senior Katie Holloway and freshman Analee Viena-Lota were not enough to beat Cal State Fullerton on Saturday and the Matadors lost 59-55 at Titan Gym.
Holloway lead the CSUN offense with 18 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth career double-double. Viena-Lota scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for her second double-double in as many games.
“Focus was a big thing,” said head coach Staci Schulz. “We played better.”
The Matadors shot 33.3 percent from the field (19-for-57) and 83.3 percent from the free throw line.
“They came to play,” said Schulz. “It was evident in their free throw percentage.
Defensively, twin towers Holloway and junior Crystal Hahs were effective in shutting down Fullerton’s Toni Thomas, who was last week’s Big West Player of the Week, averaging 18.3 points per game. Thomas scored just five points in the game (2-for-11).
“Crystal and Katie got into her head, blocking her shots,” said Schulz. “I give them credit.”
Holloway and Hahs blocked three shots each in the game. Hahs holds the all-time record for blocked shots and Holloway has now moved into second place with 98 for her career.
Junior Whitney Ligon chipped in nine points and was perfect (5-for-5) from the free throw line. Junior guard Tonicia Tademy had four steals and three assists.
For the Titans, Ashley Richie scored a game-high 20 points while Daviyon Weathersby had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Lyndsey Grove also scored 10 points.
The Matadors were ahead for most of the game and went into halftime leading 26-18. It was their first halftime lead this season.
“We came out in the second, still did pretty well, but had a couple quick turnovers to close the gap,” Schulz said. “We took the early, not so good shot, as opposed to waiting for the better shot.”
Then, the Matadors went cold for about seven minutes, while the Titans forced some turnovers and hit a huge three that put them ahead.
“We got sloppy with the ball,” Schulz said. “When they hit that three to take the lead, that was a back-breaker.”
The Matadors return home to start the second half of conference play against Pacific on Thursday at 7 p.m.