The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Northridge falls to Fullerton 55-45

Cal State Northridge women’s basketball head coach Staci Schulz sensed that Cal State Fullerton’s Toni Thomas was going to have a chip on her shoulder Thursday night.

When Northridge played Fullerton at Titan Gym back on Feb. 2, Thomas scored only five points despite grabbing 10 rebounds. This time, Thomas made a difference in the scoring column as well, as the junior forward scored 26 points and grabbed 10 more rebounds as Fullerton defeated Northridge 55-45 at the Matadome.

“She probably had a bit of revenge out for us,” Schulz said of Thomas. “She came out to prove something.”

The loss drops CSUN to 1-23, 0-13 in conference play and moved the Matadors one dangerous step closer to being left out of the Big West Tournament. UC Irvine currently holds the final tournament spot with a 2-12 conference mark.

Thomas wasn’t the only Titan who had a big night against CSUN, as freshman guard Ashley Richie scored 12 points. The Matadors were paced by junior guard Whitney Ligon and senior center Katie Holloway. Ligon scored a team-high 16 points and Holloway scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

CSUN jumped out to an early 12-5 lead, but Fullerton answered with nine straight points to take the lead. A jumper by junior guard Tonicia Tademy tied the game, but the Titans scored six straight to take a 20-14 lead. Back-to-back baskets by senior center Katie Holloway cut the deficit to two, but a layup by sophomore guard Jasmine Scott, followed by a three-pointer by freshman guard Lindsey Grove gave Fullerton a 25-18 lead at halftime.

The Matadors started the second half on a 7-2 run, but Thomas killed the Matador run by scoring inside at 15:20, then buried a triple at 14:36 to push the Titan lead to 34-23, the first double-digit lead for Fullerton in the game. Northridge answered with six straight to get within five, but Thomas again played the role of run-stopper by burying a 3-pointer at 11:24. Northridge tried to stay with Fullerton, but the Titans didn’t buckle, and leading 44-40 with 3:40 left, ran off six straight to build its lead back to double digits at 50-40 with 2:31 left, and CSUN never threatened again after that, as Fullerton iced the game at the free-throw line.

“When we got it down to four points, that’s when we needed to keep going, but then it turned right back into eight, and that’s what hurt us,” Schulz said.

Fullerton out-rebounded Northridge 42-37, but the main difference was the number of free-throw attempts, as the Titans got to the free-throw line 17 times, as opposed to the Matadors six free-throw attempts.

“They (Fullerton) were scrapping and getting all the loose balls,” Ligon said.

CSUN closed out its home portion of the 2007-2008 season against the UC Irvine Anteaters on Saturday. night. Game results were not available at press time.

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