CSUN women’s basketball earns huge victory to jump to eighth place

The Matadors women’s basketball team celebrates on the bench as their teammate makes a 3-pointer against CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

Edward Segal, Sports Editor

Deadlocked with three other teams for last place in the Big West Conference, the Matadors came into their match against CSU Bakersfield needing a win to break the tie. The 69-60 victory over the Roadrunners broke a nine-game losing streak for the Matadors, moving them into eighth in the standings, just a game behind CSU Fullerton.

All three teams behind the Matadors lost their last game to move to 3-10 in the conference, while CSUN’s victory elevated them to 4-9.

In a game that was balanced in most statistical categories, CSUN’s offensive efficiency made all the difference. The Matadors shot 44.7% from the field and made seven of their 10 3-pointers. Bakersfield, on the other hand, made five out of 19 from beyond the arc and shot 37% from the field.

Tess Amundsen led the Matadors with 20 points and buried all five of her triples, while Kayanna Spriggs scored 11 and Anaiyah Tu’ua chipped in 10 of her own. Jordyn Jackson, second on the team in point-per-game, struggled to find good looks but contributed all around, finishing with four points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals for the Matadors.

Amundsen impacted the game from the jump. The forward from Fresno knocked down two triples in the first two minutes to give the Matadors the 7-0 lead.

The Matadors stayed ahead until a couple paint buckets and a three allowed the Roadrunners to mount a 9-0 run at the end of the first quarter and take the 21-20 lead in the second.

CSUN responded with a fast break layup a minute later. They built their lead back up to six with just under three minutes left in the second quarter, but went on a 10-0 run behind back-to-back Amundsen triples to end the half up 16.

The Matadors surged to a 20-point lead to start the third quarter and never looked back.

But the result was not all positive for the Matadors. With about two minutes left in the game, Amundsen went up for a layup and made it through a foul, but twisted her ankle when she came back down. She needed crutches to get off the court. The severity of her injury is unknown.

With seven games left to play in the regular season, Bakersfield, Cal Poly and UC Riverside remain deadlocked behind the Matadors. Each has a game remaining against CSUN, which will be critical in determining the seeding for the Big West playoffs.

The Matadors will travel to Cal Poly to kick off the final stretch of the season Saturday at 2 p.m. Seventh-seeded Fullerton takes on fifth-seeded Hawaii later that day in a game that could make or break CSUN’s hopes of moving up in the standings.