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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CSUN Women’s Basketball season ends with struggles

Guard Erica Adams, 20, takes the ball up to shoot and gets blocked by Cal State Bakersfield forward Julia Riley, 20, on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

The Matadors concluded their season with a reasonable effort, but more was needed to secure a spot in the postseason conference tournament for the third consecutive year. Through the uphill battle, CSUN showed determination all season long and played with heart but was far from making the playoffs.

Despite the Matadors’ season-long struggles, former head coach Carlene Mitchell was proud of her team’s focus through their rollercoaster ride of a season.

“I was happy to see the players compete and stay locked in despite our record,” Mitchell said. “Many teams would have given up on the season, but I give a lot of credit to our players and coaching staff for staying encouraged.”

CSUN kicked off its season on an extremely high note, triumphing over Utah State and Seattle University. At the end of the season, a week after the Matadors narrowly lost their 27th game in the fourth quarter against Hawaii, the program parted ways with Carlene Mitchell. Under the leadership of coach Mitchell, the Matadors finished with a 19-70 record in her three seasons coaching the team.

The women’s basketball team finished its season with an overall record of 3-27, placing last in the Big West. In the conference, they finished 1-19. The Matador squad was led by junior Kayanna Spriggs, who averaged 9.5 points per game and 7.7 rebounds and was named in the 2023-24 Academic All-District Honors from the College Sports Communicators for the second straight season. First-year guard Kaitlyn Elsholz and junior Erica Adams would contribute as guards in the backcourt, averaging just under nine points per game. Unfortunately for CSUN, Elsholz will enter the transfer portal and will decide where she will go to continue her basketball career.

The Matadors’ most significant issue was turnovers. They averaged 17.9 per game and had 538 on the season, leading the conference by a wide margin in turning the ball over. The opposing teams in the conference took advantage of that by pressing them in the backcourt to force turnovers. Along with giving the ball away, the Matadors were the worst three-point shooting team in the conference, shooting an abysmal 25 percent from beyond the arc while converting on 134 three-pointers made out of 524 shots.

But the story of the season was CSUN’s struggle to close out games. During the Matadors’ 26-game losing streak, they dropped six games by five or fewer points, where the Matadors made costly turnovers and couldn’t make their shots in the last two minutes of regulation.

“I think our last couple of games, we competed against excellent teams, but we can’t keep losing close games,” said head coach Carlene Mitchell.

With the young core of players on its roster, such as Erica Adams, Rachel Harvey, and Laney Amundson, CSUN has a bright future, especially with a new voice on the coaching staff next season.

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