The Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team (1-4) is coming off two straight losses but will try to get their act together on the road. The team will head up to Washington state, where they will play against Eastern Washington on Friday, and Gonzaga on Sunday. However, the task will be a challenge because both of these teams have winning records.
Head coach Staci Schulz regard the Matadors’ first opponent as an “inside team.”
“Their guards will score in transition, but other than that they are a high-low post team,” she said.
The Eagles are only 4-3 this season, but they are still very talented, with good players like Chene Cooper coming off the bench.
The 6-foot guard out of Puyallup, Wash. can hurt teams in a couple of ways. She is quick but can also hit from 3-point line. In her last game, Cooper was a perfect 2-of-2 from downtown.
Cooper is just one of the quality basketball players on this road trip. The Matadors will face more players like Cooper, when they play Gonzaga.
With a record of 5-2, the Bulldogs will be a tough matchup for the Matadors. Their record is so good because they possess a top-notch defense, and their home crowd is always rocking.
The lock-down defense is headed by guard Courtney Vandersloot and forward Vivian Frieson. Vandersloot, who has recorded 29 steals this season, plays hard on defense. Frieson, her partner in crime, has controlled the paint with 14 blocks this season.
The Bulldogs are not just a two-women team. They are filled with shut-down defenders. As a team, they are only allowing their opponents to shoot 36 percent from the field.
On the other hand, Gonzaga is also known for the energy on their home court. Their last game had 2,152 people in attendance.
“Their fans are rich in tradition, and very family-oriented,” Schulz said.
The Matadors have their hands full, but if they do a couple of things right, they should sneak out a victory. The Matadors need to pound the ball inside to center Jasmine Erving. When they do that, shooters like Bridgette Conejo and Anna Simmons can hit their shots.
The Matadors also have to step up their defense. They tend to let teams go on runs, and they fall behind by a large margin. The women’s team needs to take the first blow on the road and stay close. The Matadors have the talent, but the effort has to be there to compete against these teams.
Tip-off for Friday night’s game is planned at Reese Court at 7:05 p.m., and against Gonzaga at the McCarthey Athletic Center Sunday at 2 p.m.