Women’s Basketball struggles against UC Davis, hopes for improvement when they face UC Irvine Thursday night

Michael Johnson

The Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team brought no energy to start Monday night’s game.  UC Davis took advantage of the Matadors’ sluggish start and jumped out to a 17-7 lead. The Aggies never looked back and won the game 82-56 in the second Big West Conference game.

So, why would the Matadors have zero energy to start a Big West Conference game? It looked like the close losses to South Dakota and Pacific affected the Matadors’ start.

“The back-to-back losses are creating a lack of confidence and turmoil that we need to take care of,” said head coach Staci Schulz.

Those are strong words coming from a coach, but she is right. The Matadors’ starting five had no cheering support from the bench in the first half. Also, the starters were not getting into their offensive and defensive set like they usually do.

Nevertheless, the Aggies deserve credit. They swarmed the Matadors on defense, and held them to 35.7 percent from the field.

“They are very good. Our point guards are pretty small, and we could not see over their hands,” Schulz said.

The Aggies looked like the team with all the energy. They were led by forward Paige Mintun, who finished the game with 19 points, four steals and seven rebounds.

“She is fast and quick on her feet,” said center Felicia Walker.

Forward Katrina Thompson added, “She is a good player, and there is only so much you can do to stop a player like that. She is a post player and is athletic.”

Thompson was one of the few bright spots for the Matadors. She had 16 points, seven rebounds and a career best 4-of-6 from 3-point range.  Also, Janelle Nomura had 12 points, five rebounds and two steals.

Furthermore, the Aggies did jump on the Matadors early, but Northridge still its chance to come back in the second-half. They cut lead down to 10, and then Mintun stole the ball to put the game away. The steal was part of their 27 turnovers.

However, the Matadors need to put this loss behind them. They have a big road contest coming up against UC Irvine, and they don’t want to fall to 0-3 in the Big West conference.

It will not be an easy victory. UCI is only 3-11, but they have one player that could give the Matadors serious problems.

Mikah Maly-Karros, a forward from Manhattan Beach, finished her last game with 12 points and nine rebounds.

“She is doing really well for them, we need to limit her rebounds,” Bridgette Conejo said.

The Matadors will play UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night.