Once again the Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team falls behind early and then tries to make an amazing comeback to win the game. Unfortunately for the Matadors, they were unable to get over the hump against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, falling 73-60 Saturday afternoon at the Matadome.
It has been the story of the season for the women’s basketball team. They get down early and then they try to have a miracle-type comeback. However, the miracle usually falls flat and their usually seen walking off the court with their heads down.
The Matadors (3-13, 1-5 Big West) kept it pretty close before heading into recess. The score was knotted at 15 with 8:56 left in the first period. However, Cal Poly (12-6, 5-2 Big West) made a 21-4 run to take hold of the lead heading into halftime.
Northridge fell behind, probably because of three issues. They shot 33.3 percent from the field and they were 0-8 from the 3-point line. Also, they were unable to get the free-throw line, going a miserable 1-of-2.
However, the Matador women made their usual run. They were down by 23 points, and then they decided to try to make the game competitive with 11:32 left in the contest. CSUN cut the lead to 66-58 but just like most of their games there wasn’t enough time to complete the comeback.
The Matadors had a few bright spots. Point guard Bridgette Conejo had 15 points and seven rebounds. Also, Analee Viena-Lota had an all-around game with 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
The biggest surprise of the game came from Violet Alama, who had season highs in points (six) and blocks (four).
Nevertheless, the Mustangs took this game from the Matadors with their big time players coming to play.
Junior forward Kristina Santiago recorded 15 points and a game high 13 rebounds.
“She is a good player. Santiago has a good inside and outside game,” CSUN head coach Staci Schulz said.
Also, junior guard Brittany Lange added 15 points.
Not only was their individual play sharp, but also their team play was amazing too. Cal Poly as a team shot 81.3 percent from the free throw line to help them pull away.
The story of the game was the perimeter defense by the Mustangs. They completely shut down the Matadors from beyond the arc. The Mustangs went 4-of-16 from three-point range.
“They did a good job of closing out, so I told the players they had to get their shots off quickly,” Schulz said.
So, after coming off of an incredible win against then first place Cal State Fullerton, the Matadors are back to their losing ways.
They are now 1-5 in the Big West conference and sit at the bottom of the standings tied with Pacific for last. Their lives will not get any easier. The Matadors will head on a two-game road trip where they will have to face Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara.