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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Matadors go on the road to face 49ers and Gauchos

Bridgette Conejo dribbles up the court against a Cal Poly defender, last saturday. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith Staff Photographer

The Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team (3-13, 1-5 Big West) is about to go on a two game road trip that could help them move out last place in the Big West standings. They’re going to face a tough Long Beach State team and the preseason favorite UC Santa Barbara.

Every team has a point in the season where the season can turn around, or the season can keep going downwards. The Matador women have hit a point where they better get it in gear soon, or else they risk another last-place finish in conference. This next road trip could determine where they finish in the Big West Conference.

Tonight they will face Long Beach State (7-12, 3-3 Big West), who is outstanding on the offensive side.

“They shoot a lot of three-pointers,” head coach Staci Schulz said. “Also, they are very guard oriented. We have to take care of the three-point line and do a good job in transition.”

The 49ers are filled with solid guard players. They’re surrounded with individual talent like point guards Lauren Sims and Karina Figueroa. Sims is averaging 12.4 points, while Figueroa is second in conference scoring with 17.3.

However, it’s no surprise Figueroa numbers are tops in the Big West, since she was named Preseason All-Conference Team. She just surpassed 1,000 points in scoring and now ranks 9th among 49er all-time scorers with 1,313 career points.

So, it looks like the Matadors hands are pretty full. However, Bridgette Conejo is feeling pretty confident.

“It should be a tough one, but if we execute, we should be good. However, it will be a battle,” Conejo said.

Furthermore, the toughest battle for the Matadors will be Saturday against UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos aren’t just an individual team but a complete team. They are averaging 6.2 blocks a game, which is seventh in the nation. Also, the team has one of the best defenses. The Gauchos are holding teams to a league best 37.4 percent from the field.

Not only do they have a great team, but also they have one of the best shooters in the conference. Mekia Valentine, a center from Greensboro, N.C., is shooting 60 percent from the field, which is the best in the Big West. Also, she is third in the nation with 3.9 blocks per game.

So, how will the Matadors beat these power houses? They will have to dominate the inside with center Jasmine Erving, and when she gets doubled the other players have to make their shots. Different 3-point shooters will have to step up like Conejo, point guard Amanda Thompson and forward Katrina Thompson.

Also, Northridge has to execute their game plan on defense too. The Matadors have to make sure they communicate on defense or it will get ugly in both of these games.
Tip is planned for 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s UC Santa Barbara game will be an early tip-off at 2:00 p.m.

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