A defensive season opener flashback plagued CSUN in its first ever meeting against Washington, as it fell for the tenth straight time to start the season.
Similar to the season opening loss against Pepperdine, Northridge was flustered against the full court press, losing to Washington, 73-55, at the Matadome Wednesday night.
The Matadors (0-10) committed 26 turnovers and did not score their first basket until four minutes into the game when senior forward Analee Viena-Lota made a layup.
“We were prepared for it, we knew what we were supposed to do,” said Flowers, discussing the Huskies defensive pressure. “I think at times when we executed and we’re tough enough with the basketball to make plays we made them pay, but when we deviated from the plan it didn’t quite work.”
Sloppy plays also cost CSUN early in the game.
One situation where the Matadors had a meltdown was when Husky Mercedes Wetmore caused a turnover and scored the fastbreak layup. On the next play, Wetmore got the steal on the inbounds pass, and scored another layup, giving the Huskies (4-2) their first double digit lead and forcing CSUN coach Jason Flowers to take a time out with 13:55 left in the first half.
“They are mental mistakes that’s not acceptable, there are too many mental mistakes and too many mental breakdowns and at the end of the day that is my responsibility,” Flowers said.
Offensively the Matadors’ trouble started early.
Jasmine Erving, who scored 12 points, could not find her rhythm as she was shut down by Washington center Mackenzie Argens.
On one attempt Erving was blocked viciously and turned the ball over, which resulted in Sarah Morton scoring on a three-point play, pushing Washington’s advantage to 22-6 on a 14-0 run.
The Matadors stopped the run as Janelle Nomura made two free throws with 10 minutes to go in the half. Nomura ended the game with 13 points.
The story of the night was the defense for the Huskies as their half court traps and full court pressure caused numerous turnovers for CSUN.
Washington capitalized on the miscues, earning 34 points off turnovers.
CSUN shot 4-of-20 from the field (20 percent) in the first half, while the Huskies shot 40.6 percent (13-of-32).
The second half began in CSUN’s favor as Viena-Lota scored a jumper to open the half and caused a turnover right after. On the next possession, Nomura would make a 3-point followed by a layup by Erving and things started to shift in the Matadors favor.
Defensively the team also started with a different attitude applying a full court pressure of its own, slowing down the Huskies.
However, the solid play ended fast as the Huskies would pick up their defensive pressure, which left the Matadors stumped once again.
CSUN made a final push late in the second half but was not quite enough as Washington held on to the victory.
Overall Washington shot 40.7 percent from the field, while CSUN shot 31.9 percent.
Washington led CSUN in points in the paint, 20-14.
Kristi Kingma led Washington in scoring with a game-high 21 points.
Erving said the team wants to improve on some areas before they start their road trip at South Dakota on Dec. 18.
“We struggled a little bringing the ball up the court (and) that is one thing we struggled with this entire year, so I think that is one thing we need to work on for us to succeed,” Erving said. “I think we just need to keep our heads up, stick together as a team, work hard in practice and we will be good.”