CSUN’s offense came alive Wednesday night in a 77-33 laugher of a victory against the University of San Francisco in the Matadome.
Northridge shot an astounding 46 percent from the field as freshman Marta Masoni and sophomore Camille Mahlknecht combined to score 29 points in the blowout, while CSUN held the Dons’ offense to a mere 19.6 percent shooting from the field.
“Tonight was a whole team effort,” Masoni said. “Everyone was aggressive on defense and we won by 44 points. We destroyed them.”
Mahlknecht had a monster game under the boards snagging 13 rebounds, three steals and blocking 8 shots in 24 minutes of action.
“I was trying to be active every play,” Mahlknecht said. “Our defense is intense and it’s important to help everybody out. A majority of my blocks and rebounds came from rotating because it was great team defense.
CSUN had four players in double figures and combined to sink 10 three-pointers on the night.
CSUN came out with the hot hand, nailing its first six attempts from beyond the arc to put the Matadors up 20-4 with 16 minutes still left to play in the first half.
“We’ve been fortunate enough that we make shots from three,” said head coach Jason Flowers. “We shoot a much better percentage than we did last year and it was something we focused on. Our kids put in work so we have no problem letting them [shoot]…”
The Dons’ defense eventually settled down and slowed the CSUN offense but still couldn’t figure out how to penetrate a tough Northridge defense, committing six turnovers in the first 10 minutes and shooting 20 percent from the field.
USF couldn’t get leading scorer Mel Khlok started and fell further behind as the Matadors continued to attack from three-point land, going 9-14 from beyond the arc in the first half. Sharpe (3-3) and Masoni (3-4) were extremely efficient from three-point land.
Northridge shot 50 percent from the field and forced the Dons into 13 turnovers while three Matadors were able to gather two steals apiece.
Masoni, Sharpe and Jackson led CSUN in points in the first half with nine each, while sophomore forward Randi Friess had the boards covered with a team-high five rebounds.
CSUN’s Camille Mahlknecht came out in the second half and got the crowd back into it with two monstrous blocks on consecutive trips by the Dons.
The CSUN defense continued dominating in the paint with a solid zone defense that left Mahlknecht available to shift over for multiple weak side blocks.
CSUN coasted in the final ten minutes of the second half while Friess and freshman center Bernadette Fond took advantage of the minutes.
Friess had six points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals on the night while Fond had four rebounds in only her second appearance as a Matador.
As a team, CSUN forced 23 turnovers and totaled 12 blocks in the victory.
“We worked on defense really hard these last few days,” Mahlknecht said. “I’m really proud of my teammates that we were able to come out and play such great defense.”