In a split weekend, the Matadors (5-6) survived a 34-point surge in the fourth quarter from the Aztecs (5-5) to win 77-74 at home.
After some stellar defense by CSUN held SDSU to seven points in the first quarter, a solid lead was gradually built upon.
Freshman Jordyn Jackson got her third start of her collegiate career and bursted onto the scene with 16 points and five assists. Jackson was five of seven from behind the arc in her bounce back game.
Jackson struggled in her previous start against at point guard in Friday’s matchup with Loyola-Marymount shooting one of nine from the floor.
Jackson was joined in the backcourt by fellow guard Serafina Maulupe, who made her 68th career collegiate start and had team-highs with 22 points and seven assists.
CSUN was able to build up as much as 23 point lead late in the game before SDSU began to stride.
CSUN also forced SDSU into 13 turnovers in the first half.
A three pointer by Aztec guard Sophia Ramos sparked a 12-0 run and the Matadors were kept out of the basket for over three minutes.
“Coach really emphasizes defense, its what wins games,” Maulupe said. “That’s what almost cost us in the fourth quarter. We have to be better.”
Ramos scored a game and season-high 28 points to go along with seven rebounds.
Twenty four of Ramos’ points came in the second half, including six threes to bring the Aztecs within one score multiple times.
“We are not as competitive as we should be,” Flowers said. “We are not as hungry as we should be. I don’t know the reason why.”
Ramos would have a chance to tie down with her team down three as she drew center Channon Fluker out of her comfort zone of the key and out to the perimeter. Ramos failed to shake off the stout defense and Fluker made her last defensive play of the night, blocking her eleventh shot of the game on Ramos’ three point attempt, saving the Matadors.
Fluker finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Playing against the foul game, CSUN was able to score just enough at the charity stripe to keep a lead. That was apparent until the final free throws, where Maulupe returned to the line where she was five of six on the night.
Up by just three with a chance to ice the game, Maulupe missed both free throws and left Ramos and the Aztecs nine seconds to strike.
CSUN’s defense would hold and force Ramos to take and miss another tough shot.
The Matadors unfortunately may be facing another serious injury early in the season. Former Big West Freshman of the year Eliza Matthews left the game with a shoulder injury. Matthews appeared to be in excruciating pain as she went down late in the game.
The Matadors will now have a week off before heading to USC Sunday Dec. 16.
The Trojans remain undefeated at 8-0 and have already blown out three Big West teams this season. Matadors and Trojans tipoff at 2 p.m. tipoff.