CSUN women’s basketball comes home to play three

Michael Johnson

Katrina Thompson dribbles against Cal Poly. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith Staff Photgrapher

The Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team opens a three-game homestand starting tonight, where they will have a chance to avenge two previous Big West road losses.

The Matadors (3-15, 2-8 Big West) have lost three straight games, but they are hoping that the revenge factor will give them what they need to beat UC Riverside tonight and Long Beach State Saturday.

The Highlanders have won five out of their last six games due to their stellar defense. Riverside is averaging 6.8 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.

Also, they have one of the elite players in the Big West Conference. Junior forward Rhaya Neabors, who is from Pomona, Calif., is averaging 12.9 points per game.

On Jan. 14 the Highlanders defeated the Matadors 74-61 at the Student Rec Center. Neabors had a game-high 21 points and added four steals.

However, point guard Anna Simmons is feeling confident about beating Riverside at home.

“I think we will end our losing streak against them,” Simmons said. “We are starting the second round (of Big West play) and it is a new page.”

Paige McIntyre feels that their last meeting against the Highlanders was a winnable game.

“I am actually really excited because we played a full game last time,” McIntyre said. “We should have come out with the win last time.”

The Matadors will need that same confidence if they want to come out victorious when they host Long Beach State.

While the Highlanders are more of a defensive team, the 49ers are solid on the offensive end. The 49ers are shooting 40 percent from the field and shooting 72.5 percent from the free-throw line. Also, they are averaging 6.8 three-pointers per game.

Not only are they an all-around team on offense, but they have great individual players as well. Guard Karina Figueroa, from Corona Calif., is averaging 17 points per game. Also, Lauren Sims is averaging 12.6 points per game.

The last time the 49ers and the Matadors met Figueroa was held to 10 points, and Sims was able to drop 15 points.