Despite solid performances by Jasmine Erving and Janelle Nomura, the CSUN women’s basketball team was unable to come up with its first win of the season over the weekend when it hosted the Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2010.
Erving had a double-double in each of the two games of the tournament. The junior center had 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks Friday against Wichita State. Erving followed that performance with 16 points and 13 rebounds in the closing game Saturday versus Chattanooga.
Erving’s play earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore guard Nomura had a career-high 24 points with a 13-of-14 performance from the free-throw line against Chattanooga.
“Her ability to handle the basketball with her speed and quickness is as good as anybody that we’re going to play,” said head coach Jason Flowers. “It’s just a matter of her making the right decisions, and I felt for the most part tonight she did that.”
The Matadors (0-6) were trailing by as many as 18 points in the second half against Wichita State but were unable to come out victorious after trimming the lead down to four with just over three minutes left in the game, resulting in a 67-58 loss.
The Shockers were able to capitalize on critical free throws down the stretch to secure the victory against the Matadors, making eight of 10 free throws in the final minute of play.
“When it came down to it we needed stops and then we needed to convert on those stops, but we didn’t,” Nomura said. “Once the one-minute mark came, we started fouling and we were hoping they would miss their free throws, but they didn’t, so the gap couldn’t get any shorter.”
The Shockers were able to come out on top in large part due to their dominance on the glass, with 48 rebounds compared to CSUN’s 28.
The Shockers were led by a balanced attack of guard Haleigh Lankster, who had a game-high 21 points including half of the free throws that helped put the game out of reach. Forward Chynna Turner had 18 points with eight rebounds.
In the closing game of the tournament, the Matadors lost in a 74-68 loss to Chattanooga for the consolation championship, where three-point buckets proved to be the difference in an otherwise even affair.
The Lady Mocs were able to take advantage of 10 three-pointers during the game, shooting 41.7 percent from long distance, while the Matadors were only 2-of-10 (20%).
The Matadors took care of their rebounding issues, out-rebounding the Lady Mocs 39-32 and dominating in the paint 36-17, but were unable to stop the scoring tandem of Whitney Hood and Kylie Lambert, who each exploded for over-20-point performances.
Hood had 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds while Lambert shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, including 4-of-4 long distance, finishing with 21 points her own.
Although the Matadors have yet to win this season, if they could take anything positive from over the weekend, it’s that they have continually been able to trim their deficits by slimmer margins than the double digits they were losing by in their first four games of the season.
While the losses keep piling up reminiscent of the program in recent years, Flowers said he is not worried about the effects of a losing culture or the team not knowing how to win because the team is improving.
“We were better every single game we played in Hawaii. Even though it’s not showing up on the win column, the players are not only seeing the difference but feeling the difference,” Flowers said. “They know what our schedule is, they know where we were, they know where we want to be and we know where we are now, and we’re going in the right direction.”