An early three-point contest from the Miners proved they were too much for the Matadors as the team dropped their fifth double-digit and eight straight loss on the season in a 79-59 defeat.
The Cal State Northridge women’s basketball (0-8) team’s defense could not hold up as UTEP (5-2) netted in 11 three pointers with seven coming in the first half (77.8 percent) at Memorial Gym in El Paso, Texas.
The Matadors never led in the game, yet offensively, early in the first half the team looked good matching field goals with the Miners and managing to stay within a point until the middle of the half. Similar to its previous game against Loyola Marymount the team slumped on the defensive end and the Miners took advantage with a 21-6 run to end the first half, UTEP led by 19 points to end the half.
The Miners began to hit three-pointer after three-pointer to the Matadors disbelief, junior guard Briana Green was 5-9 from long range while freshman guard Kelli Willingham went 2-5, followed by senior guard Sviatlana Trukshanina who shot a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc.
As the second half started, the Matadors began to do what they have done all season, play catch up. Northridge began to pound the paint scoring 14 points under the net, thanks in part to junior center Jasmine Erving. Erving finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds, which earned her the ninth double-double of her career.
The solid effort from Erving did not contribute much as the Miners played an inside game of their own and exceeded the Matadors in the paint with 20 points in the second half, 26 overall.
No rhythm could be found offensively for the Matadors as turnovers and offensive rebounding plagued the team once again. The Miners scored 12 points from offensive rebounding and 24 points from CSUN turnovers, not including six fast break points.
Along with Erving, sophomore guard Janelle Nomura attempted to keep CSUN in the game dropping double figures on her own with 20 points in the game and nine points coming from long range. Finally, sophomore Violet Alama followed with 10 points yet no other Matador even came close to the three and offered no support. Senior Analee-Viola Lota scored a mere three points while fellow starter guard Haley White failed to score.
The team’s bench scored only four points compared to UTEP who embarrassed CSUN’s bench ranking in 30 points while some of its starters rested.
CSUN tied the game three times and scored 38 points in the second half, one point shy of the Miners. The closest the team could come to tying the game in the second half was 20 points, CSUN went on a dry spell late in the half scoring its final field goal with 5:46 left to play in the game. UTEP led by as many as 33 points.
Overall CSUN shot 43.8 percent from the field with 33.3 percent coming from behind the arc while UTEP shot 43.8 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from three-point range. Coach Jason Flowers stressed after the game against the Lions that the team needed to rebound better. Yet, the team grabbed only 34 while their opponent snatched 43 with 18 on the offensive end.
The Matadors will have their next chance to earn their first victory on Dec. 8 as the team hosts the Washington Huskies in a non-conference bout at the Matadome.