The CSUN women’s basketball team hopes that a game against an unfamiliar opponent doesn’t lead to a familiar result when it faces off against Washington for the first time in school history tonight at the Matadome.
The Matadors (0-9) are looking to elude their tenth straight loss having started the year with nine consecutive ones and having yet to win a game almost a third into the season.
While the coaching change and acquisition of Northridge first-year head coach Jason Flowers has yet to tally games on the win column, the Matadors are adamant the team is headed in the right direction and will eventually turn things around.
“We’re playing tough teams and are being tested in a lot of different ways. We feel we are close to being where we want to be,” junior guard Bridgette Conejo said. “In each game we feel we are making small improvements and come January, all the things we’ve been tested on is going to show.
“We show up at different times, I don’t think we’ve played a game where everybody has shown up,” Conejo said. “All the players have to be present both physically and mentally if we want to win.”
As for the game against the Huskies, the Matadors say they are focused on improving facets of their game rather than on their opponents, hoping that a win will follow.
“When we play a team, we focus on what were supposed to do, on rebounding, attacking the paint and being aggressive. We don’t want to be counter-punchers,” Conejo said. “If we focus on what we’re supposed to do, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”
The Matadors are coming off what could possibly be their best performance against a tough New Mexico State team. The Aggies (6-3) had a five-point overtime win against UTEP, which defeated Northridge by a total of 20 points Friday.
The Matadors took care of some of their rebounding issues, which have plagued them all season in the game against the Aggies. They outrebounded New Mexico State 43-41 and took command in the paint, outscoring the Aggies 20-12.
However, for Northridge, whose rebound defferential is an average of 7.9 fewer rebounds per game than the opponent although it outrebounded the Aggies, the Matadors were trampled in second-chance buckets 23-12 as their opponents took full advantage of their offensive rebounding opportunities.
In a game with six ties and 10 lead changes, the final minute of play proved to be the difference in the game as the Aggies capitalized on key free throws down the stretch. CSUN turned the ball over twice and missed its final four shots after the game was tied 59-59 with just over a minute left in regulation.
As for the Huskies (3-2), they are coming off an enormous win against Utah in the final seconds of play when freshman Marjorie Heard hit a game winning three-pointer with just 2.8 seconds left in the second half.
A reason why the Huskies were able to come up with a win was the stellar play of senior point guard Sarah Morton, who had a career-high 20 points while dishing out five assists after missing the first four games due to a sprained ankle.