With only 11 games left in the season, the Matadors look to finish the season strong to make a final push toward making the Big West Conference tournament, starting with UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara.
Women’s basketball head coach Jason Flowers still believes his team will have a shot to make the conference playoffs with seven more games at home.
“I will rely on my seniors to lead the Matadors and step up through the finish of the season,” Flowers said.
Inconsistency has hurt CSUN this year with players not performing well when the team needs them the most.
“There is no next year for a few of us seniors, our focus is now, we want teams in our conference to remember the day they played the Matadors,” senior Bianca Davies said.
This is coach Flowers’ first season with the team and he said it’s been a learning experience for the girls.
“It’s always going to be a learning process when you imply a new system, as long as the staff and players work hard toward our goals we will understand more and progress as a team,” Flowers said.
Even with CSUN only having one this year, the team’s goal hasn’t changed.
“We’re going to continue to bust our butts because the goal is still attainable .We just have to produce,” Flowers said.
Coach Flowers said the key to beating Irvine is to play hard the entire game with a maximum effort and to take care of the ball. The Matadors have been averaging over 20 turnovers a game.
Although it’s been a tough year on the winning column for CSUN, they still keeps a cohesive unit.
“Even with our record, we are still a close team, we play hard and do what is expected of us as a program,” junior Bridgette Conejo said. “Our focus as a team is to get better as a team defensively. We need a consistent effort from each player.”
Northridge hosts UC Irvine (11-7, 3-3 Big West) Thursday. UCI leads the overall series against CSUN, 19-17. The Anteaters have won the past six meetings.
UCI junior Mikah Maly-Karros leads the Big West Conference in scoring, coming off great performances the past two games, averaging 24 points and 13 rebounds per game. Maly-Karros has been deadly from the field, shooting an average of .710 (22-31).
CSUN, which has a 1-5 conference record, needs a win against the Anteaters to keep its chances making the conference tournament alive.
The Matadors will also host UC Santa Barbara (10-8, 4-2 Big West) on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
UCSB has been hot as of late, winning 10 of the last 14 games. Leading UCSB is junior Emilie Johnson, who is averaging 11.7 points per game and 3.2 assists per game.
Also carrying the load for the Gauchos is senior Mekia Valentine who’s averaging just under a double-double with 9.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Valentine leads the conference in shot blocks with 69. The Gauchos have beaten the Matadors in 24 of the past 25 meetings between the teams.