Women’s basketball: Matadors can’t stop Santa Clara’s 3-pointer rain

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Women’s basketball: Matadors can’t stop Santa Clara’s 3-pointer rain

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Ron Rokhy

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The Matadors lost their first home game of the season to Santa Clara Thursday night. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Despite keeping Santa Clara’s leading scorer in check, the Matadors allowed 10 Bronco 3-pointers and fell 90-72 Thursday night at the Matadome.

CSUN held senior guard Alyssa Shoji, who coming into the game was averaging 17 points per game, to nine points on 4-of-13 shooting, but allowed guards Ricki Radanovich and Meagan Fulps to combine for 34 points and seven 3-pointers.

“I think we were so concentrated on (Shoji) that we missed the other or we got caught on screens,” CSUN freshman forward Jessica Duarte said. “We just got lost defensively. We needed to tighten up, know our assignments and know the other team’s speciality, but tonight we didn’t do that.”

The Matadors also struggled defensively inside as they allowed 32 points in the paint. Santa Clara centers Ruta Zurauskyte and Lindsay Leo scored 17 and 13 points respectively on 11-of-19 combined shooting as they easily overcame Northridge’s strategy of fronting the post.

“We made some adjustments after the first half, but we didn’t necessarily follow the assignments,” said second-year CSUN head coach Jason Flowers. “That’s my fault, my responsibility. We need to do a better job of understanding why we’re doing things in practice and then going out and executing them.”

Matador leading scorer, senior center Jasmine Erving, finished with 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting and didn’t check into the second period until the halfway mark. She missed layups she normally makes and was seen loosening up numerous times on an exercise bike throughout the game.

“(Erving) had some issues coming out of halftime and she had to take care of some stuff,” Flowers said. “She came in and had an off-night (offensively), but she found a way to help us out defensively and with rebounds. That’s always the challenge with anybody. When the ball is not going in the basket, you got to be able to help your team out in other ways.”

The Matadors hauled in six more rebounds and blocked four more shots than the Broncos, but didn’t capitalize as Santa Clara scored more points off turnovers and second-chance opportunities.

“I was just trying to get stops,” said CSUN freshman center Camille Mahlknecht, who led the team in rebounds (eight) and blocks (four). “Rebounding is a huge part of the game, so whenever I can, I contribute in that area.”

CSUN was kept alive offensively by freshman guards Ashlee Guay and Janae Sharpe, who led the team in scoring with 13 points apiece. Sharpe went down with a left shoulder injury with 9:45 left in the game and didn’t return.

“(Sharpe and Guay) did a good job offensively,” Flowers said. “But they still got a long way to go as far as growing. They’re still young and still learning on the fly.”