The Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team came home Sunday night for the first time in 15 days and picked up its first win of the year, defeating San Jose State 69-63. It must feel good to be home.
But now it’s time to hit the road again and not return home for another 15 days.
The Matadors don’t have a lot of time to savor the victory that snapped their 16-game home losing streak, one that dated back to the 2006-07 season. Tuesday night they head north to Fresno State to battle with the Bulldogs at the Save Mart Center.
Northridge must have as much confidence as it has carried in quite some time, coming off what has to be considered as its best overall performance this season.
Offensively, the Matadors logged a season-high in points, field goal percentage and assists. Defensively, they held San Jose State to 63 points, the lowest mark a CSUN opponent has hit this season. Northridge also continues to improve on its fouling problem, holding the Spartans to just 17 free throw attempts on Sunday.
So perhaps things really are beginning to look up for Northridge. Head Coach Staci Schulz feels so, saying that the team finally put it all together on Sunday for a complete game. Now, it must be said that the Spartans weren’t really top-notch competition, so we’ll see how the Matadors fare against Fresno State, which is 5-2 on the year and has yet to lose at home this season.
Fresno State has used the same starting lineup in all of its games and its definitely a small one. The Bulldogs’ tallest starter is a 6-foot-1 forward, while all other four are under six feet tall. This could be a huge advantage for the Matadors, especially bigs Jasmine Erving and Neeta Sreekanth who could potentially have their way underneath the basket.
Date: Tonight Time: 7:00 p.m. Where: Save Mart Center, Fresno Series: Bulldogs lead 13-4 Last Meeting: Bulldogs 69 @ Matadors 58 (2007) Interesting Fact: After 43 years, Fresno State was selected to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance last season. The Bulldogs lost to Baylor in the first round.
Matador to watch: Ashley Blake, guard, senior Blake has been a mainstay in the Matador rotation since her freshman year and she’s certainly stepped up when the team needed it most. Her back-to-back three pointers late in Sunday’s game helped seal the victory for Northridge. The guard is averaging 12 points, five assists and four rebounds in the last three games. Her leadership is key for the team to perform well.
Bulldog to watch: Bailey Amundsen, guard, senior Amundsen is definitely the leader of the Fresno State squad. She is tops in points, with over 13 a game, and rebounds, with nine a game. She is a pure scorer from all over the floor, shooting 46 percent from the field, including 44 percent from behind the arc. She also shoots over 82 percent from the free throw line, so the Matadors must work to keep her away from it.
What did she say? Staci Schulz, Matador Head Coach On the first win of the year: ‘I was absolutely pleased with the effort. It was key to get the ball in the paint and we did that. Blake played like a true combo guard. They are definitely progressing out there.’