Women’s basketball: First-place Matadors aim to cut down on turnovers

CSUN center Jasmine Erving averages 14.1 points and 2.1 turnovers per game. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Senior Photographer

Anthony Carpio

CSUN center Jasmine Erving averages 14.1 points and 2.1 turnovers per game. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Senior Photographer

There can only be so many things said about CSUN’s last two performances. Mainly, the team has tallied two more wins, but at a cost.

The Matadors, who are in first place in the Big West Conference, have collected 106 rebounds in the past two games, but that statistic has been overshadowed by another stat that no team would want to see on its record. Despite crashing the boards effectively, the team has accumulated 60 turnovers in the matches.

“It’s a situation where we’re overthinking some things. That’s my responsibility,” CSUN head coach Jason Flowers said. “Our team is overthinking and I’m probably over-coaching. We made some adjustments during practice and we’ll continue to make adjustments throughout the week and continue to get better.”

The Matadors average 20 turnovers per game, barely better than its opponents, who average 20.1 against them. Two players who look to make improvements are guards Ashlee Guay and Janae Sharpe. Both players average 3.2 turnovers a game.

“I think it’ll be a situation where we keep moving forward and do a much better job at taking care of the basketball,” Flowers said.

Northridge is capable of protecting the ball. Prior to the games against Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 21 and Cal State Bakersfield Saturday, the team only recorded 25 turnovers in its previous two contests: 13 when they played UC Santa Barbara and 12 against Cal Poly.

Coming through in the clutch

Freshman guard Jessica Duarte has been a clutch player for the Matadors in the past games. She had a total of 18 points last week on a combined 4-of-8 shooting against the Titans and Roadrunners.

“Coach (Flowers) is giving me the ball at the end of the game, so I shoot and hopefully it goes down, and it has,” said Duarte, who sees herself as an offensive go-to player.

At the beginning of the season, Duarte was only a catch-and-shoot forward. But as the season progressed, so did her game. Now when she gets the ball, Duarte either looks for a teammate that has a better chance at making a shot or drives in to get a better look at the basket.

Young, but maturing squad

Flowers and his young team have made positive development despite having a handful of new players. With an overall record of 12-9 and 6-2 in the Big West Conference, the team has found a way to gel with one another and grab the top spot in the league.

“We all know the history of this program and we all wanted to change and turn it around,” Duarte said of the Matadors, who only won four games last season. “For us coming in here with seven newcomers, we’re trying to make a new start and we’re doing that, slowly but surely.”