Women’s basketball takes one of three in Hawaiian classic

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The Matador women’s basketball team went 1-2 in its trip to the Aloha State for the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic at the University of Hawaii, losing its first game to Texas A’M 76-52, then coming back to beat Eastern Michigan 69-59 before falling in the fifth-place game to Washington State 65-64.

In the first game, Texas A’M jumped out to a quick 16-9 lead. The Matadors cut the lead to 16-15 before Texas A’M went on a 12-4 run to make it 28-19. The Aggies then followed up that run with a 13-4 spurt to make it 41-23 heading into the half.

Texas A’M refused to let up, extending its lead to 25 points just four minutes into the game, leading by as many as 33 points.

Jamie McCaa was the only Matador with 10 points, while A’Quonesia Franklin led the Aggies with 14 points, Morenike Atunrase scored 12 and Tamara Scales finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

In the Matadors’ second game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles, the scale would finally tip CSUN’s way, as an early 14-3 run turned a slim 9-8 lead into a sizable 23-11 advantage.

Eastern Michigan cut the lead in half, but could not get any closer, as the Matadors built the lead back to 14 heading into the half.

The Matadors continued to excel, leading by as many as 18 points on their way to their first win of the year.

Katie Holloway led the way for CSUN, scoring a team-high 16 points. Jazelle Burries scored 14 and LaJoyce King added 10. CSUN also had stellar performances on the defensive end from Megan Ching and Crystal Hahs. Ching recorded six steals and Hahs blocked five shots. Sarah Van Metre scored 15 for the Eagles off the bench.

CSUN hoped to finish off its weekend on a positive note against the Washington State Cougars, but instead lost a heartbreaker 65-64 in a game that was hotly contested all the way to the end. The lead changed hands 24 times and was tied on 16 occasions.

With 23 seconds left and Washington State clinging to a 63-61 lead, Northridge had a chance to go up one or grab the lead, but the Cougar defense forced McCaa to turn the ball over at midcourt. Northridge was forced to foul and Charmaine Jones hit two free throws that turned out to be crucial as McCaa hit a three-pointer as time expired to provide the final score.

McCaa finished with 10 points, while King led the Matadors with 18, Burries scored 12 and Hahs blocked another five shots. Crystal Blue led the Cougars with 18 points, Jones scored 15 points and Keisha Moore added 10.

CSUN will have a day off before heading back out on the road, this time to the Northwest for a pair of games in Washington. CSUN’s first stop will be Cheney for a matchup with former Big Sky Conference-rival Eastern Washington on Wednesday. CSUN will then head to Pullman for another shot at the Cougars on Friday.

Ivan Yeo can be reached at ivan.yeo.80@csun.edu.