The Matadors had momentum throughout the game but Rebecca Meassen was too much for them.
Maessen of the Anteaters finished the night with 26 points, a bulk of them coming in the second half, in their come-from-behind 57-53 victory on Wednesday night.
With six minutes left, Matadors leading 40-47, Maessen put the game in her hands scoring 11 of her 21 points of the second half.
Maessen fouled out with 13 seconds left and a three point lead but the Matadors couldn’t score and were forced to foul their way to a loss.
The loss could be an end to the Northridge team that was up 26-25 at half-time.
With the first 20 minutes coming to an end, it was Tonicia Tademy that had to be stopped. Tademy finished the opening half with 12 points, taking the team into the locker room with a 26-25 lead, the second time in Big West Conference play they finished the first 20 minutes with the lead. But Tademy finished the night with 14, only scoring two more points.
Early on it appeared that Tademy would have trouble with Irvine’s Keyonna Johnson, who almost forced four turnovers.
But Johnson soon picked someone else to guard after Tademy broke away from her and began her scoring streak.
It all started with about 10 minutes into the game. Tademy, who got her first basket with a few seconds left on the shot clock, continued to find the basket as well as her teammates.
The biggest highlight of the half though was the way the Matadors finished it.
With two minutes left, the Matadors moved into a full-court press disrupting the play of the Anteaters.
Down by eight, Katrina Thompson knocked down the first 3-pointer of the night for the Matadors. She finished the night with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Then, a steal by Tademy with seven seconds left gave Analee Viena-Lota a baseline jumper which sent Northridge into the locker room leading 26-25. Vienna-Lota finished the night with 11 points.
The loss to Irvine dropped the Matadors into last place and they will need a win on Saturday against Fullerton to have a chance at the Big West Tournament in March. ‘