The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors, in danger, host Aggies

With the season almost over and the Matadors (6-21, 3-11 Big West) struggling, but still hanging to the eighth spot in the Big West Conference, they will need some offense to the court Wednesday in their second-to-last regular season game, against UC Davis.

The Aggies held Pacific to 39 points on Saturday, making it the second time this season UC Davis held an opponent to under 40 points for a game (and sixth under 50).

Scoring was a problem for the Matadors over last week as they went 0-2. They will need to break the slump if they want a chance to win.

The Matadors should have a better range shooting at home tonight. In the Matadors’ last two home games, against UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton, the Matadors combined to shoot 41 percent from the field, 10 percent higher than in their losses at Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara last week.

The fifth-place Aggies will challenge the Matadors as a team. The individual challenge will come from Aggie Paige Mintun.

Mintun leads her team in scoring and is ranked No. 7 in total points in Big West play. In the last meeting between the teams on Jan. 4, Mintun had 25 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-2 forward should have another big night against a smaller Matador team.

Not only is she a force to be reckoned with on the offensive side, she is also a big-time shot blocker. She had three blocks on Jan. 4, but it was the outside shooting of Northridge that kept them in the game that day.

Ashley Blake was a big part of that outside shooting, scoring 19 points on the night. Nine of those came from the 3-point line.

Tonight, CSUN will need a win to have a shot at making the tournament, one which eight out of nine teams qualify for. Even with that, CSUN will be rooting for Fullerton to beat UC Irvine, their direct rival for the final spot, on Saturday.

Matadors (6-21, 3-11) vs. Aggies (10-17, 6-9)

Date: Wednesday
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: The Matadome, Northridge
Series: Tied 9-9
Last meeting: CSUN 66 @ UC Davis 86, Jan. 4.

Interesting fact: Since Staci Schulz took over as CSUN’s head coach in 2005, the Matadors have gone 1-6 against the Aggies. CSUN’s last two wins were in 2004 and before that they hadn’t played each other since 1988.

Matador to watch:
Ashley Blake, guard, senior

Blake is playing in what could be her second-to-last game of her college career. In the past weeks, she has stepped up as one of the team’s top scorers. In two of the last three games, she scored in double figures. She’s also been the Matadors’ top outside threat this season, taking over the No. 1 spot for 3-pointers made (26) in Big West play. In the last match-up against UC Davis, Blake led the team in scoring.

Aggie to watch:
Paige Mintun, forward, sophomore

Standing at 6-foot-2, Mintun is one of the best, the top player for the Aggies. She leads her team in shots blocked, total rebounds and total points scored. In the last meeting against the Matadors, she scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds. The Aggies also handed the Matadors their first conference loss of the season. To maximize their chances of winning, Northridge will need to minimize the scoring of Mintum tonight.

That’s what she said:

Staci Schulz, CSUN Head Coach
On the Matadors’ chances against the Aggies:

‘We need to shoot and pass well. UC Davis can bring out the worst in your passing and decision-making. We have to play smart basketball.”

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