In a heartbreaking 53-50 loss on Wednesday night against UC Davis, the Matadors (6-22, 3-11 Big West) lost a little more than the game.
There were only a few minutes left in the first half when CSUN forward Katrina Thompson went down.
‘It’s a high ankle sprain,’ Thompson said. ‘I’m going to get X-rays tomorrow.’
Thompson was the leading scorer to the point (seven points), but couldn’t return.
As for the rest of the Matadors, they shot too low of a percentage (30 percent) for Head Coach Staci Schulz’s likings.
Coming into the last 20 minutes, Ashley Blake helped improve their percentage by knocking down back-to-back 3-pointers.
‘I was glad I was able to hit them,’ Blake said.
Blake had four 3-pointers and led the team for the game with 14 points.
Guard Whitney Ligon was also able to knock down three of them, one of those cut a six-point Aggie lead in half in the waning moments of the game.
Playing an aggressive full court defense, the Matadors were able to force a few turnovers, but were unable to capitalize until there was one minute left.
From the top of the three-point line, Blake passed the ball under the basket to Analee Viena-Lota.
Viena-Lota took two dribbles away from the basket, with her back turned and spun to her right to put up a shot that rattled around and in to put the Matadors within one point, 51-50.
The Matadors were forced to foul and put Lauren Juric at the free-throw line. She made two shots.
Going for three points to tie it, the Matadors ended up wasting time off the clock.
‘That play broke down on one side,’ Schulz said.
That breakdown forced Neeta Sreekanth into shooting an errant 3-pointer with a few seconds left. Bridgette Conejo was able to grab the offensive rebound and passed to Blake, who missed the potential game-tier.
The Matadors lost their third straight game, leaving their tournament hopes a question mark. They need to win their last game Saturday and have UC Irvine lose its.
‘Half of our destiny is in our hands,’ Schulz said.
Blake said the Matadors will need help from the ‘Gods of Basketball.’