Women’s Basketball: Matadors drop home opener to BYU, 82-66

Brian Bernstein

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Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

Junior guard Ashlee Guay lays it up between two BYU defenders in a losing effort Saturday night. Guay finished the night with 16 points, three assists and three steals. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

The Matadors (2-3) could not keep pace with the efficient Cougars of BYU (4-0), as they drop their home opener 82-66.

The Cougars’ efficiency was too much for the Matadors to handle. They were a well-oiled machine as they shot 46.9 percent for the game. Not only were they consistent shooting the ball, 15-32 in the first half and 15-32 in the second half, they out rebounded the Matadors 52-32. Northridge could not match the hot shooting by the Cougars as they shot 30.3 percent in the first half and 31.4 percent in the second half.

“Anytime a team shoots 47 percent, and they have more defensive rebounds than you have total rebounds, it’s probably going to be a long night,” head coach Jason Flowers said.

Despite the Matadors heading into halftime trailing 43-37, it could have been worse if it wasn’t for the hot shooting by junior guard Cinnamon Lister.

Lister led the way for the Matadors with 20 points including 5-8 from beyond the arc.

“My teammates were the ones getting me open,” Lister said. “They would drive and kick, and I was just standing there ready to shoot.”

Lister scored 14 points after the first 20 minutes of play, but struggled to find the bottom of the net in the second half. Junior guard Ashlee Guay was the only other player in double-digits for the Matadors as she chipped in 16 points on 6-13 shooting and three steals.

The Cougars came out patient and effective to begin the second half and jumped out to a 13-point lead on a 12-5 run. The scoring, however, did not stop there as before you looked back up at the scoreboard, the Cougars exploded to a 28-point lead, largest of the game. The deficit was due in large part to the Matador’s inability to score, only making two of their first 10 shots to start the second half.

Northridge then chipped away led by Guay staying aggressive and attacking the basket.

“When we fill up, space out and we pass a cut, it opens up the floor,” Guay said. “If we stay spaced out, it works for everyone to be able to drive to the basket.”

The first half was relatively even with the Cougars holding a slight edge over the Matadors. However, BYU capitalized on their height early and kept their foot on the gas pedal all night by asserting their dominance down low early.

The Cougars outscored Northridge 44-22 in the paint and had 15 second-chance points on the night.

After a 21-68 shooting performance from his team, Flowers looks at the game as one of those nights.

“Our preparation in the last two days were good,” Flowers said. “Thursday and Friday we had good practices. It was not like coming into this game it’s like ‘awe we tired,’ BYU just played better than us tonight.”

The Matadors are back in action Friday Nov. 29 versus Santa Clara at the Matadome. The game will be part of a four-game, two-day Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Basketball Classic.