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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Northridge falls to Toreros

Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Matadors knew that the Toreros offense was powered by one single player. With that in mind they still had trouble stopping her. To top it off, this time she had some help.

San Diego seniors Amber Sprague and Kiva Herman each scored 20 points to lead the Toreros to a 64-51 victory over the Cal State Northridge Matadors at The Matadome.

oming into the contest, Sprague had accounted for over a third of San Diego’s total offense. Both seniors also hauled in 11 boards apiece.

Matador Sophomore Analee Viena-Lota led Northridge in points for the second straight game, scoring 15 in the contest. She also added 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the year.

‘Analee was a little cold to start,’ said Matador Head Coach Staci Schulz. ‘You see what she can do when she heats up, though. She played a very good game.’

Things couldn’t have started much worse than they did for CSUN. San Diego got off on an 8-0 run in the first four minutes before Matador junior Kayla Rutherford put in a 3-pointer from the right wing to get Northridge on the board.

After closing to within five, the Matadors quickly found themselves down by 11 after a 6-0 Torero spurt. San Diego never looked back and took a 32-18 lead into halftime.

‘We started the game off’ slow,’ said Schulz. ‘Its been a trend that we’re going to have to improve.’

The shining moment for Northridge in the first half was the play of freshman Bridgette Conejo. She came off the bench and scored seven points in her first four minutes on the floor. She finished the half with nine points on 4-6 shooting. The rest of the squad shot 4-24.

‘Bridgette was a very strong spark for us,’ said Schulz. ‘She’s not starting yet because I don’t want to put too much pressure on her as a freshman. That might change soon, though.’

After shooting just 27 percent in the first half, Northridge scored on it’s first four second half possessions. Two baskets in the paint by Jasmine Erving, a jumper from Viena-Lota, and a three pointer by Whitney Ligon gave the Matadors nine quick points.
However, they were matched shot for shot during that span, and were actually outscored as the Toreros put in 10 points to increase their lead to 42-27.

The Matadors made one more flurry and were eventually able to close the gap to 12 on several occasions, but that was as close as they would get in the second half.

Conejo scored five points in the second, giving her 14 for the game on 60 percent shooting. She also added five steals. Viena-Lota scored 11 of her 15 points in the final period, where Northridge shot 43 percent from the field.

‘In the first half I wasn’t doing that well,’ said Viena-Lota. ‘In the second I tried to run the offense as best as I could. Plus we were down, so we had to get points. The team had a talk at halftime, so we knew we had to perform in the second half. We definitely picked up the intensity.’

Still, CSUN fell short. Perhaps due in large part to the biggest discrepancy in the box score. The thing Coach Schulz has been concerned about since before the season started. Free throws.

San Diego had 27 attempts from the line, and it converted on 18. Northridge had two, making one.

‘Offensively we didn’t penetrate enough and get the ball into the middle, so that’s why we didn’t get opportunities at the line,’ said Schulz. ‘We need to be more aggressive getting the ball inside.

‘As far as defensively, we need to stop hacking so much,’ she continued. ‘If you take away the 17-point difference at the line it’s a different game.’

Each team made 23 shots from the field, with the Toreros shooting 40 percent and the Matadors shooting 35 percent. San Diego held the rebounding edge as well, 49-33.

Northridge will try again for its first win of the year on Saturday when Cal State Bakersfield visits The Matadome. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.

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