Footage courtesy of Lauren Bennett
The CSUN Matadors (12-5, 2-1) secured another victory Thursday night, with major contribution from promising freshman that brought a wire-to-wire 84-48 victory against the winless UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (0-15, 0-2).
Upcoming promising freshmen looked impressive on the stat sheets in a shutout at the Matadome against the last place Big West Conference team UCSB.
“We have several players who are talented enough to start on this team,” CSUN head coach Jason Flowers said. “I think the freshman have done a good job in that role.”
Freshman Matador center Tessa Boagni, who made her first-career start last week, secured the game, leading the team with 17 points.
“It’s not the biggest deal,” said Boagni, who expressed modesty upon learning about having the game-point high. “This game felt like a team game.”
Boagni, played 26 minutes, secured 8 rebounds, and out shot the guards. Senior Matador guard Cinnamon lister, followed closely behind Boegni, with 14 points for the game.
Freshman guard Katelin King, who sat out last year due to a back surgery, put down three, 3-pointers for the game.
Santa Barbara didn’t present much of threat to the reigning Big West Conference champions Thursday night and allowed Flowers to play his bench and groom prospects.
Save for a hard charge in the first half, they were dominated with ease by CSUN.
The Gauchos fell behind in the first play but answered CSUN’s shots in the early minutes of the game. They came within a point at 11:29 in the first half, but things eventually went downhill from there for the Gauchos.
“We weren’t very good defensively at the beginning of the game,” CSUN Flowers said.
By halftime Santa Barbara was down 16 points and things only got worse for the winless team.
In their highly physical duel against the Matadors, Santa Barbara took a beating. Three players were pulled off the court in rough physical contact with CSUN. The Gauchos Chaya Durr smacked her head on the court while wrestling for a rebound with Boagni.
CSUN’s brutal lockdown in the key, combined with the loss of players and inability to make points outside of the arc, contributed to a large deficit for Santa Barbara. They were nearly 40 points behind the Matadors at times.
The Gauchos shot at 36.4 percent from the field for the first half and only fared 3 points more for the game.
The Matadors shot well enough at 57.4 percent for the game and put down 10 3-pointers as a team, compared to the Gaucho’s three.
CSUN will hit the road for the first time in three games to play last year’s biggest, Big West rival, California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo Jan. 17.
Last season, the Matadors traded first place with the Mustangs in regular conference place, before beating the then reigning champs at the Big West Tournament.
Cal Poly graduated some of its key players last year, but the California Central Coast school is tied with CSUN in conference play this year with a 2-1 record.
For the season, the Mustangs hold a 7-8 record overall.