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 beat San Jose, lose to Colorado

The Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team won their road opener against the San Jose State Spartans 66-63 on Nov. 17, but lost to the University of Colorado at Boulder 80-64 on Nov. 19.

The Matadors made some history in San Jose at the Event Center by beating the Spartans for the first time in seven games and by winning their first road opener since 1998.

Jamie McCaa led the Matadors with 17 points and five rebounds. LaJoyce King, playing in her first game of the season, scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Big West Player of the Week Ofa Tulikihihifo had eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.

For San Jose, Natalie White had a game-high 21 points, followed by Brittany Helm with 11 points. Kalia Williams had six rebounds.

McCaa helped get the Matadors off to a good start, by scoring eight points with less than five minutes into the first half. A three-pointer by Ashley Blake put CSUN up 16-9, but the Spartans came back within three points after Alisha Hicks made a couple of free throws and a jump shot by Natalie White got the score to 16-13.

CSUN’s King sank a couple of free throws and a lay-up, putting the Matadors back up by seven at 20-13. Tulikihihifo added four points with a jump shot and a lay-up to extend the CSUN lead to 26-17. Once again, the Spartans came back with a couple of jump shots by White and a lay-up by Amber Hall, bringing San Jose within five at 26-31.

A free throw by Crystal Hahs and a lay-up by Blake put the Matadors up 27-34, but a jumper by San Jose’s Helm, followed by a lay-up by Hall with two seconds left, cut the Matadors’ lead to 31-34 at halftime.

In the second half, the Matadors scored quickly with a lay-up by King, but San Jose answered with three successive three-pointers, two by Lynette Jacobs and one by Helm to put the Spartans up by four at 40-36.

Tulikihihifo’s jump shot brought CSUN back within two and her free throw just over one minute later brought them within one at 40-39. The Spartans were up 42-39 after a lay-up by Hicks, but CSUN’s King came back with a lay-up of her own and then tied the score at 42 with a free throw.

Both teams traded baskets and the lead until Burries made a couple of free throws and McCaa hit a three-pointer to put the score at 53-49. The Spartans were soon within one point when a foul on a lay-up by Hicks gave her the three-point play and brought the score to 53-52. San Jose went up 54-53 after White made a lay-up. CSUN battled back with a jump shot by Blake, a Holloway lay-up and a McCaa jumper to put the Matadors up 59-54. In the last minute, a jump shot by McCaa and free throws by King gave CSUN a 64-58 lead. San Jose’s White made two baskets in four seconds to get the score within two points at 65-63, but a final free throw by McCaa sealed the game at 66-63.

CSUN shot just 37.9 percent from the floor and 54.1 percent from the line, compared to San Jose’s 34.3 percent and 68.8 percent, respectively. The Matadors grabbed a total of 44 rebounds while San Jose had 45. CSUN had five blocks, with three coming from Katie Holloway. Tulikihihifo and King made three steals each.

Despite a slight improvement in their shooting percentages and good performances by Tulikihihifo and McCaa, the Matadors were unable to come away with a win against the University of Colorado Buffaloes.

“I don’t think we played well in San Jose and we won and we played better here and we lost,” said head coach Staci Schulz.

McCaa scored her third career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Tulikihihifo led the Matadors with 20 points and four rebounds.

“She got a taste of playing at another level going against the Colorado girls,” Schulz said, about Tulikihihifo’s performance. “They’re bigger and she has to take an extra dribble and elevate over them to get a shot off and she was getting it done.”

Jackie McFarland led CU, scoring her third straight double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Jasmina Ilic followed with 18 points and Smith had 14.

The Matadors shot only 39.3 percent from the floor and 60 percent from the line while CU shot 46.2 percent and 68.2 percent. The Buffaloes out-rebounded the Matadors 46 to 35. Although turnovers were just about even with CSUN at 20 and CU at 21, the Buffaloes did a better job of capitalizing on the mistakes, scoring 29 points off turnovers, compared to 18 by the Matadors.

After a slow start, the Matadors went on an 11-3 run and took the lead 13-12 on a lay-up by King. Colorado went up 16-13 on a fade away jumper by Candace Rucker, but CSUN took the lead again when Blake sunk a three-pointer to put the score at 18-16. Colorado tied the score at 18 on a lay-up by McFarland, Big 12 Conference Player of the Week.

Two consecutive three-pointers by Ilic and Bianca Smith, followed by a lay-up by Smith, gave CU the lead at 27-18. McCaa came back with a three-pointer, Blake hit a jump shot and Holloway made a free throw to get the Matadors back within three at 27-24.

Colorado again extended its lead after jump shots by Ilic and McFarland. CSUN’s King, frustrated by being called for her fourth foul, received a technical and fouled out with just over four minutes left in the first half. Colorado made all four free throws and led the game 37-24.

The Matadors came unraveled and were unable to stop a run by the Buffaloes who extended their lead to 48-28. McCaa made a couple of free throws to bring the score to 48-30 at the end of the first half.

CSUN started the second half strong with Tulikihihifo scoring nine points within a two-minute period. The Matadors cut the lead to 11 points, but this would be the closest they would get for the rest of the game. CU went on another run, capped with a lay-up by Whitney Houston, to give CU a 20-point lead at 64-44.

The Matadors came back within 13 twice in the second half, after two free throws by Holloway brought the score to 70-57 and a three-pointer by Blake got the score to 75-62. CSUN couldn’t overcome the deficit, however, and lost the game 80-64.

“We couldn’t recover even though we played a very good second half. We actually outscored them by two points in the second half,” Schulz said. “I’m very pleased with most of the game. It was just that one low spot at the end of the first half that put us in a hole.”

The Matadors continue their road trip with the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga on Nov. 24 and 25.

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