Matadors fail to reach top spot

Debby von Winckelmann

With first place in the Big West on the line, the Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team lost to UC Riverside 81-70 at the Student Recreation Center in Riverside on February 8. The loss drops the Matadors to 11-12 overall and 7-3 in Big West play, while the Highlanders improve to 14-9 overall and 8-1 in the Big West.

The Matadors, playing without Ofa Tulikihihifo due to an ankle injury, shot only 36.8 percent (21-57) from the floor and 31.8 percent (7-22) from three-point range. Although the Matadors made 21 of 28 free throws for 75.0 percent, it was not enough to beat the Highlanders who were fueled by a desire to avenge their only conference loss this season to the Matadors.

Head coach Staci Schulz said that although their shooting percentage was low, 70 points is usually enough to win a game and the Matadors needed to do a better job at defense.

“We needed to stop them from getting 81,” said Schulz.

For CSUN, senior forward LaJoyce King scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down five rebounds. Senior guard Jamie McCaa had 14 points, followed by senior guard Krisztina Fuleki with 10 points. Sophomore guard Ashley Blake contributed eight points and senior forward Jazelle Burries had six points.