They erased a 15 point deficit in the fourth quarter, but could not complete the comeback.
The CSUN women’s basketball team fell to the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds, 67-65, on Tuesday. The loss drops the Matadors to 1-6, 0-4 on the road.
Behind a barrage of shots from behind the arc, the Matadors stormed back into the game and took a brief lead, 63-62, off a clutch three point shot from sophomore forward Jordan Smith with a little over two minutes left.
The Thunderbirds would convert on several key free throws to take a 65-63 lead, but sophomore guard Serafina Maulupe would score on a layup to the tie the game up with just over one minute to play.
However, two costly turnovers, one from sophomore forward Caroline Gilling and the other from Maulupe would prove to be the difference in the game.
Gilling turned the ball over with 36 seconds remaining, but the Matadors defense came through and they managed to get a stop on the ensuing possession.
With 13 seconds remaining and a chance at the final shot of the game, Maulupe turned the ball over and the Matadors were forced to foul. Thunderbird junior guard Jamie Smith knocked down both free throws to seal the victory.
Turnovers have been a major issue for the Matadors so far this season. They are averaging around 20.9 turnovers per game and had 20 in the game which lead to 16 Thunderbird points.
The Thunderbirds were also more aggressive than the Matadors, drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line 36 times and converting at an 80.6 percent clip. The Matadors went to the line 23 times but only managed to shoot 60.9 percent.
The game was more of a grind it out, defensive slugfest with both teams misfiring from the field. The Matadors only shot 36.1 percent from the field, 28.0 percent from the three point line. The Thunderbirds shot 29.5 percent from the field and 10 percent from behind the arc.
Sophomore center Tessa Boagni led the way for the Matadors with 12 points with 6 rebounds and one blocked shot. Maulupe and Smith each chipped in 11. The Thunderbirds were paced by junior forward Jessica Richardson who had 16 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Taylor Baird and freshman guard Breanu Reid had 12 each.
The Matadors next game is Thursday Dec. 3 against the University of Utah Utes. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.