Matadors Dominate Paint in 71-65 Victory
Feb. 12, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, CA - Cal State Northridge's Jasmine Erving scored a game-high 35 points and the host Matadors outscored Cal State Fullerton in the paint, 42-18, en route to a 71-65 victory over the Titans on Saturday evening at The Matadome in Northridge.
The loss was the third straight for Fullerton, which fell to 8-17 overall and 4-8 in Big West Conference play. Northridge, which entered the game 0-10 at home and losers of 16 consecutive games on its home court, won for only the third time this season in improving to 3-22 overall and 3-9 in league play.
Junior Megan Richardson scored a team-high 24 points - 15 of those in the second half - and grabbed eight rebounds to lead a quartet of Titan starters in double figures. Sophomore Lauren Bushong, who was making her first career start, and senior Lyndsey Grove added 12 points apiece while freshman Yvont'e Neal finished with 10 points.
The four combined for all but seven of the team's 65 points on the night.
Erving hit 15-of-28 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds to lead all players, accounting for over half of the team's made field goals (28) on the night. In two games against Fullerton this season, Erving is averaging 34.5 ppg and shooting just over 49 percent (29-for-59) from the field.
Violet Alama also finished with a double-double of 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Matadors, who shot 47 percent in the second half and used a late run midway through the second half to pull away for the win.
After taking a one-point lead into the locker room at the break, Northridge used a 10-3 run out of the gates to start the second half, building an eight-point, 34-26, advantage just three minutes in.
However, the Titans' offense finally found a groove, exploding for a 19-9 run over the next five-plus minutes, capped by a basket inside by Grove that gave Fullerton only its second lead of the game at 45-43 with just over 11 minutes to play.
That would elicit a huge response from the Matadors' offense as Alama nailed a three-pointer out of a Northridge timeout that sparked the decisive 16-6 spurt over the next five minutes, giving the Matadors their largest lead of the game at 60-51 with six minutes to play and they never looked back.
Fullerton got to within four points twice in the closing minutes, hitting 7-of-9 from the line to close out the game, but the Titans struggled from the floor in the final six minutes, going just 3-for-11 from the floor and 1-of-8 from three-point range in that stretch.
Northridge shot 38 percent for the game to Fullerton's 33 percent and the Matadors outrebounded the Titans by a 48-44 count - including 18-13 on the offensive end.
Fullerton, which plays three of its final four games at home to close out the regular season, returns to the court on Thursday (Feb. 17) at 7 p.m. as the Titans host UC Santa Barbara.