The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team hasn’t enjoyed a view from the top for many years and it looks like the Matadors intend to make it last.
“We wanted to win,” said freshman guard Janae Sharpe. “We were in first place and we wanted to stay in first place.”
Sharpe had a game high 19 points, while senior Jasmine Erving posted her 12th double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Erving, who broke the school record for blocked shots last week, stopped two more, bringing her career total to 139.
Sharpe scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half, after Northridge head coach Jason Flowers pointed out she was 0-for-7 at halftime.
It seems that Flowers knows how to motivate this team. He has taken the Matadors from worst to first in just his second season as head coach.
Only five of his 13 players are returners, and six of the eight newcomers are true freshman. Although that may look like the mix of players on a team just starting the rebuilding process, the Matadors have moved through that process quickly and have come farther than expected.
Flowers had high praise for his players in a preseason interview, saying that the returning five have continued to get better and that the best way to sum up the newcomers would be by calling them “winners.”
In conference play this season, the Matadors have certainly proven to be winners. And, even when they have lost, the games have been hotly-contested and the losses have come at less than five points.
Last week the Matadors dropped a disappointing game to Long Beach State, snapping a four-game win streak, with their 75-72 loss in double overtime.
Today the Matadors will seek revenge against UC Davis, a team that was able to pull out a 55-53 win against the Matadors in their last meeting on Jan. 12. The game starts at 2 p.m. at the Matadome and is a part of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association "Play 4 Kay" initiative to support breast cancer awareness. All fans wearing pink will receive free admission to the game.