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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 9:28 pm | Fair 55º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
College Basketball

UCSB Women Stumble at Northridge

The UCSB women's basketball team knew Cal State Northridge was the top rebounding team in the Big West.

On Wednesday night, the Gauchos found out the hard way why the Matadors are No. 1

UCSB (9-10, 4-2) was out-rebounded 47-27, fell behind early and never recovered in a 75-61 loss at the Matadome.

"They beat us at our game," UCSB coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "Pushed it in transition, threw it inside, drove and kick, then they picked on some match ups in on-ball screen action. We've got to guard better one-on-one."

Four Gauchos scored in double figures, led by Drea Toler's 14 off the bench. Aliceah Hernandez set a career-high with 13 points in her first start of the season. Onome Jemerigbe also scored 13 while dealing a team-best four assists, and Coco Miller had 10 points with a game-high six steals.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak. Sarah Porter did not dress after suffering an injury during the first quarter of the game against Hawaii on January 2.

"The issue is everybody had to do more, and we did less. Championship teams don't do that. Somebody steps up, everybody's got to do a little more," Henrickson said.

CSUN was powered by a pair of career-highs, getting 28 points from Serafina Maulupe, and 21 points off the bench from Cheyenne Allen. Channon Fluker recorded her conference best 12th double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 boards, and Eliza Matthews snatched a game-topping 12 rebounds.

Maulupe's jumper 17 seconds in gave the hosts a lead they'd never relinquish, as the Matadors scored the first six points of the game. UCSB managed just five points in the first 5:07 when Jemerigbe knocked down a three pointer from the left wing, en route to making just four of their 13 attempts in the opening ten minutes. Conversely, the Matadors made nine of 14, over 64% of their shots, in the first to lurch out to a 19-10 lead when the horn sounded.

"We made some bad decisions, didn't see the ball, and didn't play with discipline on the defensive end. There's as much defensive discipline as there is offensive discipline," said Henrickson.

The hosts added to their edge by scoring eight of the first ten points in the second quarter, ballooning the advantage to 15. The Gauchos were able to claw back as close as eight when Miller came away with a steal and layup at the six minute mark, but Allen and Maulupe combined for six of the next eight. At halftime CSUN held a 36-25 lead.

"Coco had six steals, five in the first half. Somebody's got to join that party, being aggressive, getting on the floor and knocking balls down," Henrickson said.

Miller's triple opened the third quarter to cut the lead to single digits, but UCSB was unable to draw any closer.

The Gauchos are back in action Saturday on the road against the UC Irvine Anteaters at 2 p.m.

"You've got to be ready to play, it doesn't matter who you play, where you play, it matters how you play. Our 'how', our process has to be better on Saturday," Henrickson said.

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