University of California, Irvine edged California State University, Northridge 69-62 in Big West Conference women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at the Bren Events Center.
Both teams made four field goals in the first six minutes of the first quarter, but two of the UCI field goals were from three-point range, putting the Anteaters up 10-8 at the media timeout. Tess Amundsen‘s three-pointer with four seconds remaining in the period tied the score at 13. However, the Anteaters’ Deja Lee hit a half court three at the buzzer to return the lead to UCI as time expired.
The Matadors scored the first five points of the second to take the lead for the first time. Lee responded with seven straight to regain the advantage. The Matadors held UCI scoreless for nearly two minutes and went ahead on a Jordyn Jackson three-pointer with just under five remaining. The Anteaters held CSUN to one point over the final 4:55 of the first half to lead 29-25 at halftime.
Despite a 5-for-9 Matadors’ shooting start to the second half, UC Irvine made four three-pointers over the first five minutes of the third quarter to jump out to a 43-35 advantage midway through the frame. Michelle Duchemin kept the Matadors close as she scored eight points. Amundsen’s three-pointer with just under two to play cut the Anteaters’ lead to 45-42. The Matadors drew an offensive foul on the next UCI possession, leading to a Duchemin layup. The teams traded turnovers before UCI’s Hunter Hernandez was fouled with 2.7 seconds remaining. She made both free throws to create a 47-44 score after 30 minutes.
The Anteaters began the fourth by scoring the first four points. Down by seven, a Jackson three-pointer broke the seal for CSUN. Amundsen brought CSUN to 53-50 with a three-pointer with just under seven remaining. UCI extended the lead to eight midway through the fourth. Jackson cut it to 60-55 with a three out of a Matadors’ timeout. Hernandez responded with a three-pointer of her own to again give the Anteaters an eight-point advantage. Kayanna Spriggs‘ drive at 2:47 was followed by an Amundsen putback a little under a minute later. At 63-59, UCI committed a 30-second shot clock violation. The Anteaters called timeout to set up their press as CSUN inbounded the ball.
CSUN broke the press but turned the ball over at the 1:00 mark. Nikki Tom was fouled 26 seconds later. She made both free throw attempts. CSUN called a timeout to advance the ball. The Matadors missed a jumper, but the held ball on the rebound resulted in a CSUN possession. Jackson sank a long three with 22.5 seconds to go. UC Irvine inbounded the ball and had it tied up. The possession arrow favored the Anteaters, who called timeout as two seconds came off the clock. Nevaeh Parkinson was fouled on the inbounds pass. She connected on both free throws, with CSUN calling their final timeout with 18.7 seconds remaining.
CSUN committed a turnover on the inbounds pass, resulting in Olivia Williams being fouled. She made both of her attempts for the final 69-62 score.
Amundsen led all scorers with 20 points. She was 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-5 from three-point range. Jackson scored 13 points and dished out a season-high seven assists. Duchemin posted her third double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Four Anteaters scored in double figures, paced by Williams, who had 15. Hernandez posted 14, while Tom scored 13. Lee ended the day with 11.
UCI drew 10 CSUN fouls in the first half, going to the free throw line 10 times (making five). CSUN was 2-of-4 off five UCI fouls in the opening 20 minutes. After a quiet third in which the teams combined for five fouls, CSUN was whistled for four fouls in the first 1:05 of the fourth. The Matadors would end the game with 22 fouls, compared to 9 for UCI. The Anteaters were 15-of-22 from the free throw line, while CSUN went 3-of-6.
CSUN went 44.8% (26-of-58) from the field, while UCI was 42.3% (22-of-52) from the floor. CSUN outrebounded UCI 34-30, 15-11 on the offensive glass. The Matadors held a 26-16 advantage in the paint.
“UCI made three threes in a row in the third quarter; sometimes, in the flow of the game, you can’t judge if it was a defensive mistake or mistake on communication, so we will have to look at that,” said head coach Carlene Mitchell. “We had three players in double figures. We did a good job on the board and limiting their second-chance opportunities. Unfortunately, the turnovers turned into (20) points which were detrimental to us in the final score. The disparity at the free throw line was obvious.”
UC Irvine improves to 5-0 in the Big West, 13-3 overall…Saturday marked the 60th time CSUN and UCI played women’s basketball, with the Matadors leading the all-time series 31-29…Jackson raised her career point total to 976…Amundsen raised her career total between Boise State and CSUN to 853.
CSUN (4-11, 3-2 Big West) hosts Hawai’i (5-8, 3-1 Big West) Monday night. Coverage on ESPN+ begins at 7 p.m. with Jill Painter Lopez on the call.