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January 31
1943 - 3 Army aviators killed in crash of plane and glider in Castaic area; 3 others saved by 9-year-old girl [story]
Marylynn Winkler Butters


California State University, Northridge improved to 2-0 in Big West Conference women’s basketball play as the Matadors defeated Cal State Fullerton 69-59 Saturday, Dec. 31, at Premier America Credit Union Arena.

FIRST HALF
The Matadors held Cal State Fullerton to three first quarter field goals (in 13 attempts) and forced eight Titans’ turnovers to overcome an early 4-0 deficit to lead 11-7 at the end of the frame.

California State University, Northridge opened the second quarter on a 10-0 run and outscored the Titans 15-4 over the first five minutes. Led by De’jah Williams, who was 3-for-3 from the floor, the Matadors connected on 10-of-15 field goal attempts in the second. The Matadors outscored the Titans 26-12, taking an 18-point lead (37-19) into halftime.

SECOND HALF
Four CSUN turnovers in the first three minutes of the third quarter resulted in a 7-3 Titans’ spurt, cutting the advantage to 40-26. CSUN called time out a 7:06. Cal State Fullerton continued to chip away at the Matadors’ lead, cutting to 48-40 when Gabi Vidmar made a three-pointer with just under a minute to play. An Arina Nikishina layup at the third quarter buzzer returned the lead to double digits for the Matadors at 50-40.

The Matadors got off to a strong start in the fourth quarter as Michelle Duchemin connected on a three-point play on the opening CSUN possession. Anaiyah Tu’ua made 1-of-2 free throws on the next CSUN possession. Una Jovanoic’s basket made it 54-42 before Duchemin scored off a Titans’ turnover.

Cal State Fullerton reduced the CSUN lead to 56-46 midway through the period when Ashlee Lewis made two free throws. Tess Amundsen led a Matadors’ charge with seven consecutive points over the next two minutes. When Tu’ua sank a pair of free throws at 3:28, the advantage was back to 65-48.

Cal State Fullerton responded with a 9-1 run that featured four points from point guard Fujika Nimmo, making it 66-57 with 1:49 remaining. Jordyn Jackson was fouled 41 seconds later and sank free throws to push the lead to 11. Jovanovic was fouled the next time down for the Titans, and she made both of her free throw attempts. Fouled with 35 seconds on the clock, Amundsen was 1-of-2 from the free throw line to make it the final 69-59.

THE STATS
Amundsen led all scorers with 19 points. She went 7-of-10 from the field, 3-of-4 from three-point range, and 2-of-3 from the free throw line. The 6-0 forward added five rebounds and two assists. Jackson scored 11 points and dished out six assists. Williams, Tu’ua, and Macy Smith all scored eight for the Matadors. Tu’ua charted five assists and a steal.

Jovanovic scored 17 points to lead Cal State Fullerton. Nimmo posted 13, with Ashlee Lewis scoring 12.

The Matadors limited the Titans (5-6, 0-2 Big West) to 32.1% shooting (18-of-56) for the game. CSUN was 25-of-54 from the field (46.3%). Cal State Fullerton drew 21 CSUN fouls in the second half, which resulted in the Titans making 16-of-20 free throw attempts. The Titans were 19-of-24 (79.2%) for the game after the Matadors committed 27 fouls. The Matadors were 9-of-13 in the second half from the free throw line, 13-of-18 (72.2%) in the game as Cal State Fullerton committed 15 fouls. CSUN outrebounded Cal State Fullerton 46-23, 13-8 on the offensive boards. The Matadors’ bench outscored their Titans’ counterparts 33-2.

ACCORDING TO HEAD COACH CARLENE MITCHELL
“We certainly made it interesting. First, we built the big lead, which helped us overcome turning the ball over 24 times. De’Jah is still returning from her knee injury, but she gave us some great minutes tonight. It was a total team effort. Our depth will hopefully carry us as we progress in the Big West.”

NOTES
CSUN is 2-0 in league play for the first time since the 2019-20 season and only the fourth time since the Matadors joined the Big West in 2001 that CSUN is off to a 2-0 start in conference action…the CSUN victory evened the all-time series against Cal State Fullerton at 30…Jackson made her 29th consecutive free throw in the second half before missing the second in a two-shot opportunity…The graduate student is now 31 of her last 32 from the free throw line….Jackson has scored 911 career points…Amundsen has achieved 558 points in a Matador uniform and has surpassed the 800-point plateau…she has started all 40 games she has appeared in a CSUN uniform…in 98 career college games at CSUN and Boise State, Amundsen has scored 806 points.

UP NEXT
CSUN (3-9, 2-0 Big West) travels to Long Beach State (7-5, 2-0 Big West) Thursday night. Coverage on ESPN+ begins at 7 p.m.

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