’Eater Offense Dropping the Ball

Tommy Pham | New University

Tommy Pham | New University

The ’Eaters struggled against Cal State Northridge before beating Hawaii.

Cal State Northridge defeated the Anteaters 68-52 at the Bren Center Thursday night. The Anteaters now have an overall record of 5-17 and 1-9 in the Big West Conference.

UC Irvine freshman forward Mokun Fajemisin recorded her first double-double with a career-high 11 points and 12 rebounds.

“It feels pretty good getting my first double-double of the season,” Fajemisin said. “It just shows that I’m starting to feel more comfortable playing more minutes.”

Junior forward Camille Buckley posted her ninth double-double of the year with a team-high 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Northridge shot 49.1 percent (27-55) while the Anteaters shot 35.6 percent (21-59) for the game. The Matadors did an extremely well job passing the ball around as they dished 20 assists on 27 made baskets while the Anteaters had a difficult time moving the ball around, as they only had 11 assists. Although UCI may have out-rebounded CSUN 37-33, the Matador’s bench was what ripped the Anteaters apart; they out-scored UCI’s bench 24-4.

“I give Cal State Northridge credit for pressuring us out of offense. We either turned it over or took low percentage shots. For a long time, it was a close ball game, but CSUN just made play after play and we did not. We really struggled to guard the on-ball screen and they had easy high percentage shots,” Coach Doug Oliver said.

In the first half of the game, CSUN started the game with a 21-5 lead over the Anteaters in the first ten minutes. However, UCI started to get into their rhythm by going on a 13-0 run and narrowed the deficit to 21-18 with five minutes left of the first half. As the Anteaters kept making basket after basket, they would finish the first half strong with a 32-28 lead.

Tommy Pham | New University

Tommy Pham | New University

The second half was where the whole game changed. The score lead would change constantly, as both teams were doing well offensively and defensively. However, Irvine would lose their momentum as Northridge went on a 14-0 run and completely took over the game with the score being 63-49 with four minutes left on the clock. As Marta Masoni from CSUN got the four-point play, the whole crowd knew that shot was the dagger.

The Anteaters were playing very well in the first half, but in the second half, it seemed like a different team on the floor. They had too many turnovers; took terrible shots; could not make any of their free throws; and could not get around the pick fast enough from the CSUN pick and roll. What was even worse was that the Anteaters simply looked lost on the court. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in this team, as UC Irvine is dead last in the Big West Conference standings.

“We definitely need to keep working on dribble penetration and help side defense for our next games,” Fajemisin said.