Jan. 30, 2014

Matadors 71 – Highlanders 61

There’s an old adage: When it rains, it pours. No statement could more accurate for the UCR women’s basketball team, who after Thursday night’s loss to Cal State Northridge, fell to 4-16 on the season overall and 0-7 in conference. The Highlanders shot an abysmal 29.9 percent from the floor while only making three of their 20 three-point attempts.

The contest started positively for the home team as a pair of jumpers from Annelise Ito and a Simone DeCoud layup gave UCR a 6-2 lead. Things would only get worse from that point, however. Northridge slowly began to build a lead despite a solid resistance from UCR. By halftime the Matadors led by eight points, 37-29, backed largely by a 13-point performance from Cinnamon Lister.

The second half wasn’t any kinder to the Highlanders. Cal State Northridge never relinquished its lead as the Riverside deficit grew to as many as 15 points. UCR made a final push deep in the second half, however, scoring seven straight points, which cut the lead to seven, 66-59. The Matadors, seemingly on cruise control, got back into gear and sealed the game with five free throws, 71-61.

Kiara Harewood tied her career-high with 14 points on the night while grabbing 10 boards. Ito also chipped in 14. UCR’s leading scorer Brittany Crain (nine points) was held to single digits for the second straight contest after 16 consecutive games of scoring 10 or more points. It’s been nearly a full year since the Highlanders won in the Big West Conference. Their last conference victory dates back to Feb. 9, 2013, a 64-45 win against Cal State Fullerton.

UC Riverside next travels to Northridge, Calif. on Feb. 6 for a second matchup against the Matadors.