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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Northridge's Fate Still In the Dark With Power Outage

March 02, 2001|JOHN KLIMA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

On the bright side, no one can say the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team didn't shoot the lights out.

Power went out Thursday night at the Matadome with the Matadors holding a 28-17 lead over Eastern Washington with 4:12 to play in the first half.

Northridge (9-17, 5-9 in conference play) and the Eagles (10-16, 5-9) were vying for the sixth and final berth in the Big Sky Conference tournament next week at Pocatello, Idaho.

Thursday's game will not be replayed. Northridge will play its final home game Saturday against Portland State. Eastern Washington will play Saturday at Northern Arizona.

If both teams win or lose, a one-game playoff will be played Wednesday in Pocatello to determine the Big Sky's sixth seed.

If one team wins and the other loses Saturday, the winner advances to the conference tournament.

"It's frustrating because we were playing well," Northridge Coach Frozena Jerro said. "It's really bizarre. I've seen lights go out in a gym, but never in the middle of a game."

Three transformers near the athletic department building malfunctioned at about 5:30 p.m., Northridge spokesman Matt Monroe said. The Matadome was powered by a generator and emergency shot clocks were set up when the scoreboard did not function properly.

Campus police evacuated the Matadome immediately after the power outage, which included Sierra Hall, the largest classroom building.

Northridge was in the middle of an 8-0 run when the power went out. The Matadors were trying to break a six-game losing streak that included four Big Sky road losses.

Northridge hadn't played a home game since a Feb. 8 conference loss to Idaho State.

The delay means Northridge will have one final chance to determine its own fate. The program reached the NCAA tournament for the first time two seasons ago.

Eastern Washington players weren't thrilled either.

"This stinks," guard Jamie Granger said. "This game had [conference tournament] implications. We definitely wanted to play it."

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