BASKETBALL : Northridge's Hopes for .500 Season Grow Dim; Cal Lutheran's Chances at Playoffs Are Slim

Cal Lutheran's chances of making the NAIA District III basketball playoffs grew slimmer on Tuesday when the Kingsmen lost to Point Loma Nazarene, 91-72. CLU (10-16) must win its last two regular-season games--at Azusa Pacific and at home against Southern California College--to make it into postseason play.

Both Azusa Pacific and SCC already have beaten the Kingsmen this season.

Scoring machine: Denise Sitton scored 66 points in Northridge's three basketball games last week, moving her to within 40 points of the school single-season scoring record. Sitton, a 6-1 forward, has 426 points, trailing Pee Wee De La Riva, who had 466 points in 1981.

CSUN on a rebound: Going into last week, Cal State Northridge faced the unenviable task of having to win the rest of its games to avoid back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1975. The Matadors' hopes were dim. Or so it seemed.

The odds still aren't in Northridge's favor, but the Matadors, 10-13 overall, 6-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn., won all three of their games last week. Northridge is tied for third place with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The Matadors will travel to Orange to play Chapman on Friday and then are at home against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday. Northridge is 1-3 against the four remaining teams on its conference schedule.

Top Gun: CLU guard Steve deLaveaga leads the Golden State Athletic Conference in scoring with a 19.8 average. The 6-4 sophomore has scored 30 or more points seven times this season.

Valentine's Day shoot-out: The Western State Conference is taking the adage "It ain't over 'til it's over" to new heights. Moorpark and Canyons collide tonight at Canyons for what may be a shot at the state regionals. With identical conference records, the teams find themselves in must-win situations.

Bakersfield, Canyons and Moorpark are tied for second with 4-6 conference records behind first-place Glendale. The state regional could allow 12 at-large berths for postseason competition and the Western State Conference, theoretically, could end up sending as many as six teams to the tournament. Along the same lines, a team with a losing conference record could win the state championship.

Not road warriors: Moorpark has yet to win an away conference game this season.

Rebound man: Canyons can take solace in the fact that one of its forwards, Anthony Hines, continues to be the most prolific rebounder in the state. He averages 13 a game, tops among community colleges.

Women: Moorpark's women are ranked No. 19 in the state under first-year Coach Gary Abraham. Moorpark, however, remains in second place behind Ventura, which is unbeaten in Western State Conference play.

Ventura (18-9, 7-0) is ranked No. 12. Moorpark is 14-9, 6-1. The conference will be allowed one at-large berth in the state regionals. The first-place teams from the Northern and Southern divisions of the Western State Conference will receive an automatic berth. The second-place team with the best record from either conference will probably receive the at-large berth.

"We're in the running," Abraham said. "But we're still cautious. We still have road games against Hancock and Ventura."

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