LONG BEACH, Calif.— Cal State Fullerton connected on just 12-of-63 shot attempts for a season-low 19 percent shooting from the field, as the Titans dropped a 45-39 contest to Long Beach State Saturday night in Long Beach.
For Fullerton (7-10, 3-2 Big West), it was just its second loss in its last seven affairs and it's sixth defeat by just six points or less this season.
With the win, Long Beach State (10-8, 3-3 Big West) snaps what was season-high three-game losing skid, while earning its second consecutive victory over the Titans going back to last season.
Junior guard Alex Thomas led the way for the Titans, scoring 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting, as she set a career high in the scoring column for a second consecutive game. Sophomore forward Kathleen Iwuoha also grabbed career-high 14 rebounds in the loss.
Center Devin Hudson was too much for Fullerton to handle down low, as she posted a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds for the 49ers. Lauren Spargo provided relief off the bench, pouring in 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, as the only other player to score in double-figures.
Fullerton didn't hit its first field goal until the 14:29 mark of the first half when Alex Thomas connected on a mid-range jumper. Thomas went on to score the Titans' first 10 points of the contest to give Fullerton it's first lead of the game at the 12:35 mark.
Despite just shooting 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) for the first half, the Titans never trailed for the remainder of the period, as the defense forced 11 turnovers and kept the 49ers at bay, as Long Beach State connected on just 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) first-half field goal attempts. Fullerton took a slim 21-18 advantage into intermission.
While the offense really never came in the second half, the feisty Titan defense put Fullerton in a position to win the game, as it led 33-21 with 12:25 left to play in the game.
In fact, the 49ers didn't have a second-half field goal conversion until Lauren Spargo nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key with 11:05 left in the contest to trim the Fullerton lead to 33-24.
Spargo struck back once again and nailed what proved to be the biggest shot of the game, as she swished a trey as the shot clock expired to push the 49ers in front 41-38 with 1:40 left in the game. It was their first lead since the 13:35 mark of the first half.
That would be all Long Beach State needed, as the Titans were only able to muster up one more point the rest of the way.
The 49ers held the Titans without a field goal for the final 13:52 of the game and outscored Fullerton 24-6 during that same span, as the Titans went just 4-for-29 from the floor in the second half for 13.8 percent.
Cal State Fullerton will try to shake this one off and get back in the win column, as the Titans return home to play UC Davis Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Titan Gym.