Titans Fall to Anteaters in Defensive Struggle
IRVINE, Calif.—Cal State Fullerton converted on just four of 27 second-half field goals for 14.8 percent, as the Titans fell to UC Irvine, 43-39, Saturday night at the Bren Events Center.
Despite the poor shooting, the Titans had a real shot to win the game, as they led 39-37 with 2:19 left to play in the game after Chante Miles collected a steal at half court then took it the other way for two. It was Fullerton's first lead since it led 21-20 with 2:29 left to play in the first half.
However, that would be the last points Fullerton would score, as UC Irvine outscored the Titans 6-0 over the final 2:19 to clinch the win. The Titans ended up shooting just 12-of-50 for the game for 24 percent.
The loss extends Cal State Fullerton's (7-17, 3-9 Big West) season-long losing skid to eight games, while for UC Irvine (8-17, 4-9 Big West), the win marks its third in a row.
Miles led the Titans in scoring with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field. Alex Thomas also contributed, pouring in eight points and grabbing seven rebounds. Kathleen recorded her fifth double-digit rebounding game of the season, as the grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds in the loss.
Kelly Meggs led all scorers with 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting for the Anteaters, while Camille Buckley proved to be a force down low, as she grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds in the win.
It was an encouraging start for Fullerton as it scored the first four points of the ballgame, eventually jumping out to an 18-6 advantage with 9:13 left in the first half after Brianna Barfield and Annie Park connected on back-to-back treys. The 12-point advantage was the Titans' largest lead in any game since Jan. 19 at Long Beach State.
But, eerily similar to that Long Beach State game, the lead quickly dissipated as the Anteaters outscored the Titans 19-5 over the final 7:58 of the first half. Fullerton trailed 27-23 at the break.
The Titans' offensive struggles continued in the second half, but Fullerton forced a season-high tying 25 turnovers and converted on 11-of-14 second-half free throws to keep the game within reach all the way to the end.
Fullerton will get another chance to snap its losing streak when it travels up to Stockton, California to take on the Pacific Tigers this Thursday at 7 p.m.