2013 Big West Tournament
Anaheim, Calif. Big West Tournament Semifinals- Honda Center
Friday, March 15, 2013
Session 4, Game 9: No. 8 Cal State Fullerton 51, No. 1 Pacific 54
- Titans fall to 0-11 all-time when facing a number one seed in the Big West Tournament.
- Fullerton has shot 70-plus percent from the free throw line in three consecutive contests to end the year.
- Titans end the year scoring 50-plus points in three straight games
- First time Fullerton has lost to Pacific three times in one season since the 2003-04 campaign.
- Titans were just second away from advancing to just their second ever Big West Tournament championship game (Lost to No. 1 Long Beach State, 71-60, as the three-seed in 1991).
- Kathleen Iwuoha's 15 rebounds tonight marked a career high, and was the most any Titan grabbed in a game this season.
Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Marcia Foster
"I was hoping to be up here as a winner today, we were hoping to be a winner, our team is a winner, but we came up just short against a number one team, they are tough for a reason, they won the Big West regular season title. I am so proud of the effort our kids put forward, they battled, and this team handled us twice already this season, we refused to give in today. Erica McKenzie made a great shot to win the game and it took a great shot to win the game, it was going to take a great shot to beat us today because we were playing with so much heart. Kathleen Iwuoha played a great game for us, and I asked Chante Miles to play forty minutes and defend some of the toughest guards in the conference. I know how disappointed we are, because we wanted to be that team of destiny and Cinderella. We were that team of destiny, to be here today after the year we have had, we are a team, we have so much courage. I'm not a fan that we lost, but I love having battles, and I would go down with these young ladies and my coaching staff any day. The zone that we started the game off with didn't go so well, so we had to go back to the man and make a difficult adjustment against a tough team, and my hat goes off to Pacific for playing a tough game against us.
Why the zone didn't work to begin the game
"They knocked down threes, Erica McKenzie and Kendall Rodriguez became hot from the three-point line, they shoot, attack, then kick out. They came out and started off hot and we decided early to switch to the man defense because we figured if they weren't knocking down their three's it could cause problems for them."
On what turned the season around
"You know how things don't appear as they are when they are something else? We felt and knew we were a talented team. We are young team, we just beat ourselves early on. We were young, talented, and inexperienced. I told everyone we would be good, I just didn't know it would take this long. After the tragedy the team stayed resilient. This team could have broken apart, because we were already struggling on the court. But they didn't, they knew they would be good. If the season would have continued to go through as is, it would have already been a success as long as we played tough. This is just the icing on the cake. We did big stuff this season and I'm proud."
Thoughts on the final play of the game
"We didn't have enough time to set it up. We tried to get Chante (Miles) on the run and get a quick three up. We kind of got lost in the moment and we didn't get the shot we were looking for. I asked Chante (Miles) to play 40 minutes today, and it would have been nice to get a three, but it didn't happen that way."
Sophomore Forward Kathleen Iwuoha
On the season's turning point
"There wasn't a single game turning point where we all started to playing together and came together. It just kind of developed and we kept fighting. I'm very proud of the team. We were able to get through something so tragic and rise up."
Sophomore Guard Chante Miles
On the season's turning point
"I agree with Kat (Iwuoha). The turning point came after coach passed away. We came together because we knew we had to stick together and play.
On the future of this team
"Of course I am definitely ready to come back, and ready for the next season to come back and get started. We'll hopefully gel together early, I'll become a better player, we'll start better next season, and be a better team instead