Fullerton Drops Opener to South Dakota

FULLERTON, Calif. – A sluggish start from Cal State Fullerton was too much to overcome as the Titans dropped their regular season opener, 66-57, to South Dakota at Titan Gym on Friday night.

Fullerton (0-1) was led by junior forward Kathleen Iwuoha, who scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while grabbing seven rebounds. Junior guard Chante Miles scored 12 points and added a team-high three assists in the loss.

South Dakota (1-0) was led by Nicole Seekamp who was too much for Fullerton to handle, as she posted a double-figure scoring effort with 18 points. Raeshel Contreras provided relief off the bench, adding in 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Fullerton came out of the gates slow and didn't hit its first field goal until the 14:14 mark of the first half when Iwuoha connected on a mid-range jumper. With the Titans struggling, South Dakota was able to jump out to a 17-4 advantage after the first 10 minutes of play.

The Titans and Coyotes traded baskets for the last part of the first half and the Titans faced a 15-point deficit heading into halftime. Fullerton opened up the second half with more energy as redshirt senior Mya Olivier knocked down a mid-range jumper and junior Natalie Williams hit a corner trey to cut the Coyote lead down to 11. The Titans, however were never able to cut the lead down to fewer than seven.

The Titans finished the night shooting 38.3 percent from the field and 20 percent from three-point range. They were outrebounded 44-31.

Cal State Fullerton will try to get in the win column next Saturday, November 16 versus Fresno State at 12:00 p.m. in Titan Gym. The women's game will be followed by the men's game against Santa Clara, which will then be followed by the women's volleyball game against Long Beach State.
Notes: South Dakota defeats Fullerton in the first meeting between the two schools…The Titans are now 26-19 all-time in season opening contests… Fullerton is now 14-8 all-time at home in regular season openers… The Titans have split their last six home debuts…. Fullerton drops to 6-6 all-time against the current configuration of the Summit League… tonight was Daron Park's first regular season game as the head coach of Cal State Fullerton.
 

Quotes:

Head Coach Daron Park

Opening Statement…

"It's a tough way to open the season, South Dakota did a really nice job and they're a good team. They came out with tremendous confidence in the first half and with our new system it showed in the first half, but I'm really proud of my team, I love these girls, this university, and the fight we had in the second half. I have been part of a lot of teams that would have just mailed it in, but we won the second half. With that being said this program will not believe in moral victories and at the end of the day were 0-1 and we have a standard to set here at Cal State Fullerton"


Halftime talk…

"I told them to believe, to have confidence and to believe in who they are. We made some adjustments and made it a goal to get some stops, find ways to score, attack them, and pressure them defensively. I thought our tempo was a lot better in second half"


Atmosphere at Titan Gym..

"I loved it, I love this place. It's a small gym and when you put some people in it especially with the dance team, the cheerleaders, and the band it's a great loud environment. It was a great way to start the women basketball year, unfortunately we didn't play better to give the fans something to smile about"

On next weeks game…

Fresno State is a very good team; they're projected to win the mountain west and compete in the NCAA tournament. South Dakota is also postseason team so its not easy and its going be a tough test for this team early in the year, but my staff and I will get the players ready to play"

Junior Guard Chante Miles


Approach of coming off the bench…

"You have to be able to play and contribute in any way you can, I wouldn't say in the first half we were ready, but in the second half we were ready to play and compe

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