Titans Rally for Key Road Win at UC Davis
DAVIS, Calif. – Led by senior guard Alex Thomas' 13 second-half points and Samantha Logan's 17 point and nine rebound performance, Cal State Fullerton rallied back from an eight-point deficit to knock off UC Davis, 65-62 Thursday night at The Pavilion.
With the ball and trailing 62-61 with 26 seconds left in the game, junior guard Chante Miles drove to the basket to give Fullerton a one-point lead, 63-62. After forcing a jump ball on defense and the possession arrow in favor of the Titans, Thomas went to the charity stripe and converted two free throws with six seconds left to ice the game for the Titans.
With the win, Fullerton now improves to 9-13 overall on the season, but even more importantly 5-4 in Big West play, as the Aggies now fall to 10-13 overall and 5-5 in the conference.
Thomas poured in 22 points on the night, which included 9-of-9 from the charity stripe, while Logan fell one rebound shy of her third double-double of the season. Junior forward Kathleen Iwuoha had a big performance in the paint for the Titans as she grabbed 14 rebounds, nine offensive, to go along with nine points. Miles also added a season high five steals in the win.
Junior forward Sydnee Fipps led UC Davis, scoring 20 points, while knocking down six three-pointers (6-of-11) and five rebounds. Junior guard Kelsey Harris and sophomore Alyson Doherty were the other Aggies to score in double-figures as Harris added 14 and Doherty chipped in 10 points.
UC Davis held an early lead, but with nine minutes remaining in the half Thomas and Logan put the Titans ahead, 17-13, after knocking down back-to-back three-pointers. However, the Aggies would retake the lead, 30-22 with two minutes remaining, after eight first-half three pointers.
Despite shooting 24.3 percent in the first half, Fullerton found themselves only trailing by three, 30-27, at the half. Iwuoha led the Titans with 11 rebounds in the half and six points, while Logan also added nine points and seven rebounds in the opening half.
Fipps converted 5-of-9 shots from the floor, including four three-pointers for 14 first-half points, while Harris chipped in with six points as the Aggies shot 40 percent in the first stanza.
To begin the second half both teams answered one another as UC Davis was only able to hold its biggest lead of five in the second half. The Titans were finally able to gain the lead, 52-50, with 9:15 left as Logan nailed a corner three and , three minutes later Fullerton held its largest lead of the night, 57-52.
Over the next three minutes UC Davis was able to even the game at 57 and continued an 8-0 run to lead by three, 60-57. The Titans were again able to bounce back and led by one, 61-60 with just over a minute remaining before Doherty scored off a tip in with 45 seconds remaining to give UC Davis the lead, but not until Miles' basket put Fullerton up for good.
The Titans shot 31.8 percent from the floor on the night and 30 percent (9-for-30) from behind the arc, while the Aggies finished 42.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range.
Fullerton now aims to start a win streak on Saturday at Hawai'i at 7 p.m.
Notes: Tonight's contest marks the 20th meeting all-time between the two schools…the Titans have now evened up the series 10-10 and move to 7-3 all-time at The Pavilion…Fullerton is now 6-8 against UC Davis in Big West play… CSF has won the last two of three meetings against the Aggies… The Titans are now 7-1 when they outrebound their opponent…Chante Miles had double-digit scoring figures for the first time in three games (previous 17 of 18 games had 10+ points).
Head Coach Daron Park
"I'm really proud of our kids. They showed incredible resilience and toughness tonight and we talk about the value of road wins and to come on the road and win a game the way we did says a lot about our team and this program. I thought our kids executed the game plan to perfection and down the stretch I felt like we won that game. We got the stops and plays at the offensive end."
On Gameplan and Comeback
"We kept trusting the process and gameplan. We wanted UC Davis to shoot threes and since they hurt us in the paint so bad at our place last time. We felt like to be most effective we had to clog the paint and rebound when they miss and they are a good team, but I thought we were incredibly tough tonight."
Iwuoha and Logan's performances
"There impact was huge. We did the little things tonight and we did a great job offensive rebounding in the first half especially when we weren't making shots. In the second half we put it all together and I couldn't be prouder of these kids."