FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton shot just 19-of-56 from the field and 4-for-21 from behind the arc, as UC Santa Barbara defeated the Titans 64-54 Saturday night at Titan Gym.
For Fullerton (10-15, 6-6 Big West, the loss keeps them in fifth place in the conference race and one game behind Long Beach State for fourth place. With the win, UC Santa Barbara improves to 8-17 overall and 3-9 in conference play as it looks for a postseason berth.
Senior guard Alex Thomas led the way for the Titans, pouring in a career high 29 points on 10-of-25 shooting, as she records her 13th consecutive double figure scoring game. Junior guard Chante Miles also added 14 points, but was haunted by foul trouble for most of the game.
UCSB had three players score double figures as senior guard Nicole Nesbit scored 19 points and collected six rebounds. Junior forward Clair Watkins had a big presence inside for the Gauchos as she notched a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds, while senior Melissa Zornig chipped in 18 points.
The Gauchos jumped out to a 9-0 lead before the Titans could blink as Fullerton opened the game 1-for-10 from the field in the first eight minutes (Thomas three-pointer). The Titans failed to find a rhythm offensively in the opening half, as they connected on just 7-of-26 first half field goal attempts, as well as a 2-for-11 start from three.
However, with Thomas the Titans hung in there and with 7:21 remaining a basket by Samantha Logan cut the deficit to six, 18-11. Fullerton even pulled within one in the first half, but UCSB answered back and headed into intermission up 28-22.
The Titans were never able to make a good run for majority of the second half as Fullerton was never able to get closer than eight points and trailed by as many as 19. In the final two minutes of the game CSF was able to produce some steals and turnovers to cut the lead down, but by then the Titans had run out of time.
Tonight marked just the fifth time this season where Fullerton has failed to have a lead at any point in a game.
Cal State Fullerton will try to shake this one off and get back in the win column, as the Titans head on the road to play Cal State Northridge on Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m. before facing rivals Long Beach State on March 1 at The Pyramid at 4 p.m.
Notes: Tonight's meeting marked the 72nd meeting all-time between the two programs as UCSB holds a 48-24 advantage in the series…the Titans are now 13-19 all-time at Titan Gym versus the Gauchos and 16-42 in Big West play against UCSB… Kat Iwuoha did not play due to an injury (Day-to-Day).