MOSCOW, Idaho. – Fullerton's defense could not stop a red-hot Idaho offense and resulting in an 80-60 loss to the Vandals on Monday night.
"Tough night for us as we struggled making shots and it seemed like they couldn't miss," said head coach Jeff Harada. "We knew they had two really good shooters in Pierce and Ferenz, but for some reason we allowed them too many good looks and they made us pay for it. That's what good players do and we have to make the choice to develop a sense of pride and urgency to play defense according to the game plan and not how we feel like doing it at the time."
Junior Daeja Smith led the Fullerton offense for the fourth consecutive game finishing with a season-high 19 points and pulling down a game-high 9 rebounds. Freshmen Triann Thompson and Ashlee Ane combined for all 21 of the Titans' bench points with 11 and 10 respectively. Junior Jade Vega finished with nine points and a game-high six assists.
Taylor Pierce led all scorers with 27 points on 9-10 shooting from beyond the arc. She also had four rebounds and four assists. Mikayla Ferenz finished with 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Geraldine McCorkell was the third and final Vandal in double-figures with 12 points. As a team, Idaho shot 31-61 (50.9%) from the field and an impressive 15-24 (62.5%) from beyond the arc.
It was all Vandals out of the gate as they opened the game up on a 7-0 run to take the early lead. Fullerton battled back and had the deficit down to just one with less than three minutes left in the quarter. But Pierce and McCorkell led Idaho on a 9-0 scoring run to end the quarter.
Unfortunately for the Titans, the scoring run did not stop when the quarter ended. Idaho kept it going until an Ane jumper ended it at 22-0 with six minutes left in the half. Carried by Pierce's 24 first-half points on 8-8 shooting from beyond the arc, Fullerton went into the half trailing by 25 points.
"29 points in a quarter is unacceptable and our team knows we have to be better than that" Harada said referring to the second quarter.
The third quarter was the start to a much better half for the Titans. "Our energy and discipline were much better in the second half but when you're fighting uphill against a team that's not missing shots, it's very tough to come back" continued Harada.
Idaho's first-half star, Pierce, just 1-3 from the field in the quarter and as a team, CSF managed to keep Idaho under 50% from the field for the first time in the game. However, the Fullerton offense struggled to find the bottom of the net and could not gain any ground.
Fullerton made the fourth quarter, their best quarter shooting 40% and outscoring Idaho 20-13. However, despite six points from both Vega and T. Thompson, it was too late for a comeback and the Titans suffered their fourth consecutive loss.
Harada went on to say, "I do like the fight we had to make a few runs and how we competed until the end. It shows we are working hard, but we also have to work smart and with consistency in order for us to be the team we know we can be."
With school finals coming up, the Titans have a break in between games as they will be back in action on December 16 to take on Antelope Valley in Titan Gym. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
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