Jan. 5, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Megan Richardson became the 19th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points, finishing with a season-high 26 on Wednesday night as the Titans fell to visiting UC Irvine, 70-65, in a Big West Conference match-up at Titan Gym.
Richardson hit 10-of-22 from the field to reach the milestone, with her first free throw at the 8:30 mark of the first half giving her the 1,000th point, becoming the first Titan since Toni Thomas in 2009 to accomplish the feat. Richardson, the only player in double figures for Fullerton (5-10 overall, 1-2 Big West), also finished with a team-best nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 38 minutes to pace an offense that was held to just 38 percent shooting from the field for the game.
The Anteaters (10-4, 2-0) shot just 38.6 percent for the game, but just under 53 percent in the second half, and were led by Mikah Maly-Karros' double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds. Reigning conference player of the week Jade Smith-Williams, who scored a season-high 28 points in her last outing against UC Riverside, was held to just 10 points on the night.
Both teams traded runs in a first half that featured seven tie scores and nine lead changes as Fullerton opened on an 8-2 run for its largest lead of the game, but UCI responded with an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the night. The see-saw affair continued at a frenetic pace as neither team led by more than four points in the period before the Anteaters closed the half on an 11-5 run over the final three minutes to carry a 35-31 advantage into the locker room at the break.
UC Irvine's run continued into the second half as the Anteaters scored the first four points of the period as the Titans struggled out of the locker room, going 0-for-3 with three turnovers to start the period before a Richardson jumper snapped the skid. Fullerton cut the deficit down to just two points at 41-39 with 15:02 to play, but UCI bounced back, using a 10-2 burst to go ahead, 51-41, five minutes later.
The Titans hung around, however, pulling back to within four points on numerous occasions - the last coming with just over two minutes to play on another jumper by Richardson - but could never find the go-ahead run despite the Anteaters leaving the door open in the final two minutes, hitting just 7-of-13 from the line in crunch time.
Fullerton outrebounded an opponent for only the third time this season, outworking UC Irvine on the boards, 43-37, but committed 19 turnovers on the night, leading to 21 Anteater points. UCI also took advantage of 24 Titan fouls, going to the line 34 times - 20 more than Fullerton.
The Titans, who had their four-game home winning streak snapped and missed a chance to improve to 4-0 at home for the first time since 1983-84, will look to get back on track Saturday afternoon (Jan. 8) at 3 p.m. as they host UC Riverside.