Second-Half Run Lifts Gauchos Over Titans, 60-54

Jan. 10, 2009

Box Score

FULLERTON, CA - UC Santa Barbara's Margaret Johnson scored 14 points to lead three teammates in double figures and the visiting Gauchos used a 14-0 run over a seven-minute span in the second half to pull away for a 60-54 victory over host Cal State Fullerton in a Big West Conference women's basketball match up on Saturday evening at Titan Gym.

The Titans (5-8, 2-1) saw their brief two-game winning streak snapped while UCSB improved to 8-6 overall (4-0 in conference play) in winning its 31st-consecutive contest over Fullerton dating back to 1995.

Senior Toni Thomas, making her first start since Dec. 4 against then No. 16 Vanderbilt, finished with her second double-double of the year, scoring a game-high 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Sophomore Lyndsey Grove also finished with her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds - including six on the offensive glass.

Trailing by just two points at the half after a back-and-forth first period the Titans hung tough, battling to a 41-41 tie with 11:05 to go as no team led by more than three points up to that point.

However, that's when the Gauchos heated up as Sha'Rae Gibbons hit a three-pointer to break the tie and jumpstart a 14-0 run capped by a basket inside by Ashlee Brown to make it 55-41 with 3:54 to go.

Fullerton wouldn't go quietly as the Titans broke the drought with an 8-0 run of their own to pull back to within five points at 55-50 with just 1:32 remaining. UCSB held strong, however, making 5-of-6 from the line down the stretch to build up an eight point advantage and clinch the win.

The Gauchos shot just over 45 percent from the floor for the game, including a 60 percent clip from the field in the second half, while the UCSB defense held the Titans to just 27 percent from the floor and two three-pointers in 22 attempts.

Gibbons, Lauren Pederson, and Jordan Franey all finished with 10 points apiece to help pace a balanced Gauchos attack.

Cal State Fullerton now hits the road for a pair of games in Northern California as the Titans travel to UC Davis on Thursday (Jan. 15) before heading to Pacific on Saturday (Jan. 17).