Jan. 10, 2008
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Toni Thomas scored a game-high 20 points, including 10-of-13 from the free throw line, but the Titans' second half rally came up just short as they fell to host Cal Poly, 55-54, in a Big West Conference women's basketball match-up on Thursday night at Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
The loss dropped Fullerton to 2-11 overall and 1-1 in conference play while the Mustangs improved to 6-9 overall and remained perfect at 3-0 in the Big West.
It was the second one-point loss in the last four games for the Titans following a heart-breaking, 71-70, defeat at Saint Mary's on Dec. 29.
Thomas was the only Fullerton player in double figures as she hit 5-of-10 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds, scoring 16 of her game-high total in the second half before fouling out with 1:41 to play and her team trailing by six.
Senior Alison Bennett led the Titans on the boards for the second straight game with eight rebounds.
Fullerton closed to within a single point after freshman Lauren Chow capped an 8-2 run by the Titans, hitting three free throws after being fouled on her long-range attempt with 10 seconds remaining in the game.
Cal Poly's Lisa McBride, who finished with her first career double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds, missed two free throws on the Mustangs' ensuing possession that would have iced the game with seven seconds to go, instead giving Cal State Fullerton new life.
The Titans then drove back down the court for the game-winner, but junior Daviyonne Weathersby's attempt wouldn't fall as the buzzer sounded.
Fullerton led for most of the first half, building a six-point lead with just under 11 minutes to go, but a 9-2 run by the Mustangs tied the game and a pair of free throws by Tamara Wells gave Cal Poly the 20-18 advantage.
Neither team led by more than four the rest of the way as the Titans scored five of the final seven points in the half to close to within a single point at 26-25 at halftime.
The game remained tight to start the second half as baskets by Thomas tied the game at 27 and later at 33 with 12:36 to play. She followed her second game-tying basket with a three-point play to give Fullerton a 36-33 advantage, but Cal Poly came roaring back with a 10-0 run to take a seven-point lead with 7:46 remaining.
That lead would grow to as many as nine points before the Titans began chipping away, closing to within a pair thanks to a 12-6 run with just under a minute to play.
Both teams shot poorly on the night as Cal Poly hit on just 34 percent from the floor to the Titans' 31 percent. Fullerton, however, could not take advantage from the free throw line either as the team hit just 15-of-25 (.600) from the stripe in the loss.
The Titans close out their season-long five-game roadtrip on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 12) at 2 p.m. as they take on UC Santa Barbara at The Thunderdome.