Richardson's 33 Not Enough as Cal Poly Roars Back
Jan. 13, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - Cal Poly's Abby Bloetscher scored a career-high 29 points to go with 11 rebounds and the visiting Mustangs erased an 11-point halftime deficit en route to a 75-72 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night at Titan Gym.
The Titans (5-12, 1-4 in the Big West) dropped their fourth consecutive contest and lost for the 11th time in their last 13 games despite junior Megan Richardson's career- and game-high 33 points in 37 minutes on 14-of-24 shooting from the field..
Cal Poly, which dressed only eight players for the game, improved to 8-7 overall and 4-0 in league play with the win as Bloetscher was joined in double figures by teammates Rachel Clancy (16) and Tamara Wells (10).
Richardson hit the 30-point plateau for the first time in her career and the first for a Titan player since Toni Thomas scored 32 points on the road at UTEP on Nov. 22, 2007. The 33 points were the most for a Fullerton player since Natascha Stokely finished with 36 points against Long Beach State on Feb. 22, 1998.
No other Titan finished with more than seven field goal attempts as senior Lyndsey Grove was the next highest scorer with nine points. Sophomore Simone Lutu, making her first career start, finished with a career-high eight points and a career-best seven rebounds.
Fullerton, which led by as many as 14 points with two minutes to play in the first half, took a 43-32 advantage into the locker room at the break, shooting 55 percent from the floor in the first period. However, after trading baskets to open the second half, Cal Poly exploded for a 13-0 run over a three-minute span to tie the game at 49-49 with 12:10 to play.
The two teams battled back-and-forth over the next seven minutes with neither squad leading by more than two points, but Clancy's jumper with 5:44 to play gave the Mustangs the lead for good, jump-starting a 10-3 run by Cal Poly, which led 68-61 with 2:32 remaining.
Richardson responded with a three-pointer to start a string of nine consecutive points by the junior from Manhattan Beach, closing the gap to 75-70 with 12 seconds to play. The Titans got an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and Grove was sent to the line after a foul, hitting both to make it a three-point game with nine seconds to play.
The Mustangs then had a chance to ice the game, but Clancy missed two from the line, giving Fullerton another opportunity. The inbound pass to Lauren Chow was broken up by Wells, but Chow recovered the ball with three seconds on the clock. However, her last-chance heave from just outside the half court stripe fell short as the buzzer sounded.
Cal Poly outrebounded Fullerton, 36-32, and hit 17-of-20 from the line compared to just 8-of-10 for the Titans. Fullerton was also forced into 17 turnovers on the night, leading to 16 Mustang points.
The Titans close out their four-game homestand on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 15) at 3 p.m. as they welcome Cal State Northridge to Titan Gym. The Matadors were defeated by UC Riverside on Thursday night, 64-53, to fall to 1-15 overall and 1-3 in league play.