Jan. 21, 2012
RIVERSIDE, CA - UC Riverside's TreShonti Nottingham finished with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, including the go-ahead floater with 46 seconds remaining on Saturday night, lifting the host Highlanders to a 69-65 victory over Cal State Fullerton at the Student Recreation Center.
Riverside (3-16, 1-6), which had lost nine straight since mid-December, won for the first time in Big West Conference play behind Nottingham, who scored seven of the team's final eight points to erase a two-point Titans lead with just over two minutes to play. Fullerton (8-10, 1-5) lost for the fifth time in the last seven games while dropping its fifth-straight overall to UCR and the fourth in a row in the Inland Empire.
After trailing by as many as 15 points midway through the first half, senior Megan Richardson gave the Titans the lead on her third three-pointer with 1:44 to play in the game, putting Fullerton ahead, 65-63. That's when Nottingham took over, sinking 1-of-2 from the line after being fouled following her own shot to make it a one-point game and then, after a turnover, Nottingham drove the left side and lofted a floater up and in to give the Highlanders the lead for good.
The Titans would miss on their next trip down the court and Nottingham would sink two more from the line after being fouled to give UCR a three-point advantage. Fullerton, which committed 17 turnovers on the night, made its last one a costly one, losing the ball on the inbounds pass and sending Brittany Palmer to the stripe, where she hit 1-of-2 to ice the victory.
Richardson, who was held to single digits for just the third time this season at UC Irvine last Wednesday, finished with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-19 from the field for the Titans, scoring 14 straight points for her team at one point in the second half to power Fullerton's comeback. It was her seventh 20-point scoring performance of the year and her highest total since finishing with 27 points in a win at San Jose State on Dec. 22.
Senior Lauren Chow, who finished in double figures for the third consecutive game with 10 points, hit a three-pointer at the 8:21 mark to give the Titans their first lead of the game at 58-55 and they eventually led, 60-57 off a basket inside by freshman Kathleen Iwuoha, but they could never quite pull away.
Senior Alicya Crisp also finished in double figures for Fullerton, falling one point shy of her season high with 12 points, including 6-of-6 from the line, and causing havoc on the defensive end. Iwuoha tied a career-high with 10 rebounds on the night.
An 11-0 run by the Highlanders, who were shooting as high as 75 percent from the floor at one point in the first half, turned a four-point lead into a 15-point advantage at 27-14 with 10:35 to play and they eventually led 33-18 three-minutes later in the opening period. The Titans then took advantage as UCR cooled off, using an 11-1 spurt to climb back and make it a five-point contest with just over five minutes remaining, but two free throws and a basket by Palmer pushed the lead back to nine as Fullerton went scoreless for almost three minutes and went without a field goal for four-and-a-half minutes.
A three-pointer by Richardson later in the period brought the Titans back to within five points, but two more free throws by Palmer, who finished with 14 points off the bench, gave Riverside the 42-35 lead at the break.
Dynese Adams (17 points) and Natasha Hadley (10 points) also finished in double figures for the Highlanders, who shot 47 percent from the field for the game, including a 56 percent clip in the first half.
Fullerton, which outrebounded UCR by a 40-35 count and 16-7 on the offensive glass, shot just 36 percent from the field and dominated inside, outscoring the Highlanders in the paint, 32-18.
The Titans return to the court next week when they kick-off their longest homestand of the season (four games) to wrap-up the first go-around in Big West Conference play, hosting Cal State Northridge on Wednesday (Jan. 25) at 7 p.m. and Long Beach State on Saturday (Jan. 28) at 3 p.m.