Gauchos' Defense Locks Down Titans, 69-32
Jan. 22, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, CA - UC Santa Barbara's Melissa Zornig scored a game-high 15 points off the bench and the Gauchos' defense stifled Cal State Fullerton to the tune of just 10 total field goals and 18 percent shooting from the floor en route to a 69-32 Big West Conference women's basketball victory on Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara.
The loss ended Fullerton's brief two-game winning streak, dropping the Titans to 7-13 overall and 3-5 in conference play while extending one of the nation's longest losing streaks against a single opponent. Cal State Fullerton has lost the last 36 consecutive meetings with UC Santa Barbara (10-8, 4-2) dating back to 1995.
The Titans shot just 10-of-57 (.175) from the floor for the game, including hitting just 3-of-24 (.125) in the first half. Fullerton's 14 first half points were the fewest in a single half this season while the 32 points were the fewest for a Titans' squad since they set a school record with just 24 points in a 79-24 loss to the Gauchos on Feb. 21, 2001, at Santa Barbara.
Senior Jenna Breite led Fullerton with eight points and six rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor. Leading scorers Megan Richardson and Lyndsey Grove, who entered the game averaging a combined 28.5 ppg, were held to just 12 combined points on 4-of-21 shooting from the floor.
Zornig hit 5-of-7 from the field en route to her game-high total while Mekia Valentine finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds to help pace a balanced offensive performance that saw the Gauchos shoot 52 percent from the floor, including a 64 percent clip in the field half as UCSB built a 43-14 advantage at halftime.
UC Santa Barbara led wire-to-wire, eventually leading by as many as 39 points with just over a minute to play in the game. The Gauchos opened the game on a 33-2 run as Fullerton was held to just a pair of free throws five minutes in before finally hitting its first field goal on a jumper by Richardson with five minutes remaining in the first half. The Titans started the game by missing their first 17 field goals until Richardson's jumper and committed 12 of their 14 first-half turnovers in that span.
Fullerton never got closer than 24 points at 49-25 with 14:37 remaining in the game as UC Santa Barbara outscored the Titans 20-7 the rest of the way.
UCSB outrebounded Fullerton, 46-31, but the Titans held the advantage on the offensive glass, 17-13. The Gauchos also scored 25 points off 21 Fullerton turnovers and outscored the Titans in the paint, 26-2.
Cal State Fullerton takes a break from conference play with a battle against Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday (Jan. 26) at 7 p.m. at Titan Gym before hosting Long Beach State on Saturday (Jan. 29) at 3 p.m. to tip-off the second half of conference play.