Titans Edged by Gauchos in Double Overtime

Jan. 23, 2010

Box Score

FULLERTON, CA - UC Santa Barbara sophomore Emilie johnson sank the go-ahead basket with 29 seconds remaining in the second overtime and the visiting Gauchos survived a buzzer-beating three-point attempt Saturday night to edge host Cal State Fullerton, 60-59, in front of 300 fans at Titan Gym.

The loss is the third-straight for the Titans, who fell to 8-11 overall and 4-3 in Big West Conference play. It was only the second double-overtime game in school history and the first since Fullerton defeated BYU, 98-96, on Jan. 14, 1984.

UCSB improved to 6-12 overall, 3-3 in league play, extending its winning streak to 34 consecutive games over Fullerton dating back to 1995.

Sophomore Megan Richardson had a team-high 16 points to lead three players in double figures. Junior Lyndsey Grove finished with 11 points while freshman Mya Olivier tallied her first career double-double (and only the second for a Titan this season) with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds before fouling out just seconds into the second OT.

Mekia Valentine finished with a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds to lead the Gauchos, who also had Meagan Williams (17) and Johnson (12) in double figures.

Fullerton held the lead at 59-58 with 54 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Jasmine Scott, but UC Santa Barbara came back down the court, working the ball to Johnson on the right baseline, who sank the go-ahead basket from eight feet for the 60-59 lead.

A pass inside on the Titans' ensuing trip down the court was tipped out of bounds by the Gauchos, giving Fullerton one more chance with eight seconds remaining. UCSB's defense forced the ball high, draining precious seconds, before Grove could unleash an off-balance three from the left elbow that missed as time expired.

After trailing by two at the break and by as many as seven points in the second half, a 10-4 run midway through the period brought the Titans back to within a point at 45-44 with 3:33 remaining. Out of a Gauchos timeout, Scott nailed a three-pointer to give Fullerton its first lead since the four-minute mark of the first half.

A short jumper by Richardson upped that advantage to four points with just over a minute to play, but Valentine scored off a lob inside and Jordan Franey scored her only two points of the game, draining a jumper from 10 feet on the right side to tie the game with less than a second remaining and force overtime.

Four quick points by the Gauchos to start the first extra period put the Titans in an early hole, but they were able to battle back. Olivier scored inside to cut it to two and a three-pointer by Richardson gave Fullerton the lead once again at 54-53 with 2:03 left.

The Titans had a chance to ice it, but Scott hit just 1-of-2 from the line and UCSB scrambled for the rebound with Williams coming away with the ball. Valentine was the target, once again, down low as she scored in the paint with four seconds remaining to tie the game at 55-55.

After a 30-second timeout by the Titans, junior Britt Peters brought the ball across, but her long three-pointer from just inside the half court line lipped off the front of the rim, sending the game to a second extra period.

Fullerton shot just under 35 percent from the floor for the game to the Gauchos' 37 percent, including a 45 percent clip in the second half to rally from its seven-point deficit. The Titans, who lead the league in free throw percentage, hit just 6-of-10 from the line, while UCSB was 13-of-16 - not missing from the stripe until the second overtime.

Cal State Fullerton returns to the court on Wednesday (Jan. 27) at 7 p.m. as the Titans host Seattle University in non-conference action before resuming league play on Saturday (Jan. 30) at 4 p.m. at UC Irvine.

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