First-Place Matadors Hold Off Titans in OT
Jan. 25, 2012
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Northridge's Ashlee Guay finished with 10 points, including two free throws with three minutes remaining in overtime to erase a one-point deficit and give her team the lead for good, while two other Matadors finished in double figures en route to a, 62-56, extra time win over host Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday night at Titan Gym.
The loss was the third straight for the Titans (8-11, 1-6 in Big West Conference play), who were led by senior Megan Richardson's game-high 25 points -- 21 of those coming after halftime -- which moved her past All-American Nancy Ratliff and into fifth place on the school's all-time scoring list. It was her eighth 20-point performance this season, finishing as the only Fullerton player in double figures on the night as sophomore Alex Thomas was next in the scoring column with eight points. Sophomore Mya Olivier led the team with six rebounds to go with six points and four steals.
Guay's two free throws came after Richardson nailed a three-pointer from the corner to give the Titans a 53-52 lead with 3:13 remaining in the extra period. The points from the stripe keyed a 6-0 run that put the Matadors (11-9, 6-2) up by four with 1:15 remaining before Richardson finished off a three-point play to bring Fullerton back to within a single-point.
Jessica Duarte, whose only basket in regulation was a three-pointer that erased a two-point Titan lead with 1:40 remaining in the second half, then came up big once again, rainbowing a three-pointer from the right elbow to give the Matadors a four-point, 60-56, advantage and they never looked back. A three-pointer by Richardson was blocked on Fullerton's next possession and Randi Friess hit two free throws with two seconds left to ice the game.
After a lackluster first half that saw the teams combine for just nine field goals and shoot a collective 24 percent from the field, a 7-0 run by the Titans after a back-and-forth start to the second half put them ahead for the first time on the night at 24-23 with just five minutes gone in the period. However, a 10-0 burst by Northridge over the next four minutes gave the Matadors their largest lead of the game at nine points, 33-24, with just under 12 minutes to play.
The Titans stayed close, later using a 10-3 run -- with eight of those points coming from the free throw line -- to close to within one at 42-41 with 4:10 to go, but Erving, who finished with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds, converted a three-point play to make it a four-point contest with just over three minutes to play.
Thomas then hit a three-pointer a minute later and a three-point play by Lauren Chow followed to give Fullerton the lead once again, 47-45, with 1:40 to go, but Duarte nailed her first basket of game from beyond the arc and the Titans couldn't close it out as Kathleen Iwuoha coverted just 1-of-2 from the line with 48 seconds remaining to tie the game and eventually send it overtime.
Northridge shot just under 40 percent from the floor for the game, including all three of its shots in the overtime period, while holding Fullerton to just 30 percent shooting for the contest. The Matadors also outrebounded the Titans, 47-23, overcoming 30 turnovers on the night and hitting 25-of-30 from the line to Fullerton's 18-of-27 from the stripe.
The Titans, who have lost five-straight conference contests, look to reverse their fortunes on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 28) at 3 p.m. as they welcome Long Beach State to Titan Gym to close out the first round of Big West Conference play.