Titans Pull Even in Big West Play Thanks to 75-67 Victory Over Anteaters

Feb. 2, 2006

Box Score

FULLERTON, CA - An 11-0 run to open the second half brought Cal State Fullerton back from a nine-point halftime deficit and helped propel the host Titans to a 75-67 come-from-behind victory over visiting UC Irvine on Thursday night in a Big West Conference women's basketball game at Titan Gym.

With the victory, Fullerton improved to 7-13 overall and evened its conference record at 4-4. The Titans also snapped a three-game losing streak to the Anteaters in the process and beat UCI at Titan Gym for the first time since Jan. 23, 1997 - snapping an eight-game losing streak.

UC Irvine fell to 4-16 overall, 2-6 in the Big West Conference.

Trailing by nine at the break, 41-32, Fullerton exploded in the second half, outscoring UCI, 11-0, in the first five minutes and holding the Anteaters scoreless for the first 6:28 of the period until Melissa Jacob hit the first of two free throws to cut Fullerton's lead to 43-42 with 13:32 to play.

Angie Ned regained the lead for the Anteaters with a jumper 24 seconds later, but a 15-3 run by the Titans over the next 5:23 erased the UCI advantage and gave Fullerton its largest lead of the game at 11 points and the Titans never looked back.

UC Irvine got to within five points with 3:43 remaining in the game on a three-pointer by Kelly Cochran, but the Titans' Amber Pruitt drained a three-pointer seconds later and Fullerton hit 5-of-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to hold off any late Anteaters charge.

Cal State Fullerton led by one point with six minutes gone in the first half, but the Titans' offense went cold over the next four minutes as the Anteaters built a seemingly insurmountable 14-point lead.

UCI led by double digits for most of the period as Fullerton could not get closer than eight points before the halftime buzzer.

Pruitt, who needs just 15 points to reach 1,000 career points, led the Titans with 18 points as three other teammates were also in double figures.

Freshman Toni Thomas added 17 points and eight rebounds while junior Charlee Underwood narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds. Junior Audrey Taylor also finished with 10 points for the Titans in the win.

UC Irvine was led offensively by Angie Ned, who scored a game-high 19 points. Freshman Kelly Cochran (17 points, 10 rebounds) and senior Kimberly Martin (11 points, 11 rebounds) finished with double-doubles while Jacob added 11 points and nine assists in the loss.

The Anteaters outrebounded the Titans, 41-35, including a dominating 20-9 advantage on the offensive boards. Fullerton shot 48 percent for the game, including 54 percent to spark its second-half comeback. For comparison, UC Irvine shot 37 percent from the floor overall, and 33 percent in the second half.

Fullerton looks to snap another losing streak on Saturday night (Feb. 4) as the Titans take on previously unbeaten Long Beach State at 7 p.m. at Titan Gym. The 49ers lost for the first time since Jan. 2 on Thursday at UC Riverside, 90-78.

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