Jeremiah Earns Career Coaching Win No. 400 as Titans Upset 49ers
Feb. 4, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Andrea Adams scored a season-high 19 points and the Titans survived a shot at the buzzer as Titans' head coach Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah earned her 400th career coaching win with a 62-61 upset of league-leading Long Beach State on Saturday night at Titan Gym.
Fullerton snapped a five-game overall losing streak, and a seven-game home court skid, to the 49ers as the Titans improved to 8-13 overall, 5-4 in the Big West Conference.
Long Beach State, which entered the week undefeated, lost its second consecutive conference game in falling to 14-7, 7-2.
"When you get to this point, you realize how many players you have had the opportunity to coach, the number of games and the number of places you've been and it's just like 'Wow'," Jeremiah said following the game.
"It is especially sweet because the win came against Long Beach State, which has been a nemisis for me and for this program, and as much as the win means to me, I hope that I have impacted in some way the lives of all those players along the way."
Trailing by three to start the second half, the 49ers came out firing, scoring the first six points of the period to regain the lead at 38-36 just three minutes in. A three-pointer by Amber Pruitt and a pair of free throws from Toni Thomas built the Titan lead back to three, but back-to-back lay-ups and a free throw from Long Beach State gave it a 43-41 advantage with 10:29 to play.
The 49ers would eventually lead by as many as three with eight minutes to go, but an 11-2 run, capped by three pointers from Pruitt and Charlee Underwood, gave the Titans a six-point advantage with 5:17 to play.
The two teams would trade baskets for the next three minutes and Long Beach State would close to within a point thanks in large part to the conference's leading scorer, Crystal McCutcheon, who scored 14 of the 49ers' final 16 points, but the Titans had to survive one more trip on defense after a missed lay-up with 11 seconds to play.
Out of a time out, Long Beach State got the ball into the hands of Jeannie Saunders for the final possession, but the sophomore's jumper from the free throw line with three seconds remaining rimmed out and the 49ers couldn't corral the ball in time for a put back, sealing Cal State Fullerton's victory.
Neither team led by more than seven points in the first half as the Titans held the scoreboard advantage for all but 2:17 of the opening period.
Five of Fullerton's first seven points came via the free throw line and the Titans eventually led by seven, 25-18, with 8:47 remaining in the first half. Long Beach State's defense then shut down the Titans' offense, holding them scoreless for the next three-plus minutes while the 49ers' closed to within three points thanks to a basket by Jayme Connors and a pair of free throws by Fernanda Santos to make it 25-22.
The two teams then traded baskets for the final eight minutes as the 49ers could get no closer than two points as the Titans took a 36-33 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.
Adams' 19 points surpassed her previous season high of 18 set twice this season. She was joined in double figures by Pruitt, who tallied a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, missing joining the program's "1,000-point Club" by a single point.
Long Beach State was led by McCutcheon's game-high 23 points and was joined in double figures by Jayme Connors (10 points, 15 rebounds), and Santos (12 points).
Fullerton shot 37 percent from the field to Long Beach State's 34 percent, but the 49ers held a large advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Titans, 55-39, including a 25-9 advantage on the offensive boards.
The game may have been decided at the free throw line, as Long Beach State hit just 8-of-21 (.381) for the game - including 2-of-7 in the second half - from the charity stripe to Fullerton's 11-for-12.
Cal State Fullerton returns to action next Thursday (Feb. 9) at 5:45 p.m. as the Titans travel to UC Riverside to kick off a three-game road trip.