Feb. 16, 2012
FULLERTON, CA - Amber Williams and Kristine Herman scored 24 points apiece and the Bakersfield defense turned 22 Cal State Fullerton turnovers into 21 points Thursday night, helping the visiting Roadrunners to a 71-63 victory at Titan Gym.
The loss was the fifth-straight for the Titans, who fell to 9-16 overall despite a, 58-34, rebounding advantage and a, 25-11, lead on the offensive glass. Bakersfield, which lost the first meeting between the two schools, 67-58, on Jan. 18 at home, snapped a three-game losing streak in improving to 5-21 overall, committing just eight turnovers for the game.
The loss spoiled an otherwise stellar night for freshman Natalie Williams, who finished with her first career double-double of 11 points and 18 rebounds -- 11 of those on the offensive glass -- to go with four blocks and a pair of steals in 22 minutes. Williams, who led two other Titans in double figures, had entered the night with 20 points and 39 rebounds overall for the year.
The 18 rebounds were the second-most by a Big West Conference player this season (Cal Poly's Kristina Santiago had 23 vs. Fresno State on Nov. 20) and just shy of the school's single-game top 10 (four players are tied for ninth with 19 boards).
Senior Megan Richardson added 20 points and seven rebounds in the loss -- her tenth 20-point performance of the season -- pushing her over 400 points for the season and joining Shayla Bradshaw (1992-96), Genia Miller (1987-91), and Nancy Ratliff (1980-83) as the only Titans to score 400 points or more in three-consecutive seasons.
Not to be left out, senior Lauren Chow scored a season-high 17 points to go with five rebounds and five assists.
An 11-2 run by the Roadrunners after a back-and-forth start to the second half, erased a one-point halftime deficit and put Bakersfield ahead eight, 44-36, with just under 14 minutes to play. Back-to-back baskets by Richardson brought Fullerton back to within four, but the Roadrunners put the game out of reach with a 15-4 spurt over the next five-plus minutes to give them their largest lead of the game at 59-44 with 7:48 to play.
A three-pointer by Chow got the Titans' offense rolling again, jump-starting an 11-3 run to get them back to within single digits at, 62-55, three minutes later, but Fullerton would come no closer. Herman and Williams combined to score seven of Bakersfield's final nine points of the game to hold off any Titans' comeback.
A busy first half saw five ties and 14 lead changes as neither team led by more than four points in the first 20 minutes. The Roadrunners held the early four-point lead six minutes into the contest before a 6-0 run regained the lead for Fullerton. The Titans eventually trailed by four points again late in the period, but another lengthy run -- this one a 9-1 burst -- put Fullerton up, 30-26, with just over two minutes remaining.
Brooklyn Hinkens then scored inside and Herman nailed a three-pointer to bring Bakersfield back, but Alex Thomas drove and scored to five the Titans a 32-31 advantage at the break.
Still alive for one of eight berths in the Big West Conference Tournament, Cal State Fullerton closes out its home schedule next week as the Titans host UC Riverside on Wednesday (Feb. 22) at 7 p.m. and UC Irvine on Saturday (Feb. 25) at 3 p.m. in a pair of key league contests.