Feb. 17, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton senior Lyndsey Grove finished with a game-high 18 points to lead two teammates in double figures, but a last-second three-point attempt with time running out fell just short, giving visiting UC Santa Barbara a narrow, 73-70, victory over the Titans on Thursday night at Titan Gym.
A 23-8 run over a seven-minute span late in the contest erased a 16-point Gauchos advantage, bringing Fullerton (8-18 overall, 4-9 in the Big West) to within a point at 71-70 with 14 seconds to play. UCSB's Emilie Johnson hit a pair of free throws out of a timeout after the inbounds pass was well-defended to make it a three-point contest and set up the final sequence.
The Titans brought the ball up with 11 seconds to play getting Lauren Chow open on the left elbow, but her three-pointer came up just shy as Emilie Johnson corralled the rebound for the Gauchos (15-10, 9-4) as the buzzer sounded to end the game.
Chow finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go with six assists in 32 minutes. Junior Megan Richardson was also in double figures, scoring 12 of her 14 points in the second half to bring the Titans back.
Mekia Valentine finished with a double-double of 11 points and 16 rebounds to go with five blocks, pacing a quartet of players in double figures. Emilie Johnson finished with a team-high 13 points while Margaret Johnson and Melissa Zornig added 10 points apiece in the win.
Fullerton trailed for the entire first half, answering a game-opening 7-0 run by the Gauchos with a 7-0 run of its own, and rallying from a nine-point deficit with a 13-4 run to pull even at 29-29 with 1:44 to play in the period. A three-pointer by Zornig was answered with a pair of free throws by Chow to pull the Titans back to within a point. Sweets Underwood scored on a short jumper to put the lead back to three as Grove missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, sending the Gauchos into the locker room ahead, 34-31.
An 8-0 run by UC Santa Barbara out of the break gave the Gauchos an 11-point advantage and, after the Titans cut the deficit to just four points, UCSB exploded for a 19-7 run for its biggest lead of the contest, 63-47, with 7:38 to play.
The Gauchos, who shot 51 percent for the game to the Titans' 40 percent, outrebounded Fullerton, 41-25, and survived committing 22 turnovers on the night, leading to 29 Titans points.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the floor on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 19) at 3 p.m. as the Titans host Pacific at Titan Gym.