Feb. 22, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, CA - Cal State Fullerton had four starters in double figures, but could not hold back hot-shooting UC Santa Barbara as the host Gauchos shot 49 percent from the floor en route to a 70-64 victory over the Titans on Thursday night in front of 706 fans at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The loss dips Fullerton back under the .500 mark for the season at 13-14 overall as the Titans lost their second-straight conference contest in falling to 7-6. UCSB, which won its 27th consecutive meeting against Cal State Fullerton dating back to the 1994-95 season, improved to 15-11 overall and 8-3 in league.
Sophomore Toni Thomas scored a team-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds, extending her double-digit scoring streak to 16 consecutive games and notching her ninth 20-point scoring performance of the season.
She was joined in double figures by seniors Charlee Underwood and Ariel Adams, who had 11 and 10 points, respectively, and junior Dayana Frias, who added 10 points as the Titans shot just 37 percent from the floor and 28 percent (5-for-18) from three-point range.
The Gauchos' Jenna Green led all players with 24 points on 12-of-19 shooting while also grabbing nine rebounds. Jessica Wilson was the only other UCSB player in double figures with 16 points as the Gauchos shot a blistering 52 percent after the break to hold off the Titans, who outscored their hosts by a 40-35 count in the second period after trailing by 11 at halftime.
Fullerton came out firing, leading by as many as six points with eight minutes off the clock to start the game. UCSB remained close as the Gauchos kept the Titans within three points for most of the period before back-to-back baskets by Green and Wilson gave them their first lead at 21-20 with 6:04 to go.
Thomas and Ariel Adams responded with baskets to regain the lead for Fullerton, but that would be the last the Titans would see of the lead.
A lay-up by Chisa Ononiwu jumpstarted a 14-0 run over the final 4:14 of the half as four players contributed points to the run that gave UCSB a 35-24 lead at the break.
The Gauchos extended their lead to as many as 13 points in the second half before Fullerton began to chip away. The Titans went on an 11-4 run over a three-minute span to close to within six points at 48-42 with 12:08 remaining.
Three minutes later, back-to-back three-pointers by Thomas and Frias brought Fullerton to within three points at 52-49 with 9:12 remaining and the Titans trailed by that same deficit with 1:39 to go at 61-58 on a jumper by Audrey Taylor, but the Gauchos made 5-of-7 down the stretch from the free throw line in the final 1:09 to hold off Fullerton.
Green led UC Santa Barbara's potent post attack as the Gauchos outscored the Titans in the paint, 32-12, and outrebounded Fullerton, 41-40.
Fullerton returns to action on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. as the Titans close out Big West Conference play against Cal Poly at Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo.