Hot Second Half Lifts Titans Over UCR, 66-43
Feb. 22, 2012
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton senior Megan Richardson scored a game-high 17 points to lead two teammates in double figures and the host Titans shot a blistering 47 percent from the floor in the second half, lifting them to a 66-43 victory over UC Riverside in a must-win game on Wednesday night at Titan Gym.
The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for Fullerton (10-16 overall, 3-10 in the Big West Conference), keeping alive its hopes for a berth in the league's season-ending tournament in two weeks. The Highlanders, which had their five-game winning streak over the Titans snapped, suffered their fifth-consecutive loss, falling to 5-22 overall and 3-12 in conference play.
Senior Lauren Chow and sophomore Mya Olivier finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively, to help power a Fullerton offense that used a 20-6 burst over the final 7:08 to break open what was an nine-point contest with just over eight minutes to play. The run included five straight three-pointers in a half that saw the Titans shoot 64 percent from beyond the arc (7-for-11).
Jessica Ogunnorin finished with a career-high 17 points for UC Riverside, the only Highlander in double figures, while Taylor Wallace led UCR on the boards with eight.
Trailing by 11 points at the break, UC Riverside whittled Fullerton's lead down to just eight points on two occasions, the last coming with 11:49 to play in the game as a pair of free throws from Wallace made it, 36-28. The two teams then went back-and-forth with a banked three-pointer from Ogunnorin at the 8:27 mark drawing the Highlanders to within 46-37 with 8:27 to play.
That's when the Titans' shooters caught fire as Chow hit her first three-pointer of the night to start Fullerton's closing kick, followed by three-straight trey's from Richardson and a final dart from Chow to make it an 18-point game with three-minutes to play. Olivier, who led the Titans with eight rebounds along with teammate Natalie Williams, then completed a three-point play and freshman Chante Miles, who finished with nine points off the bench, added a basket inside to cap the scoring.
Fullerton led for all but one minute of the game when the score was tied 2-2 early on, as a 14-4 run gave them a 10-point lead at 16-6 with just over eight minutes to play. The lead grew to as many as 17 points in the opening period with just over three minutes to go before UC Riverside scored the final six points of the half, cutting the Titans' advantage to 11 points, 27-16, at the break.
Cal State Fullerton shot just under 39 percent from the field for the game and held a 38-37 advantage on the boards while the defense held the Highlanders to just 33 percent shooting for the contest, including a 27 percent clip in the opening half.
The Titans close out the home portion of their schedule on Saturday (Feb. 25) at 3 p.m. as they host UC Irvine. Seniors Megan Richardson and Lauren Chow will be honored prior to tip as part of pregame "Senior Day" ceremonies at approximately 2:45 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Wednesday's game marked the 123rd career appearance for Lauren Chow, breaking Ashley Richie's school record that was set last season... Chow's three, three-pointers gave her 229 for her career, moving her into the No. 4 spot on the Big West Conference's career list (UC Santa Barbara's Erin Alexander is third with 233 makes)... Wednesday's win snapped a string of three-straight defeats in which the Titans lost when leading at the half.