March 8, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Toni Thomas recorded her third consecutive double-double and freshman Lauren Chow also reached double figures to help lift the Titans to a, 70-66, victory over visiting UC Irvine in the regular season finale for both teams on Saturday evening at Titan Gym.
Fullerton won its second straight game in improving to 10-18 overall and 8-8 in the Big West. The Anteaters closed out their season at 7-23 overall and 3-13 in league play.
Thomas hit on 10-of-20 from the floor and finished with 23 points to go with 14 rebounds. The junior now has a double-double in four of her last six games. Chow added 15 points in a balanced scoring effort that saw every Titan who entered the game score at least two points.
Fullerton shot 43 percent from the floor for the game, including just under 46 percent in the first half en route to a 10-point, 38-28 lead at the break. The Titans extended their lead to as many as 13 points in the second half before UCI mounted a comeback to close the deficit to single digits.
A 9-1 run by the Anteaters closed the gap to five points at 46-41 with just under 13 minutes to go and, after a brief spurt by Cal State Fullerton, another 13-4 run by UC Irvine that included a pair of three's by Miranda Forry and another by Rebecca Maessen that capped the run and brought the Anteaters to within just two points with 13 seconds remaining.
Fittingly, senior Alison Bennett, who finished with six points and four rebounds in the final home game of her career, helped the Titans hold off UCI, hitting a pair of free throws with three seconds remaining to ice the game.
The Anteaters, who shot 42.4 percent from the field for the night, finished with four players in double figures led by 12 points apiece from Maessen and Kirian Ishizaki. Forry and Haley Tull each had 10 points while Forry finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
Cal State Fullerton now competes for a ticket to the NCAA Tournament next week as the Titans are the No. 6 seed for the 2008 Big West Conference Tournament. Fullerton will take on No. 7 seed Long Beach State in the second game on Wednesday (March 12) at approximately 2:30 p.m.