March 7, 2009
IRVINE, CA - UC Irvine's Kim Barnes scored a career-high 18 points while Kelly Cochran pitched in with a double-double off the bench to help lift the host Anteaters to a 67.59 victory over visiting Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night in the regular season finale for both teams at the Bren Events Center.
The loss dropped the Titans to 8-19 overall and 5-11 in Big West Conference play. Fullerton is the No. 6 seed in next week's conference tournament and earns a rematch with the Anteaters on Wednesday afternoon (March 11) at approximately 2:30 p.m.
UC Irvine (7-22, 4-12) finished in a three-way tie for seventh place in the standings with Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge, earning its No. 7 seed thanks to a 3-1 record against the 49ers and Matadors.
Senior Toni Thomas led the Titans with 14 points and six rebounds on the night, moving into sole possession of second place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,744 career points, leapfrogging past Robin Holmes (1982-86) and Shayla Bradshaw (1992-96) to stand behind all-time career leading Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (2,415 career points).
Freshman Megan Richardson was the only other Titan to finish in double figures, scoring 11 points.
Barnes hit on 7-of-9 from the field to lead UCI while Cochran came off the bench to score 12 points and grab 13 rebounds in the winning effort. The Anteaters shot a season-high 51 percent to Fullerton's 33 percent for the game - including a 58 percent clip in the first half to jump out to a nine-point, 30-21, lead at the break.
UC Irvine jumped out to a 17-3 lead and led by double-digits until Richardson hit a three-pointer for the Titans with 33 seconds to go, giving the Anteaters the lead at the break. Barnes was 4-4 from the field and led all players with 12 points.
Barnes began the second half with another basket before Cal State Fullerton went on a 9-1 run, which included seven points by Thomas to close within 33-30 with 17:01 remaining.
Cochran hit a pair of free throws to begin an 8-2 spurt by the Anteaters to put UCI back up by nine at 41-32 with 13:56 to play. The Titans would get as close as five at 61-56 with 2:25 remaining, but a layup by Raquel Theus was followed by a pair of free throws by KaJahna Johsnon to push the Anteater lead back to nine with 1:16 left in the game.