Mustangs Outlast Titans in Big West 1st Round
March 8, 2011
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA - Cal State Fullerton's Lyndsey Grove scored 15 points to lead three Titan starters in double figures, but Cal Poly used four free throws in the final 19 seconds and the Mustangs survived a last-gasp game-tying three-point attempt at the buzzer to defeat Fullerton, 73-70, on Tuesday night in the first round of the 2011 ampm Big West Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at Mott Gym.
The loss ended the Titans' season at 9-21 overall while top-seeded Cal Poly improved to 17-11 and advance to play No. 7 seed Pacific on Friday (March 11) at noon in a semifinal game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. The Tigers advanced by virtue of a 49-45 upset of No. 2-seeded UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday night.
Fullerton, which trailed by as many as 17 points two minutes into the second half, cut the Mustang lead to just two (69-67) on a layup by Grove with 26 seconds remaining when Big West Player of the Year Rachel Clancy went to the line and made her first two free throws with 19 seconds left.
Grove followed with a three-pointer on the Titans' next possession to cut the lead back to one, 71-70, with nine seconds remaining, and sent Clancy back to the line on the inbounds following the make. Clancy hit both to put the lead back at three and give Fullerton a chance to tie, but Lauren Chow's three fell just short as time expired.
Cal Poly had built a 13 point lead at the first half, 43-28, shooting 53 percent and hitting six of 10 from long range. The Mustangs held their biggest lead, 47-30, two minutes into the final period when Desiray Johnston converted a layup, but the Titans cut the lead to nine (58-49) at the 12 minute media timeout and would go on a 9-2 run over a four-minute stretch to set up the final drama.
Grove hit 5-of-9 from the floor, including a trio of three-pointers, in 36 minutes to pace Fullerton's offense while senior Ashley Richie (14 points) and junior Megan Richardson (10 points) also finished in double figures.
Clancy was one of four Mustangs in double digits, finishing with a game-high 17 points. Kayla Griffin (12), Abby Bloetscher (11), and Jonae Ervin (11) also finished in double figures and helped Cal Poly shoot 44 percent from the field to the Titans' 40 percent.