Nov. 14, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton sophomore Lauren Chow scored a game-high 14 points and a tenacious Titans defense forced visiting Santa Clara into 26 turnovers on the night as they opened the 2008-09 campaign with a 62-46 victory over the Broncos on Friday night at Titan Gym.
Fullerton (1-0), which opened a season at home for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign, improved to 4-1 in its last five season openers at Titan Gym and won its opener for the second time in the last three seasons.
Santa Clara fell to 0-1 overall with the loss.
Chow scored 10 of her game-high total in the second half and led two teammates in double figures on the night. Senior forward Toni Thomas finished with 13 points and six rebounds before fouling out with just under five minutes to play while sophomore Ashley Richie also poured in 13 points and added five rebounds while hitting on 6-of-14 from the field.
However, it was the Titans' defense that sparked Fullerton all night, turning 26 Bronco turnovers into 16 important points that equalled the game's final margin. Fullerton did well to take care of the ball themselves, making only nine turnovers on the night while posting 17 steals.
The Titans led wire-to-wire as the score was tied only once at 2-2 just 40 seconds in. Leading by two points midway through the first half, Fullerton made its push thanks to a 9-0 run that upped its lead to 11 points at 28-17 with just over five minutes to go.
That lead would grow to as many as 21 points in the second half as the Titans held off an early charge by the Broncos in the period as they closed to within five points.
However a 23-6 run by Fullerton over the next seven minutes put the Titans ahead for good as Santa Clara could come no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Lena Gipson led the Broncos with a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds on the night while Becky Goll (11 points) and Claire Goins (10 points) also finished in double figures for Santa Clara.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the court on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 16) at 2 p.m. as the Titans travel to southern California rival UCLA to take on the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.