Titans Edge Dons in Down-to-the-Wire Home Debut
Nov. 18, 2010
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FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Megan Richardson's three free throws in the final 51 seconds helped break a 66-66 deadlock and the Titans withstood three game-tying attempts in the final seven seconds en route to a 69-66 non-conference women's basketball victory over San Francisco on Thursday night at Titan Gym.
Fullerton won its second straight contest in improving to 2-1 overall on the season, avenging last season's 71-63 loss in the Bay Area and winning its home opener for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The Dons fell to 1-2 overall with the loss.
Richardson finished with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 from the free throw line. Her final three free throws were the most important, however, as they rallied the Titans after USF had erased a nine-point Fullerton lead with a 9-0 run over a two-minute span late in the contest.
A free throw by Richardson and a basket inside by Mya Olivier regained the lead for the Titans, but back-to-back baskets by Katy Keating gave San Francisco a one-point advantage, 66-65, with 2:10 to play. A foul put senior Lyndsey Grove at the line for two, but she could only convert one of the chances, tying the game and setting up the frantic final minute.
Grove and Olivier both finished in double figures for Fullerton with 15 and 12 points, respectively, while Olivier tied for the game lead with six rebounds.
Keating, Kelly Jo Mullaney, and Rheina Ale each finished with 11 points for San Francisco to pace a balanced scoring effort.
The Dons jumped out to the early lead, taking a six-point advantage at 14-8 with 14:13 to play in the opening half, but Fullerton rallied back, using an 18-4 run over the next eight-plus minutes to build an eight-point, 26-18, advantage with six minutes to play.
That lead would eventually grow to as many as nine points before USF rallied back with an 11-2 run, capped by a three-pointer by Ashley Boggs, to tie the game at 34 with 26 seconds before the break. The Titans would carry a lead into the locker room, however, as Grove's second three-pointer of the game with two seconds left put Fullerton up 37-34.
The Titans, whose defense forced 21 turnovers and scored 26 points off the miscues, shot 43 percent from the field for the game and 46 percent from beyond the arc, but hit just 68 percent from the line for the game, including 11-for-17 (.647) in the second half and 5-for-8 in the final five minutes. USF shot just over 46 percent for the contest and outrebounded Fullerton, 38-28, for the game.
Cal State Fullerton concludes its brief homestand on Sunday (Nov. 21) at 1 p.m. as the Titans host former Big West Conference rival San Jose State at Titan Gym.