Nov. 30, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton sophomore Toni Thomas scored a game-high 25 points and senior Charlee Underwood added 24 more, but the host Titans came up just short as visiting UCLA emerged with an 84-74 victory on Thursday night in front of 672 fans at Titan Gym.
The loss dropped Fullerton to 2-6 overall on the year while the Bruins evened their record at 4-4 overall.
Underwood and Thomas were the hot hands on the night as the Titans came up just short of upsetting UCLA and ending a three-game losing streak to their Southern California rival.
Underwood was 10-of-19 from the field with three rebounds in 38 minutes while notching her third 20-point game of the season. Thomas finished just two points short of matching her career high, shooting 10-of-18 from the floor with seven rebounds. It was the second 20-point game of the season for Thomas and the sixth of her young career.
Redshirt sophomore Salote Tupou also got in on the action, scoring a career-high 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go with four rebounds and a pair of steals.
The Bruins led the game wire-to-wire, but not without a challenge from the Titans, who trailed by a single point with just under five minutes gone in the second half.
Fullerton rode the hot shooting of Underwood early in the second period as the senior scored eight of the team's first 13 points to close the gap to 51-50 with 15:39 to go.
A 9-2 run by the Bruins expanded their lead to eight points just four minutes later, but the Titans clawed their way back in it on back-to-back lay-ups by Underwood and Tupou to trail by four with 9:56 remaining.
Cal State Fullerton stuck around for the remainder of the contest, but could not find a way to get over the hump. UCLA's Noelle Quinn and Amanda Livingston combined to score 25 of their combined 29 points in the second half and the Bruins hit 11-of-14 from the free throw line in the final three minutes to ice the game.
The Bruins led by as many as 11 points in the first half, using a 16-6 run over the course of six minutes after Fullerton had closed the gap to one point with nine minutes to go in the period.
The Titans rallied to score the final six points of the half, closing the gap to just five heading into the lockerroom.
Fullerton shot just over 45 percent from the field for the contest, including a 52 percent clip in the first half. The Bruins, who shot 52 percent for the game, hit on just over 58 percent of their shots in the second period en route to the win.
UCLA held a 41-27 advantage on the boards, including 19 offensive rebounds leading to 21 second-chance points.
Lindsay Pluimer led UCLA with 19 points and six boards on the night as all five Bruins starters were in double figures. Chinyere Ibekwe finished with 18 points and five rebounds, while Quinn (17), Livingston (12), and Tierra Henderson (11) all finished in double digits.
Cal State Fullerton returns home to host a pair of Colorado schools next week at Titan Gym. Big 12 power Colorado visits on Thursday (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. before Northern Colorado comes to town for a Saturday afternoon tip (Dec. 9) at 2 p.m.