Dec. 19, 2005
FULLERTON, CA -
Cal State Fullerton junior guard India McDaniel hit a three-point jumper from the top of the key with 19 seconds remaining to bring the Titans back from a 13-point halftime deficit and lift the home team to an 85-84 victory over visiting Montana State on Monday night at Titan Gym.
The victory for the Titans snapped a three-game losing streak as they improved to 2-8 overall on the season. Meanwhile, the loss kept the Bobcats winless on the season as MSU fell to 0-9 overall.
Montana State's Scotta Morton hit a three-pointer with 34 seconds left to give the Bobcats a two-point advantage after a jumper by Fullerton senior Amber Pruitt had put the Titans up by one with 1:42 remaining.
However, the heroics didn't stop there as McDaniel took a pass from junior Charlee Underwood from the right wing and hit only her second basket of the night (and first three-pointer) from the top of the key to make it 85-84.
Montana State had numerous chances to win in out of a time out with nine seconds left, but a driving lay-up by Jenny Haringer and a put-back by Nubia Garcia wouldn't fall as the Titans tied up the ball underneath the basket until the final horn to secure the win.
The Titans, who trailed by eight at the break and by as many as 13 early on in the second half, used a 21-7 run over a span of seven minutes to take their first lead since the 12 minute mark in the first half at 62-61 with 10:04 remaining.
The two teams traded baskets until Garcia tied it at 69-69 with 6:58 left, but a quick burst by the Titans gave them a three-point advantage with 6:30 remaining.
Free throws brought the Bobcats back as they hit 6-of-6 down the stretch to give them a one-point lead and set up the last-second heroics.
Pruitt led all scorers with 24 points off the bench in 19 minutes of play, hitting on 10-of-13 from the field - 16 of those coming in the second half. Three other Titans were in double figures as Dayana Frias (14 points), Charlee Underwood (12), and Sandra Woloschuk (12) were all effective from the floor.
Garcia led a very balanced Bobcats scoring lineup as six of the eight players who entered the game were in double figures. Garcia had 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Fullerton was almost undone by its performance at the line in the second half as the Titans, who entered the game ranked second in the Big West Conference in free throw percentage, hit just 8-of-15 from the line after the break, including missing 5-of-7 during a two minute span late in the game.
The Titans shot an even 50 percent from the floor for the game - the second time this season Fullerton has reached that plateau (the Titans shot .508 in a one-point loss to Army on Nov. 26) - including a blistering 61 percent in the second half.
Montana State hit on just over 47 percent and outrebounded the Titans, 40-28.
Fullerton takes the next two weeks off before opening Big West Conference play on the road on Monday (Jan. 2) at 7 p.m. against Cal Poly.