FULLERTON, Calif.- Junior guard Chante Miles poured in a career high 22 points and knocked down four three-pointers, helping lift Cal State Fullerton over New Mexico State 63-52 at Titan Gym on Monday night.
The Compton, Calif., native recorded her third 20-point performance off the season, as she scored 15 of her 22 in the first half. Miles had the hot hand throughout the night as she connected on 4-of-5 shots from behind the arc. Fullerton (3-8) also received a double digit scoring figure from junior forward Kathleen Iwuoha who added 14 points and a season high nine rebounds.
New Mexico State (3-8) was led by freshman guard Vanessa Garner, who scored 15 points. Sophomore guard Sasha Weber matched Mile's performance from three-point distance as she also knocked down 4-of-6 three-pointers, to finish with 14 points on the night. Freshman guard Moriah Mack added in seven points and seven rebounds in the loss.
The Titans and Aggies both had slow start to begin the game, but Samantha Logan's three-pointer and Hailey King's old fashion three-point play gave Fullerton an early 10-4 advantage with 17:04 remaining in the half. After falling behind early, New Mexico State answered with a 12-2 run over the next six minutes helping the Aggies gain a four point lead, 16-12.
Fullerton quickly regained the lead after a 10-0 run, which was fueled by two three-pointers by Miles, who extended the Titan lead to 21-16. After taking the lead both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half and the teams entered halftime with Fullerton leading New Mexico State, 37-21, due to 15 first-half points from Miles, who shot 6-of-10 from the field and a flawless 3-of-3 from the three-point range in the first 20 minutes.
Despite the slow start, as a team Cal State Fullerton had a .542 shooting percentage, while the Aggies knocked down 48 percent (12-of-25) of their opportunities. Iwuoha also added 11 points (4-of-6) and five rebounds in the half.
The Titans came out of intermission just like the start of the game and allowed the Aggies to tie the game up at 38 with 17:31 remaining. One minute later, Miles continued her hot shooting in the second half and converted her career best fourth three-pointer to keep the Titans ahead.
Fullerton and New Mexico State traded baskets down to the end, but a mid-range jumper from freshman Samantha Logan and clutch free throws by senior Alex Thomas helped the Titans go on an 8-0 run and take a nine point lead with 90 seconds remaining.
The Titans shot 47.7 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc (6-of-12), while the Aggies State converted on 42.6 percent of their shots. Fullerton outrebounded New Mexico State 30-28, and connected on nine more attempts from the charity stripe.
The Titans look to pick up their third straight victory this Sunday, December 29 in Boise, Idaho at Taco Bell Arena against the Boise State Broncos at 1 p.m. (PT).
Notes: Fullerton picked up its program's 550th victory...tonight's meeting was the 19th meeting all-time between the two schools and the first since the '99-00 season when New Mexico State was part of the Big West Conference… the Titans are now 8-11 all-time against the Aggies… Fullerton is now 4-5 all-time at Titan Gym New Mexico State… the Titans move to 87-71 all-time against opponents from the Western Athletic Conference and have defeated both WAC foes this season (Seattle, NMSU)… the Titans have won four out of the last five meetings...Chante Miles tied a career high four three-pointers, which she previously set against Sacramento State on Nov. 11, 2012… Miles has double digit scoring figures in 10 of 11 games this season and now has 30 in her career…Miles recorded her third 20-point performance of the season…the Titans are now 3-0 when shooting 40-49.9 percent from behind the arc…the Titans have their first winning streak of the season.
Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Daron Park
"Really proud of our kids tonight, maybe not our best or prettiest performance of the year, but we won a game on Saturday night and we looked good doing it. Tonight we won a game maybe doing it looking ugly. But that's learning to win, so proud of our kids tonight. We found a way, we grinded out the last eight minutes of the game and we took over and made it our own. For a team that's learning to win, I think that's a great step into the process."
"Saturday definitely gave us some confidence. Maybe that put us in the position to be up like that. Again it's the process its things we have worked on and prepared and it was nice to see us play. I don't know if we executed great in the first 30 minutes of the game, but I thought the last ten minutes we executed very well."
"We ask a lot of Chante, I ask a lot of all my point guards. It's a special position and you need a special person to play that spot. Tonight she did that. She distributed the basketball and ran our offense. We really talked about having an aggressive mentality, and we wanted to attack the rim on them, and that really plays into her hands. She got into the paint and she made some good decisions with the basketball. 40 minutes is a lot to ask for anybody to play, and we ask her to do that on a consistent nightly basis."
On her performance tonight…
"I think I came out feeling myself a little bit. I hit one shot and I felt like I can make them all, so the confidence really went through the roof for me. After that the feeling my mind was right. I was just in it to win it. I wasn't allowing anything to stop me, or my team from winning this game, so I just played my heart out to do what I have to do to help my team win."