FULLERTON, Calif.—Cal State Fullerton was in position to win its fourth consecutive game Saturday afternoon, as it had the ball down 56-53 with 10.8 seconds left in the game after Northridge missed one of two free throws at the other end. Tailer Butler peeled off a screen and attempted to launch a game-tying three-pointer from the right corner, but it was blocked. She got her own rebound and scored a lay-up that went in as time expired, but unfortunately Fullerton needed three, not two, as the Titans dropped a heartbreaker to Cal State Northridge by the final of 56-55.
The Titans (5-9, 1-1 Big West) were held to just one field goal for the final 13:03 of play, as they scored just nine points the rest of the way, with seven of them coming at the free throw line. In the game, Fullerton shot 29.2 percent (19/65) from the field and hoisted 29 three-pointers, making just six of them for 20.7 percent.
Kathleen Iwuoha led the way for the Titans, posting 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for her second career double-double. Chante Miles found herself in double-figures for the seventh consecutive game, leading the Titans in scoring with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Brianna Barfield also scored a career-high tying 10 points.
Two-time Big West Player of the Week Ashlee Guay led all scorers with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while collecting five steals for the Matadors (8-5, 2-0 Big West) in the win. Camille Mahlknecht had a solid game down low, grabbing a team-high 11 boards, while scoring seven points of her own.
Fullerton got off to a quick start, connecting on four of their first eight shot attempts, including converting on three of their first six three-pointers, as it jumped out to an early 11-2 lead with 16:49 left in the first half.
However, the Titans were unable to pull away, as Guay scored seven of Matadors' next 13 points to bring Northridge within 16-15 with 9:15 left to play in the half.
The two teams went back-and-forth for the remainder of the first half as the lead changed 10 separate times, with no side gaining more than a four-point advantage.
With 27 seconds left until halftime, Barfield drove to the hoop and converted on a three-point play, as she made a difficult scoop lay-up to give Fullerton a 32-28 lead heading into intermission.
The defensive struggle continued in the second half, as Northridge made just 9-of-24 second half field goals, while the Titans connected on 7-of-32 attempts.
Despite the shooting woes, Fullerton outrebounded Northridge 14-6 on the offensive glass in the second half, which led to 10 second-chance points in the final 20 minutes to keep the Titans in the game.
After two Mya Olivier free throws, Fullerton actually had it's largest second half lead at 48-41 with 11:23 left to play. Northridge didn't gain a second half advantage until Marta Masoni knocked down a wide-open trey to give the Matadors a 50-48 lead with 6:18 left.
Fullerton never saw the lead again, as Northridge held the Titans 1-for-7 from the field the rest of the way.
For the Titans, the loss snaps what was a season-long three-game win streak in just their second home defeat of the season. Fullerton continues Big West play at UC Riverside next Saturday at 5 p.m.