FULLERTON, Calif.—Cal State Fullerton rallied in the second half, but it wasn't enough as Pacific held on to defeat the Titans 67-55 Saturday afternoon at Titan Gym.
Cal State Fullerton (7-12, 3-4 Big West) has now dropped three consecutive games, while Pacific (16-3, 6-1 Big West) has won four in a row and nine of its last 10 games.
The Tigers boasted four players with double-figure points, including Kendall Rodriquez and Gena Johnson, who each scored a game high 13 points. Kendall Kenyon also proved to be a force down low, recording a double-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds on 5-of-7 from the field.
The Titans were behind 38-22 at halftime after shooting just 7-of-30 from the field in the first half. Fullerton then fell behind as much as 20 points in the second half, as they trailed 42-22 with 17:29 left to play.
However, the Titans refused to quit, as they grinded out a 17-6 run over a seven-plus minute span to cut Pacific's lead to 48-39, after Tailer Butler took it coast-to-coast and scored an easy lay-up with still 9:59 left to play in the game.
Later, two Mya Oliver free throws cut the Tigers' lead down to 55-47 with 4:49 left to play, but the Titans would get no closer than that as Pacific was able to fend off the Fullerton run by hitting 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch, while finishing 15-of-16 from the line for the game.
The Titans didn't make it easy on themselves early as they were held without a field goal for a stretch of seven-plus minutes of the first half, until Alex Thomas finally scored a lay-up with 5:29 remaining in the half. At that point the damage had already been done, as Pacific outscored Fullerton 8-2 during the span to grab a commanding 30-14 advantage.
Turnovers plagued Fullerton all game long, as it coughed up the ball 18 times, compared to just Pacific's 11. It's only the fifth time the Titans have lost the turnover battle this season.
The Titans now hit the road, as they'll travel to Cal Poly to take on the Mustangs Thursday at 7 p.m. in hopes of snapping their current three-game losing skid.