2013 Big West Tournament
Irvine, Calif. Big West Tournament First Round- Bren Events Center
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Session 1, Game 1: No. 8 Cal State Fullerton 54, No. 5 Long Beach State 48
- Win tonight ended a three-game conference tournament losing streak dating back to March 10, 2010, where Fullerton defeated UC Irvine 89-76 in the first round of the tournament
- Win snapped what was a seven-game neutral court losing skid for the Titans
- Fullerton has won two consecutive Big West Tournament games vs. Long Beach State dating back to a 69-51 win on March 12, 2008 (Five years ago to the day)
- Titans now have won a tournament game in five of the last seven seasons
- Fullerton improves to 4-0 when shooting 80-plus percent from the free throw line this season
- 13 points scored in first half was the least amount scored in Fullerton's 23-year Big West Tournament history. It was also the fewest amount of points Fullerton has scored in any half this season.
"First of all, I'm just really glad to be up here tonight as the winner of the game. It feels really good. I'm really proud of my kids. They did a nice job of just being resilient. We've been in that position a lot this year where we're right in the game in the second half, similar to tonight, where we fell down by eight points, but this time we managed to come back. My coaches gave me some great suggestions out there tonight and we just made baskets and free throws when we needed to. Long Beach State is a good young team. They had beaten us twice this season and we knew we needed to do something different to beat them this time. We were hoping their three-pointers wouldn't drop and we took our chances on the zone defense."
"Everyone had a part in us winning tonight. I think for us to have an opportunity to advance, that's how it's going to have to be again tomorrow. Again, I'm just pleased to be here in this situation. These kids deserve to have this victory tonight."
On what coach Monica Quan would say about the win
"She would have said 'that's the way to go'. I mean obviously we miss Monica tremendously and we've had a lot of support from her parents. Her dad texted me yesterday and just said 'go win a game'. Monica always believed this team had something special if we could just put together two halves. So she would be just as excited as us right now and since she's not here we're twice as excited for her. This was special, like I said, these kids deserve the opportunity to feel like this because we felt the absolute lowest you can feel just about a month ago."
On facing Hawaii for the second time in five days
"We just flew back across the Pacific Ocean after getting banged up by Hawaii. Hawaii is an extremely physical team. They're well coached and they have a nice inside, outside game. We did a nice job up there in the first half, but in the second half we just ran into a dry spell. I think it's a good matchup for us. We really think we can stay in the game with them. It's going to be a matter of us taking care of the boards. Up there they had 21 offensive rebounds against us, with several coming off of free throws. They just outhustled us and outmuscled us to the ball, so tomorrow there just needed to be an emphasis on securing our defensive rebounds. We're looking forward to it. It's funny because we just played them, so there's not a lot of extra preparation we need to do. We just need to be better at the things we weren't great on up there."
Cal State Fullerton Junior Forward Mya Olivier
On Fullerton's second half comeback
"We definitely always felt we could win the game and we just had that mentality where we just had to dig in and defend their threes and their drives. Devin Hudson was a big factor in the post so we knew we just had to stop her and keep it rolling with the points."
On the pregame nervousness
"I think execution is key to winning. At first we couldn't really get a feel for what we needed to do on offense, so we definitely need to make sure things are crisper tomorrow.
Cal State Fullerton Junior Guard Alex Thomas
On finishing the game
"We knew they were go on a run at some point, so we just wanted to make sure whatever happened we just stayed together as a team. We just kept working and never gave up. I think that's really what helped us get past their run. The zone also worked really well for us tonight; we were talking and doing what we needed to do defensively, so I think that definitely helped us get back in the lead."
On tomorrow's game vs. Hawai'i
"We're definitely excited to get this win right now, but we know have to keep it going and it doesn't stop here. We're going to have to be ready for tomorrow and we will be."