FULLERTON, Calif. – Seattle received the ball down by two points with seven seconds left, but failed to get a shot off as Cal State Fullerton hung on to defeat the Redhawks 55-53 Saturday night at Titan Gym, snapping a five-game losing streak.
Senior Alex Thomas went 5-of-12 from the field and poured in a season high 13 points and grabbed four rebounds for Fullerton (2-8), while junior forward Natalie Williams had her most productive game of the season, as she also chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds. Junior forward Kathleen Iwuoha went for double figures as well, scoring 11 points.
Senior Sylvia Shepard led all scorers with 15 points and 10 rebounds for Seattle (5-7). Senior forward Ashley Ward added 10 points and five rebounds in the loss.
The Titans and Redhawks opened up the first half trading baskets (12-11) over the first eight minutes of the game, but freshman Samantha Logan put the Titans on top, 14-12, after knocking down her second three-pointer of the first half.
Williams helped the Titans extend their lead to nine, 29-20, after knocking down 5-of-6 shots off the bench for a career high 12 points in the half. Fullerton converted on 6-of-12 three-pointers and headed into intermission up, 37-26.
Thomas added eight points in the half and the Titans shot 48 percent from the floor in the half compared to Seattle's 38 percent.
Seattle opened the second half on a 15-6 run, 43-41, to come within two points with 12:16 remaining in the game. Over the next five minutes, the Titans and Redhawks kept it close at a two-point game until senior Sylvia Shephard connected on a three-pointer to give Seattle a one-point advantage, 46-45. The Redhawks then stretched their lead to three, but Thomas hit a three-pointer with 5:18 left to tie the game at 48.
The Titans regained a 50-48 lead with 3:52 remaining after Iwuoha converted a mid-range jumper and on the next possession Hailey King helped the Titans extend their lead to four after she knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key.
Seattle's Shepard had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with under one minute to play, but only converted on one of the two attempts to bring the Redhawks within one, 54-53. King would then extend the Titan lead to two after converting a free-throw attempt and with just seven second left Seattle had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Shepard failed to get a shot off before time expired.
Cal State Fullerton now looks to get their first winning streak of the season going, as the Titans will host New Mexico State on Monday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. in Titan Gym.
Notes: Today's meeting was the third meeting all-time between the two schools and first since the 2010-11 season… the Titans are now 3-0 all-time against the Redhawks… Fullerton is now 2-0 all-time at Titan Gym versus Seattle… the Titans are now 86-71 all-time against opponents from the Western Athletic Conference… Natalie Williams scored a career high 12 points, her previous high was 11 points versus CSU Bakersfield on Feb.16, 2012… Fullerton tied a team best 48.3 percent in the first half this season...Chante Miles failed to score double digit points for the first time this season.
Head Coach Daron Park
"I thought our first half was as good as we have played all year. I wonder if our kids were a little shell shocked going into the half with that kind of lead. We are teaching them a lot of things here and we haven't had the opportunity yet to teach them how to play with a lead. In the second half when the intensity heated up I think we got a little passive, but I thought the last five minutes of the game our kids played their hearts out and got the big plays we needed down the stretch. This was a big win for us."
What the team can take away from this game
"This a win these kids get to take away after these last three weeks. They did enough tonight to get a big win versus a good team. They need to continue to understand the process and that the little things that go into the process, but they got to see that when they do the right things; good things will happen."