Titans Defense Unable to Stop the Pioneers
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Titans allowed a season-high 83 points to Denver as Fullerton lost 83-58 on Monday night.
"Obviously not happy with the outcome tonight but give credit to Denver," said head coach Jeff Harada. "We were outplayed by a hot shooting team and it seemed like every time we tried to make a push it was difficult to get momentum and go on runs of our own.
"I thought we had some nice moments and played hard at times, but we have to be mentally tougher to be consistent and play smart as well. We're not going to win many games giving up 83 points and having 22 turnovers so unless we commit to defense and valuing our possessions, it's going to be a long year. We're young and still learning that it starts in practice. We can't just flip a switch and turn it on for games."
Fullerton had two players reach double-figures as junior Daeja Smith put up 15 points while junior Jade Vega finished with 11. They each pulled down a game-high six rebounds as well and Vega finished with a team-high four assists. Freshman Carolyn Gill contributed eight points off the bench in the effort.
Senior Jordyn Alt and junior Samantha Romanowski each put up 14 points and pulled down five rebounds. Sophomore Briana Johnson was the third and final Pioneer in double-figures with 11 points on 4-6 shooting, including 3-4 from beyond the arc.
The Titans kept it close through the first quarter as the teams battled back and forth. Led by Gill's six first-half points, CSF was leading it with just 38 seconds left in the period. But a three-pointer from Denver's Lauren Loven in the final 20 seconds put the Pioneers up by one heading into the second.
Fullerton never got close to leading again after that. Denver came out shooting a blistering 9-15 (60%) from the field including 5-8 (62.5%) from three and outscored the Titans 27-14 for the quarter. Led by Romanowski, the Pioneers would go on a 16-3 run in the final couple minutes of the second period and were on top by a comfortable lead of 14 points at the break.
Led by Smith's eight third quarter points, Fullerton shot well in the third but their defensive could not stop the Denver offense. Despite battling back-and-forth for most of the period, the Pioneers would extend their lead to as many as 21 points after a Johnson three with two minutes to play.
Already up by 19 going into the final quarter, the Denver offense did not let up as they shot 56.3% from the field led by Carie Weinman's nine fourth-quarter points. The Titans would eventually see the deficit increase to 25 and that's where it would end as Fullerton would fall to 2-4 for the season.
Harada finished his statement, "I know we'll be excited to get back to practice to work on what we need to and be ready for our next game."
The Titans will hit the road again for three games in four days as they travel to Montana to take part in the Lady Griz Classic on Friday against the hosting Griz and face off with Oral Roberts on Saturday. They finish the trip with a game against Idaho on Monday night.
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