Taylor Helps Lift Titans to 78-73 Win at Cal State Northridge

Jan. 4, 2007

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, CA - Cal State Fullerton senior Audrey Taylor scored a team-high 17 points and led three other Titans in double figures as Fullerton defeated host Cal State Northridge, 78-73, on Thursday night in a Big West Conference women's basketball match-up at Northridge, Calif.

The win improved the Titans to 7-9 overall and 2-1 in Big West play while the Matadors fell to 4-10, 1-1 in league play.

Taylor also finished with five rebounds and five assists on the night. Sophomore Toni Thomas added 16 points and nine rebounds while seniors Charlee Underwood and Andrea Adams rounded out a balanced scoring effort for the Titans with 13 points apiece.

Fullerton trailed by as many as five points in the second half, but an 8-2 run by the Titans regained the lead for the visitors at 47-46 with just under 13 minutes to go.

Northridge battled back for the lead once again on a three-pointer by Megan Ching with just over nine minutes to go, but Cal State Fullerton answered with a three-pointer of its own by Underwood to kick-start a 9-2 run that gave the Titans a six-point, 61-55, lead with just over six minutes to play.

The Matadors whittled the lead down to just two points on free throws by Jamie McCaa and Ofa Tulikihihifo, but the Titans did not wither away.

An 8-2 run by Fullerton gave the Titans an eight-point advantage they would never relinquish and Taylor hit five free throws in the final 33 seconds to secure the win after Northridge employed the "Hack-a-Taylor" defense to stop the clock and set-up its comeback attempt.

Fullerton played much of the first half without the services of Underwood, who picked up two fouls in the first six minutes and did not return after scoring five points.

After leading by as many as five in the half, the Titans went cold from the field late in the period as the Matadors made their move. Cal State Fullerton, which shot just 29 percent in the opening period, went scoreless for almost six minutes while Northridge exploded for a 17-5 run to lead by seven points at 28-21 with 4:24 remaining.

The Titans then closed the half with a flurry of scoring to regain the lead. Junior Dayana Frias snapped Fullerton's scoreless string with her first basket of the game and jumpstarted a run by the Titans, who scored 10 of the final 12 points in the half to take a one-point, 31-30, advantage into the lockerroom at the break.

Cal State Northridge was led by Tulikihihifo's game-high 19 points before she fouled out with nine seconds to go. She was joined in double figures by McCaa, who finished with 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds, LaJoyce King, who netted 14 points on the night, and Crystal Hahs, who had 12 points.

The Titans finished by shooting 36 percent from the floor for the game - including a 44 percent clip in the second half. The Matadors shot just over 47 percent for the game and outrebounded Fullerton, 39-36.

Cal State Fullerton continues its roadtrip this weekend as the Titans head north to Stockton, Calif., to take on the Pacific Tigers on Saturday (Jan. 6) at 7 p.m.

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