Jan. 7, 2010
LONG BEACH, CA - Cal State Fullerton sophomore Megan Richardson scored a game-high 15 points to lead two teammates in double figures and the visiting Titans used a 23-8 second half run to erase a seven-point deficit and lift them to a 67-60 come-from-behind victory over host Long Beach State on Thursday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid.
Fullerton, which won its third straight game, improved to 7-8 overall and remained unbeaten in Big West Conference play at 3-0. It is the first 3-0 start in conference play for the Titans since 1988-89 and their longest winning streak since winning three straight near the end of the 2007-08 season that also included a win over the 49ers to open the conference tournament.
Long Beach State fell to 5-9 overall and evened their Big West mark at 1-1 in league play.
Richardson hit 5-of-10 from the field with 11 of those coming as part of a 43-point second half for Fullerton, which shot 50 percent from the floor after the break while holding Long Beach State to just 33 percent shooting in the second period. Junior Britt Peters set a career high with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting while tying a career-high with five rebounds and senior Jasmine Scott joined them in double figures, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds to go with five assists.
Ally Wade led Long Beach State with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds while Tipesa Moorer and Karina Figueroa each finished with 12 points apiece.
After surrendering the first basket of the second half, the Titans' offense kicked it into high gear, whittling a seven-point deficit down to a single point thanks to a 12-6 run, then taking their first lead of the contest on a basket inside by freshman Mya Olivier, who finished with eight points and a career-high eight rebounds, with 11:11 to play.
The two teams then traded baskets before another bucket inside by Olivier gave Fullerton the lead for good as three-straight baskets by Peters, including a three-pointer that gave the Titans a, 49-41, lead with 8:41 to play, capped a 23-8 burst for Fullerton, which hit 7-of-8 from the line down the stretch to hold off any charge by Long Beach State.
In a tale of two halves, the first period was a lesson in futility for the Titans as they could not buy a basket in the first eight minutes. Fullerton missed its first seven shots before Richardson scored on a jumper three minutes in and the Titans hit just one of its first 15 shots until Jenna Breite converted a three-point play with 12:22 left in the first.
The 49ers' offense, who were shooting just under 77 percent from the field at one point in the contest, seemingly couldn't miss, opening the game on a 14-2 run and leading by as many as 17 points with 9:33 to play before the Fullerton offense, which had three droughts of three minutes or more in the first half, finally clicked and found a groove.
Olivier jumpstarted the run by scoring inside just before the eight-minute media timeout and the Titans made a game of it, closing out the half on a 15-4 run thanks to baskets by six different players, hitting 6-of-13 from the floor and closing the gap to just four points at 28-24 at the break.
The Titans outrebounded the 49ers, 44-38, including 17 offensive rebounds, and shot .385 from the field for the game to Long Beach State's .394 from the floor.
Cal State Fullerton, which has never opened conference play with four straight victories, returns to the court on Saturday evening (Jan. 9) at 5 p.m. as the Titans host UC Riverside at Titan Gym.