Jan. 8, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton freshman Megan Richardson scored a game-high 15 points while Lauren Chow added 11 more as the Titans remained unbeaten in Big West Conference play with a 67-53 victory over visiting Cal Poly on Thursday night at Titan Gym.
With the victory, Fullerton posted its first 2-0 conference start since 1997-98 and only the fourth since joining the Big West in 1985-86. The Titans (5-7, 2-0) posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season and the first since winning three straight from Feb. 28-March 12 last season.
Cal Poly fell to 8-6 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Richardson scored 10 of her final point total in the first half, finishing 6-of-12 from the floor. Chow added two rebounds, two assists, and two steals to her final totals as a balanced scoring effort paced the Titans to the victory. Senior Toni Thomas grabbed a game-high nine rebounds off the bench to go with eight points, four assists, and five steals in 25 minutes.
Kristina Santiago, who entered the game leading the Mustangs at 14.7 points per game, was held to just 10 points and six rebounds to finish as the lone Cal Poly player in double figures.
Fullerton withstood a strong Mustangs' comeback before closing strong for the win. Cal Poly, which trailed 38-25 at the break, traded baskets with the Titans to open the second period and then used a 7-0 run over a four-minute span to cut a 14-point deficit in half to trail just 45-38 with 11:33 to go.
Leading by eight with just over nine minutes to play, a jumper by Richardson jumpstarted a 8-2 run by Cal State Fullerton to build the lead back to 14 points and the Titans never looked back.
Fullerton led by as many as 20 points in the first half after falling behind early after Cal Poly made the first two baskets of the game. A three-pointer by Richardson erased a one-point deficit and jumpstarted a 13-1 run by Fullerton to give the Titans an 11-point, 18-7, advantage with 12 minutes to go.
The Mustangs whittled the lead down to just six points two minutes later but back-to-back three-pointers by sophomore Britt Peters keyed another lengthy run, this one a 17-3 stretch over seven minutes, that gave the Titans their largest lead of the period at 35-15 with 3:47 remaining. Cal Poly got no closer than 13 points the rest of the half as Fullerton took the 13-point advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Titans outrebounded the Mustangs, 35-32, to win the battle of the boards for the third time in the last five games and shot 38 percent from the floor compared to Cal Poly's 47 percent on 18 fewer field goal attempts (43 for the Mustangs to 61 for Fullerton).
Cal State Fullerton closes out its four-game home stand on Saturday (Jan. 10) at 5 p.m. as the Titans host UC Santa Barbara at Titan Gym.