Jan. 18, 2012
IRVINE, CA - Anete Klintsone and Kassandra McCalister each finished with 14 points to lead a quintet of players in double figures and UC Irvine held off a late run to hand Cal State Fullerton a 73-68 defeat on Wednesday night at the Bren Events Center.
The Titans lost their third consecutive Big West Conference contest in falling to 8-9 overall and 1-4 in league play while the Anteaters won their fifth-straight overall to improve to 9-10 overall and 5-2 in the conference.
Fullerton, which trailed by as many as 22 points with just over five minutes remaining in the game, found its stride just a little too late to completely close the gap, using an 18-1 run over the final 4:16 to make it close in the closing seconds. Freshman Chante Miles scored a career-high 13 points -- 10 of those during the Titans' second-half push -- and was joined in double figures by senior Lauren Chow, who added 10 points -- all in the first half.
The Big West's second-leading scorer, Fullerton's Megan Richardson, was held to just eight points on the night, snapping a string of eight-consecutive double-digit scoring performances, limited to under 10 points for just the third time in 17 games this season. Redshirt sophomore Mya Olivier finished with nine points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Jasmine Bernard scored UC Irvine's final field goal with 4:41 remaining in the contest to put her team up, 72-50, when the Titans caught fire. Freshman Tailer Butler and Richardson hit back-to-back baskets to start the run and Fullerton, which finished 17-for-19 from the stripe in the second half, hit 9-of-10 from the line down the stretch, but ran out of time. The Anteaters' Methlyn Onogomuho scored UCI's only point in that span with a free throw at the 1:53 mark.
Bernard (13 points), Jacquelyn Marshall (12 points), and Kiara Belen (10 points) joined Klintsone and McCalister in double figures as the Anteaters shot 44 percent from the floor and held a slim, 44-39, advantage on the glass.
A similar bust by UC Irvine erased an early one-point lead by the Titans as the Anteaters exploded for a 15-0 run midway through the first half, holding the Titans scoreless for almost six minutes, as UCI led by as many as 14 points in the opening period. Helped by a 25-15 advantage on the boards, the Anteaters worked the ball inside in the first 20 minutes, outscoring Fullerton in the paint, 24-12.
The Titans, who committed 11 turnovers in the first half, were led by Chow's 10 points on 4-of-5 from the floor as they clawed their way back in it by scoring 17 of their 29 first-half points in the final six minutes of the period to trail, 39-29, at the break.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the floor on Saturday (Jan. 21) as the Titans head to the Inland Empire to take on UC Riverside at the Student Recreation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.