Jan. 23, 2008
RIVERSIDE, CA - Freshman guard Ashley Richie matched her career-high with 16 points and Cal State Fullerton shot 51 percent from the floor for the game as the Titans handed UC Riverside its first loss of the Big West Conference season, 62-54, on Wednesday night at the Student Recreation Center.
Following its 11-point win against Pacific on Jan. 19, Fullerton posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season in improving to 4-13 overall and 3-3 in league play. The Highlanders fell to 6-10 overall and suffered their first loss in conference play this season (4-1).
Richie hit 6-of-9 from the floor and scored 10 of her 16 points in the second half to help the Titans hold off a charging Riverside squad that whittled a 13-point Fullerton lead down to just three points with 2:23 to go.
The freshman hit a three-pointer to increase the lead back to six and, after UCR's Brittany Waddell answered with a three of her own, freshman Lauren Chow responded with her fourth three-pointer of the game and kick-start an 8-3 run by the Titans to close out the game en route to the win.
Fullerton led for the entire second half after the Titans closed out the first half by scoring nine of the final 12 points to take a 30-26 advantage into the locker room at the break.
That run extended into the second half as Richie and Toni Thomas combined to score the first five points of the second period and a 12-2 run later in the half gave the Titans their largest lead of the contest at 47-34 with 11:28 remaining.
Thomas, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds, picked up her fourth foul with 12:21 to go, but reentered the contest during a 14-4 run by UCR that lasted eight minutes before leaving the game with her fifth personal with 4:17 remaining.
That's when the Titans buckled down as they hit 5-of-8 from the line down the stretch and the Highlanders were just 3-of-7 from the field in the final four minutes.
Chow finished with 15 points and three rebounds for the Titans, who outrebounded an opponent for the first time all season, holding a slim 33-32 edge on the boards.
UCR, which shot 36 percent from the field for the game, was led offensively by Tainoisouti Lott and Seyram Gbewonyo, who had 14 points apiece and were joined in double figures by Waddell, who finished with 10 points.
Cal State Fullerton takes a break from Big West play on Saturday (Jan. 26) as the Titans travel to Cal State Bakersfield for a 7 p.m. tip-off.