Jan. 26, 2008
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas hit a jumper with nine seconds left to break a 75-75 tie and lift the visiting Titans to their third straight win, 77-75, over host Cal State Bakersfield in a non-conference women's basketball contest on Saturday night at the Icardo Center in Bakersfield, Calif.
Fullerton improved to 5-13 overall in 2007-08, posting its longest winning streak since winning the same amount from March 1-8 near the end of last season. The Roadrunners fell to 9-11 overall with the loss.
Thomas hit 7-of-11 from the floor to finish with a team-high 21 points and narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds on the night. Freshman Lyndsey Grove came off the bench to tie a career-high with 16 points and was joined in double figures by junior Daviyonne Weathersby (13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) and sophomore Jasmine Scott (10 points).
Fullerton led by six points with 3:23 remaining, but Bakersfield clawed its way back, using an 8-2 run to tie the game at 73-73 two minutes later. Thomas hit a pair of free throws to regain the lead for the Titans, but Krista Arase responded with a jumper of her own with 36 seconds to go to tie the contest once again and set up Thomas' late heroics.
Cal State Fullerton posted one of its largest comebacks of the year, falling behind by as many as 13 points in the first half and trailing by 10 points, 38-28, at the break.
A quick 6-0 run by Cal State Bakersfield to start the second half gave the Roadrunners their largest lead of the game at 14 points with just three minutes gone in the period. That's when Fullerton's offense shifted into gear, exploding for a 12-2 run over the next three minutes to pull to with four points at 46-42 with just over 14 minutes to go.
After a jumper by Nikhol West, the Titans continued to pour it on, eventually tying the game on a three-pointer by Grove and taking their first lead of the game on a basket by Thomas to make it 52-50 with 11:10 remaining.
A three-pointer by Bakersfield's Tiffany Belt and a free throw by Grove brought both teams back even at 53-53, but that would be the last time as Fullerton took control from there. The Titans led by as many as six points on three occasions and held off the Roadrunners' late rally en route to the win.
Cal State Bakersfield was led by Kelley Tarver's game-high 24 points and was joined in double figures by Chris Kepenekian, who scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Titans shot just over 42 percent from the floor and outrebounded their second consecutive opponent, 37-34.
Cal State Fullerton returns home to kick off a four-game homestand next weekend, hosting Long Beach State on Thursday (Jan. 31) at 7 p.m. and Cal State Northridge on Saturday (Feb. 2) at 5 p.m.