Jan. 31, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - UC Riverside's Kemie Nkele scored a game-high 27 points to lead three teammates in double figures and the host Highlanders used a late 12-0 second half run to pull away from visiting Cal State Fullerton, 69-56, on Saturday evening at the Student Recreation Center in Riverside.
The loss was the fifth straight for the Titans, who fell to 6-13 overall and 3-5 in Big West Conference play. UCR won its sixth-straight contest, improving to 11-9 overall and 7-1 in league play.
Thomas narrowly missed her fourth double-double, scoring a season-high 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 10-of-12 from the line. Freshman Megan Richardson added 14 points and junior Jasmine Scott had 11 points off the bench for the Titans, who were again hampered in their second-half shooting, making only 29 percent in the period.
Fullerton got to within four points at 53-49 with 6:36 to play in the game, but went cold from the floor over the next four-plus minutes, going without a basket until a driving lay-up by sophomore Ashley Richie snapped the skid with just over two minutes to play.
Meanwhile, Riverside broke open the close contest with a 12-0 run of its own during that span to make it a 63-49 game and the Highlanders closed it out from there.
Roney Friend and Tainoisouti Lott added 11 points for UCR in the win while Chanel Foster finished with 10 points.
Cal State Fullerton remains on the road to start the second round of conference play, heading to California's Central Coast to take on UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 5) and Cal Poly (Feb. 7) next weekend.