Jan. 31, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - Freshman guard Ashley Richie finished with a career-high 21 points and led three other Titans in double figures as host Cal State Fullerton won its fourth-straight game, 75-66, over Long Beach State in a Big West Conference women's basketball contest on Thursday night at Titan Gym.
The Titans improved to 6-13 overall and 4-3 in league play, posting the most consecutive wins in a season since 1997. The 49ers fell to 4-14 overall and 2-5 in Big West play, losing three of their last four games.
Richie bested her previous career high of 16 points by hitting 9-of-17 from the floor to go with five rebounds in 38 minutes. Junior Toni Thomas added 19 points - 15 of those in the second half - and eight rebounds, including a perfect 9-of-9 from the line.
Fullerton trailed by as many as three points with just over eight minutes to go and was behind by a point with 5:26 remaining, 57-56, but five straight points by Thomas jump-started a 14-2 run by the Titans, giving them their largest lead of the game at 70-59 and they cruised from there, hitting 11-of-12 at the line in the final 1:18 to ice the victory.
Fullerton led for all but a few seconds of the first half paced by the hot shooting hand of Richie, who hit 5-of-9 in the opening half for 12 points.
The Titans led by as many as nine points in the first half, but a 15-7 run by the 49ers brought them to within a single point at 23-22 with just over five minutes remaining. Fullerton clung to the slim lead until the closing seconds as Courtney Jacob scored inside for the 49ers and Valeriya Musina hit a driving lay-up in the lane with 17 seconds remaining to give Long Beach State its first lead of the game, 27-26, at halftime.
Karina Figueroa led Long Beach State with 18 points on the night while Musina (14 points) and Kaiti O'Brien (10 points) also finished in double figures off the bench.
Cal State Fullerton's defense forced the 49ers into 23 turnovers on the night, turning those into 24 points, and the offense finished shooting just under 41 percent from the field - including a 45 percent clip in the second half. Long Beach State finishing shooting 48 percent from the field, including 52 percent in the second half.
The Titans return to the court on Saturday evening (Feb. 2) at 5 p.m. as they host Cal State Northridge at Titan Gym.