Feb. 6, 2010
RIVERSIDE, CA - Alyssa Morris' fall-away basket with two seconds remaining broke a 51-51 tie and host UC Riverside held-off hard-charging Cal State Fullerton for a 53-51 Big West Conference women's basketball victory on Saturday night at the Student Recreation Center.
The loss drops the Titans to 10-13 overall and evens their mark in conference play at 5-5. The Highlanders posted their seventh win in their last eight games, improving to 10-13 overall and 7-3 in league games.
Fullerton rallied from down nine points with 7:52 remaining in the second half, using a 13-4 run over the next five minutes capped by a pair of free throws by Megan Richardson to tie the game at 49 apiece with 2:48 remaining.
The two teams then traded misses over the next two minutes before junior Britt Peters scored inside to give the Titans a two-point advantage at 51-49 with 54 seconds remaining. However, the Highlanders worked the ball inside to Rheya Neabors on their next possession and drawing a foul. Neabors converted both foul shots to tie the game and set up the tense final seconds.
Fullerton had its shot to win it on its next possession, but a turnover on its next trip down the court gave UCR its chance, and they didn't miss. The Highlanders pushed the ball back up court quick as Morris, who finished with a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds, drove to her left and hit from five feet away to give the Highlanders the 53-51 advantage. Out of a timeout, the Titans had one last chance, pushing it up court quickly with time to shoot, however, Peters' heave from just inside half-court went off the right side of the rim as time expired, sealing the win for Riverside.
Grove finished with 11 points, leading three Fullerton players in double figures. Peters and freshman Mya Olivier each added 10 points in the defeat while leading scorer Megan Richardson was held to just eight points and senior Jasmine Scott, who posted a triple-double in Thursday night's win over Long Beach State, finished with just two points on 1-of-7 shooting.
Junior Jenna Breite came off the bench to grab a team-high nine rebounds to go with her six points on the night.
UCR led at the break following a turnover plagued first half that saw both teams struggle shooting the ball for most of the period before closing on a flourish. A 10-0 spurt that last just over two minutes by the Highlanders erased a 15-9 lead by the Titans as a basket by Morris capped the run, giving UCR a 19-15 lead with 4:01 to play.
Fullerton snapped its scoreless run on a basket by Scott and pulled to within a point at 21-20 on a three-pointer by Peters with 2:31 to play. Two free throws by Brittany Waddell built the Highlanders' lead back to three points, but the Titans answered inside with a bucket by Breite to close the gap to 23-22 at halftime.
UC Riverside, which outshot the Titans 36 percent to 31 percent in the half, committed 13 first-half turnovers - 12 of those coming in the first 12 minutes, but Fullerton could not capitalize, turning the miscues into just seven points.
The Highlanders shot just under 37 percent for the game to Fullerton's 29 percent as the Titans were held to just 28 percent shooting in the second half.
Cal State Fullerton returns home for two Big West Conference clashes next week as the Titans host UC Irvine on Wednesday (Feb. 10) at 7 p.m. and Cal State Northridge on Saturday (Feb. 13) at 5 p.m.