Titans Rally in the Second Half to Upend Tigers, 75-69
Feb. 8, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - Senior Charlee Underwood notched a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds and host Cal State Fullerton outscored Pacific 17-6 over the final six minutes to post a come-from-behind, 75-69, victory over the Tigers in a Big West Conference women's basketball contest on Thursday night in front of 242 fans at Titan Gym.
The victory improved the Titans to 11-12 overall and 5-4 in the Big West - matching their win total for all of last season (11-17 overall) with six regular season games remaining.
Pacific fell to 8-16 overall and 2-8 in league play, losing its seventh straight road game and falling to 2-11 away from home this season.
Underwood, who was held to a season-low two points in Fullerton's loss to UC Riverside on Feb. 3, hit on 8-of-14 from the field while playing all 40 minutes in a game for the fifth time this season.
She led three other Titans in double figures as junior Dayana Frias scored 15 points for her fourth double-digit performance in her last five games. She was joined by sophomore Toni Thomas, who scored 12 of her 15 points in the second half, and senior India McDaniel, who had 11 points and five assists off the bench.
Fullerton trailed by as many as six points with just under 13 minutes to go in the game, but rallied to score seven of the next nine points to pull to within a single point at 57-56 with 9:26 to go.
Pacific increased its lead back to five points with 6:10 remaining before the Titans clawed their way back in it. Back-to-back baskets by Thomas and Underwood brought Fullerton to within a point once again and the Titans regained the lead for the first time since the four-minute mark of the first half on another basket by Thomas to lead, 64-63, with 4:36 remaining.
Underwood followed that basket with her third three-pointer of the night to cap a 9-0 run and Cal State Fullerton never looked back. Pacific got to within a point on a free throw by Emma Head and a basket by Jerise Freeman, but the Titans scored eight of the game's final 11 points, including four consecutive free throws in the final minute, to seal the win.
The home team jumped out to a quick lead in the opening minutes of the first half, leading by as many as four points with 16:32 to go. However, back-to-back three-pointers by the Tigers' Jake Kelly put Pacific in front for the first time two minutes later.
The two teams would trade baskets with neither school leading by more than four points as the Titans battled back to tie the game at 37-37 on a pair of free throws by Audrey Taylor and take a two-point advantage on a jumper by McDaniel to go up 39-37 with 4:31 left.
That would be the last Fullerton would see of the lead as free throws by Kelly tied the game once again for Pacific and Head went to work down low, scoring the Tigers' final six points of the half to help lead them to a 47-42 advantage at the break.
Head finished with a team-high 16 points for Pacific off the bench, making 7-of-8 from the field in 19 minutes of play. Kelly finished with 14 points as she was one of three Tigers' starters in double figures, joined by Freeman's 13 points and Karen Dawkins' 11 points.
Whitney Price grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for Pacific to go with eight points and six assists.
Cal State Fullerton shot 45 percent from the floor for the game, including a 47 percent clip in the first half. The Titans defense, which allowed Pacific to shoot 66 percent in the first half, then clamped down, holding the Tigers to just 30 percent in the second period while forcing 13 turnovers.
Fullerton scored a season-high 42 points in the first half, besting its previous high of 40 points set in a win over Colorado on Dec. 7
Cal State Fullerton returns to action on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 10) at 2 p.m. as the Titans close out a three-game home stand by hosting Cal State Northridge at Titan Gym.