Feb. 12, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton senior Toni Thomas scored a game-high 14 points and paced two teammates in double figures on Thursday night as the host Titans snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 62-51 victory over visiting Pacific at Titan Gym.
Fullerton improved to 7-15 overall and 4-7 in Big West Conference play, avenging an earlier six-point defeat at the hands of the Tigers in Stockton on Jan. 17. Pacific lost its fourth consecutive road contest in falling to 12-11 overall and 6-5 in league action.
Thomas also finished with seven rebounds to lead the team on the boards for the ninth consecutive game. Freshman Lauren Chow, who played only 14 minutes, added 11 points and four steals while freshman Megan Richardson finished with 10 points.
Fullerton's suffocating defense forced Pacific into 27 turnovers on the night - the second-highest total by a Titan opponent this season - and turned those miscues into 28 points.
Pacific rallied back from an 11-point second-half deficit to tie the game at 46-46 thanks to a 17-6 run over a 10-minute span with just over four minutes to play. It was the only time that the Titans had not led in the contest as a free throw by Thomas gave Fullerton the lead once again as the Titans closed the game on a 16-5 run en route to the win.
The Titans led wire-to-wire in the first half, riding one of its best single-half shooting performances of the season. Fullerton, which hit on 52 percent from the floor in the opening period, built a quick seven-point lead that Pacific eventually whittled down to just two points with 10:28 remaining.
Nine quick points by Thomas that made up a 9-2 run extended Fullerton's lead to nine points as the Titans' suffocating defense, which forced 14 Tigers turnovers in the half, helped them increase that lead to 11 points with just over four minutes to go and Fullerton carried a 34-23 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Amber Simmons, who torched the Titans for 28 points and 11 rebounds in the first meeting between the two teams, finished with just 14 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-14 shooting. Jennifer Fath came off the bench to add 11 points in the loss, finishing as the only other Tiger in double figures.
Pacific outshot Cal State Fullerton, 45 percent to 43 percent, and held a slim 29-28 advantage on the boards.
Cal State Fullerton returns to Titan Gym on Saturday evening as the Titans celebrate Valentine's Day with a 5 p.m. contest against UC Davis.