March 10, 2010
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Anaheim, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton junior Lyndsey Grove scored a career-high 26 points while senior Jasmine Scott added her team-best fourth double-double of the season to help lift the Titans to an 89-76 victory over UC Irvine in the opening game of the 2010 Big West Conference Women's Basketball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The victory improved sixth-seeded Fullerton, which posted its second-highest offensive output of the season, to 15-16 overall and advances the Titans to face No. 3-seeded UC Riverside on Thursday (March 11) at noon. The Anteaters finished their season at 9-21 overall.
Grove hit 7-of-11 from the floor and matched a career-best by hitting 10-of-10 from the line. She also grabbed nine rebounds in 34 minutes. Scott tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds (seven on the offensive end) while sophomore Megan Richardson added 17 points in 34 minutes.
Mikah Maly-Karros led all players with 41 points for UC Irvine, hitting a record-tying 17-of-31 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line. She made all but 10 of the Anteaters' baskets on the day and fell just three points shy of the single-game tournament record of 44 points held by Fullerton's Genia Miller, who set the mark against New Mexico State in 1991. The 31 attempts were a Big West single-game record, breaking Kathy Werth's mark of 30 for the Titans against Fresno State in 1990.
A back-and-forth opening six minutes had neither team ahead by more than three points before a three-pointer by Grove kick-started a 10-0 run that pushed Fullerton's lead to 11 points at 23-12 with 11:20 to play. After UCI closed to within six points, another spurt by the Titans, this one a 9-2 run over the next two minutes pushed the advantage back to 12 points and that lead would grow to as many as 14 points late in the half as Fullerton lead 43-29 with 2:24 to play en route to a 10-point, 45-35, halftime advantage.
The Titans' lead would remain in double digits to start the second half and would grow to as many as 16 points at 64-48 with 13:12 to play. The Anteaters, however, would not go quietly, using a 12-3 run over the next five minutes, capped by a Keyonna Johnson three-pointer, to whittle the lead back down to single digits at 67-60 with 8:51 to play.
Fullerton found an answer in the form of junior Britt Peters, who hit from long distance on the Titans' next possession and Fullerton continued to respond, answering each Anteater basket with one of its own while hitting 11-of-12 from the line in the final 4:26 to ice the victory.
Cal State Fullerton shot 43 percent from the field for the game while holding UCI to just 37 percent for the contest and the Titans held a 50-36 advantage on the boards.