Nov. 13, 2009
SAN JOSE, CA - Junior Lauren Chow's three-pointer with 18 seconds remaining erased a one-point deficit and visiting Cal State Fullerton withstood a pair of game-tying attempts in the closing seconds as the Titans escaped with a wild 79-77 victory over San Jose State on Friday night in front of 402 fans at The Event Center in San Jose, Calif.
Sophomore Megan Richardson poured in a career-high 29 points to led three Titans in double figures and give first-year head coach Marcia Foster a victory in her Fullerton coaching debut. The Titans (1-0 overall) clinched their second-straight season-opening win and their first on the road since downing the Spartans, 69-52, in 2006.
Richardson was 9-of-16 from the floor to pace the offense, which shot just under 43 percent for the game. Juniors Ashley Richie (13 points) and Lyndsey Grove (12 points) were also in double figures for Cal State Fullerton, which also shot 47 percent from three-point range and hit 20-of-26 (.769) from the line.
Chow's three-pointer came on Fullerton's final possession of the night after San Jose State's Sayja Sumler scored inside to give the Spartans a 77-76 lead with 42 seconds to play. Chow, who finished with just seven points on the night, then came back down the court and hit only her second basket of the contest for a two-point lead the Titans would not relinquish.
After a time out, San Jose State had two chances to send the game into overtime, but Ashley Brown's jumper with three seconds remaining was off the mark and Sumler's put-back attempt at the buzzer would not fall, sealing the victory for Cal State Fullerton over its former conference rival.
The Titans shot 50 percent in the first half and used a 16-2 run over the final four minutes to build an 11-point, 42-31, lead at the break. However, that all disappeared in the second half as the hot-shooting Spartans shot 57 percent after the break to erase the deficit and set-up the tense final minutes.
Fullerton's lead grew to as many as 13 points in the early going of the second half, but a 16-3 run by San Jose State tied the score at 49 just seven minutes in. The score was tied twice more in the next two minutes with the Spartans unable to break through and the Titans eventually rebuilt their lead back to six with 7:53 play on a pair of free throws by Richardson, who was 8-of-9 from the line on the night.
San Jose State would not go quietly, however, using an 8-2 run over the next two minutes to tie the game once again at 67 with 6:18 to go. A Richardson three pointer two minutes later gave the lead back to the Titans, but Chasity Shavers, who led SJSU with 21 points on the night, hit back-to-back buckets over the next minute - including a three-pointer with 3:37 to play that gave the Spartans their first lead since the three-minute mark of the first half.
Four straight points by Richardson tied and gave Fullerton the lead once again, but 1-of-2 from the line by Britney Bradley and a jumper by Brown put San Jose State back up, 75-74, with just over two minutes to play, setting up the dramatic conclusion.
Shavers was joined in double figures by Samantha Marez (16 points) and Britney Bradley (13 points), who also came off the bench to help out the Spartans' offense. The trio combined to score 50 of the team's 54 bench points as the San Jose State starting five was held to just 23 points on the night.
Cal State Fullerton closes out its weekend on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 15) at 2 p.m. as the Titans travel to Sacramento State to take on the Hornets.