Nov. 16, 2011
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FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton sophomore Alex Thomas scored a career-high 15 points while sophomore Mya Olivier finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday night as the host Titans handed visiting Pepperdine a 65-51 defeat in front of 230 fans at Titan Gym.
With the win, Fullerton opened 2-0 for the second time in the last three seasons and, in the process, also snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Waves dating back to its last win in 1994. Pepperdine, which lost its season opener to No. 3 Tennessee last week, fell to 0-2 overall on the year.
Thomas hit 6-of-10 from the floor and added three rebounds in 27 minutes for the Titans, who shot just over 41 percent from the field for the game and held a 44-26 advantage on the boards, including a 19-9 lead on the offensive glass.
After setting a career-high with 15 rebounds last weekend against Sacramento State, Olivier notched her fourth career double-double, hitting an efficient 3-of-4 from the field and 4-of-6 from the line while gathering six offensive rebounds, and was joined in double figures by freshman Kathleen Iwuoha, who matched a career high with 12 points and set a new career best with eight rebounds - six of those on the offensive end.
Lauren Bell led the Waves with a game-high 17 points and finished as the only Pepperdine player in double figures. Kelsey Patrick led the Waves with six rebounds to go with eight points.
After surrendering the first basket of the game, the Titans exploded for a 14-2 run over a seven-minute span to build a 10-point lead midway through the opening period. Back-to-back baskets off the press and a three-pointer by Bell keyed a 7-2 spurt for Pepperdine that cut its deficit down to single digits, but Fullerton rebounded and finished the half strong, using a 15-6 run over the final eight minutes of the period to carry a 31-17 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Titans' defense was just as effective as their offense in the first half, turning eight Waves turnovers into 12 points and holding Pepperdine to just 22 percent from the field for the period.
Fullerton's lead grew to as many as 18 points in the second half, but Pepperdine, which was shooting 67 percent from the field at one point and finished the second half 12-for-24 from the field, continued to chip away, working the deficit down to single digits at 44-35 with just under 11 minutes to play.
However, a 10-4 run by the Titans over the next four minutes rebuilt its lead back to 15 points and they never looked back.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the floor on Monday night (Nov. 21) at 7 p.m. as the Titans host Loyola Marymount in search of the program's first 3-0 start since the 1996-97 campaign.