Nov. 21, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton freshman Megan Richardson came off the bench to score a team-high 18 points and led four teammates in double figures as the Titans defeated visiting Saint Mary's, 88-74, on Friday night at Titan Gym.
With the victory, Fullerton improved to 2-1 overall on the year and, with two wins in their first three games, the Titans are off to their best start since the 1996-97 season when they started 3-0.
The Gaels fell to 0-4 overall on the season with the loss, getting a game-high 20 points from Sierra Chambers and double figures from Louella Tomlinson (18 points) and Maija Lahde (10 points).
Richardson was 8-for-11 from the field and added five rebounds in 22 minutes of play for the Titans, who forced 30 turnovers and converted those into 28 points.
Senior Toni Thomas tallied her first double-double on the season, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds on the night. Sophomore Lauren Chow (13 points), senior Daviyonne Weathersby (11 points) and sophomore Ashley Richie (11 points) also finished in double figures.
The Titans seemingly couldn't miss in the first half en route to a commanding 52-27 halftime advantage, shooting 66 percent from the floor. Fullerton, which led wire-to-wire with the score tied only once, led by eight points just two minutes in.
The two teams traded baskets with the Gaels eventually clawing their way back to within two points at 15-13 with 14:23 remaining, but Fullerton's shooters caught fire, exploding for a 14-0 run to build a 16-point advantage that grew to 25 points with just over two minutes to go.
Saint Mary's was then the one to catch fire in the second half as the Gaels opened the period with a 14-3 run to whittle the Titans' advantage down to just 14 points at the first media timeout as Fullerton struggled to just 1-for-12 from the field in the first four-plus minutes.
Key baskets and free throws (15-for-21 in the second half) by the Titans kept their lead steady, but Saint Mary's, which shot 53 percent after the break to Fullerton's 27 percent, worked to get the Titans' advantage down to just 10 points with 4:26 to play.
The Gaels, however, could not find a way to get the deficit down to single digits as Weathersby took control down the stretch for Fullerton, scoring seven of the Titans' final 11 points in the last three minutes, including 5-for-6 at the line, to hold off Saint Mary's.
The 88 points are a season high for Fullerton and the most for the Titans in a game since they put up 94 points in a win over Pacific on Jan. 19, 2008.
Cal State Fullerton celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday next weekend with a trip to Las Vegas to compete in the Lady Rebel Round Up hosted by UNLV. The Titans open tournament play against No. 23 Georgia on Friday (Nov. 28) at 1 p.m. with either the host Rebels or Eastern Washington waiting on Saturday (Nov. 29).