No. 16 Vanderbilt Pulls Away Late, 83-67
Dec. 4, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - Vanderbilt's Christina Wirth scored a career-high 27 points and the No. 16 Commodores used a 10-0 run late in the second half to pull away from a pesky Cal State Fullerton squad for an 83-67 victory on Thursday night at Titan Gym.
The loss was the third straight for the Titans, who fell to 2-4, while Vanderbilt won its fourth straight contest in improving to 8-1.
Fullerton was led by sophomore Lauren Chow, who scored a season-high 20 points on 7-of-10 from the floor, including six three-pointers on the night - just two shy of the school record for a single game held by Autumn Hollyfield, who hit eight three's in a game three times.
Junior Jasmine Scott was also in double figures, finishing with a season-high 19 points for the Titans, who set season-high's by shooting 46 percent from the floor and 47 from three-point range for the game.
It was the second-smallest margin of victory for Vanderbilt on the season as the Commodores entered Thursday night's contest with victories of 32, 29, and 35 points in their three previous games.
Usually the Titans' forte this season, Vanderbilt forced Fullerton into 20 turnovers on the night, converting those into 31 points. The Titans, who had forced 25-or-more turnovers in four of their first five games, were recipients of just 11 Commodore miscues on the night.
The Titans, who led by as many as six points in the first half, trailed by only seven with just under six minutes to play, but 10 straight points from Vanderbilt allowed the Commodores to pull away, holding Cal State Fullerton scoreless for the better part of four minutes until Lyndsey Grove hit a pair of free throws with 1:54 to go.
Vanderbilt opened the game with six straight points and looked to run away with the contest early, but a lay-up by Grove jumpstarted a 12-4 run by the Titans that was capped by a three from Chow to give them their largest lead of six points at 18-12 with seven minutes gone.
Fullerton held that advantage for most of the period until the Commodores went on a brief 8-2 run to regain the lead at 26-24 with eight minutes to play. That advantage grew to as many as eight points thanks to another extended run (10-2 over a three-minute span), but the Titans closed strong, using a basket and two free throws by Grove and a jumper by Megan Richardson to cut the deficit to two points.
Wirth, who also finished a school-record 6-for-6 from beyond the arc for the game, then added a bucket close-in with seconds remaining for the, 38-34, lead at the break.
Chow opened the second half with back-to-back three's to tie the game as Fullerton forged four ties in the first five minutes of the period. Vanderbilt slowly increased its advantage to 11 points with just over seven minutes to play before the Titans lost their shooting touch, hitting on just 2-for-9 from the field to close out the game.
Hannah Tuomi finished with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting while Jennifer Risper added 14 points and seven assists to join Wirth in double figures.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the court next week to begin a stretch of three straight games against West Coast Conference schools. The Titans make a jaunt up the coast to take on San Francisco on Wednesday (Dec. 10) at 7 p.m. before returning home to host Pepperdine on Friday night (Dec. 12), also at 7 p.m.