Dec. 9, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Loyola Marymount sophomore Alex Cowling scored a game-high 18 points to lead four teammates in double figures and the visiting Lions held off a late charge to edge host Cal State Fullerton, 66-64, on Wednesday night at Titan Gym.
The loss was the third straight for the Titans, who fell to 3-5 overall on the season, while LMU improved to 5-4 overall, collecting its sixth consecutive win in the series between the two programs.
After a slow start in the first half that saw the Titans trail by as many as 12 points just five minutes into the game, Fullerton rallied to start the second half to take their first lead of the contest on back-to-back three-pointers by Grove and Britt Peters and a Richardson driving lay-up to lead, 31-30, two minutes in.
However, the Lions threatened to run away with the game, responding with a 15-4 run over a six-minute span to grab, what seemed to be, a commanding 10-point, 45-35, lead with just under 13 minutes to play.
Undaunted, Fullerton's long-range attack brought it back from the brink once again as the Titans, who shot 47 percent from three-point range for the game, got three-straight from long range as Grove, Scott, and Richardson hit on their next three possessions to trail just 45-44 with 11 minutes remaining.
The two teams traded baskets over the next two minutes before another spurt by Fullerton gave it the lead once again with just under seven minutes to go. Junior Ashley Richie started the run with a jumper and 1-of-2 at the line while Scott tied the game and gave the Titans the lead with a pair of free throws to make it, 51-50.
LMU, however, would battle back to finally close out Fullerton, tying the game on a free throw by Renahy Young and taking the lead for good seconds later on a basket by Jenna Sybesma as the Lions pulled ahead, 53-51.
Loyola Marymount would hit 7-of-8 in the final minute from the line to hold off the Titans, who got six points from Richardson down the stretch and hit 5-of-7 from the field, including a basket just inside the three-point line by Grove as the buzzer sounded for the final tally.
Sybesma came off the bench to score 11 poins for the Lions who also got 10 points apiece from three different starters: Melanie Ysaguirre, Young, and Candice Nichols.
LMU shot 46 percent for the game to Fullerton's 40 percent as the Titans' hit on 48 percent from the floor in the second half to rally the side in the period. The Lions went to the line 21 times for the game to Fulllerton's 11 and they held a 41-31 advantage on the boards, scoring 14 second chance points and outscoring the Titans in the paint, 36-20.
Cal State Fullerton returns home for a third-consecutive contest at Titan Gym, hosting BYU on Saturday (Dec. 12) at 5 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the Titans' men's team, which takes on Occidental at approximately 7:30 p.m.