Second-Half Run Lifts Cal State Bakersfield Over Cal State Fullerton, 69-61

Dec. 20, 2006

Box Score

FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Bakersfield senior Jessi Loring tallied a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds and the visiting Roadrunners used a 10-2 run late in the first half to break open a close contest en route to a 69-61 victory over host Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday night at Titan Gym.

The loss drops the Titans to 5-8 overall while Cal State Bakersfield, in the first of a four-year transition period to the Division I level, improved to 5-3 overall in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

Sophomore Toni Thomas led the Titans with 18 points and a season-high 12 rebounds to notch her third double-double of the year. Senior Audrey Taylor added 16 points and four rebounds as the only other Titan in double figures.

Fullerton built a five-point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game, but could not hold off Bakersfield, which began to slowly chip away.

In a second half that saw the two teams whistled for a combined 29 fouls, the Roadrunners clawed their way back to take the lead on six conscutive free throws by Jessi Loring and Krista Arase to make it 46-45 with 7:40 left in the contest.

Taylor regained the advantage for the Titans with a pair of free throws of her own, but that would be the last Fullerton would see of the lead as a pair of free throws and a basket by Rhondi Naff followed by a lay-up by Loring put Cal State Bakersfield up 52-49 with just over six minutes to play.

Cal State Fullerton would get to within a single point on its next possession, but a 10-2 run by Bakersfield gave the Roadrunners a nine-point, 62-53, advantage that they would not relinquish.

The Titans, who led by as many as eight points in the first half, would get no closer than four points with 29 seconds remaining in the game as Cal State Bakersfield claimed only its second-ever win over a Division I opponent.

The Roadrunners, who trailed for the majority of the first half, closed out the period on an 8-0 run to take a 26-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Fullerton shot just 31 percent from the field for the game - including a 21 percent clip in the first half. Cal State Bakersfield shot 45 percent from the floor - including 48 percent in the second half to hold off the Titans.

Loring led the Roadrunners with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds to pace Bakersfield to a 40-33 advantage on the boards. Kelley Tarver was also in double figures with 12 points to go with eight rebounds on the night.

The Titans now break for the holidays before returning to Titan Gym for the 2006-07 Big West Conference openers next week. Fullerton hosts Cal Poly on Thursday (Dec. 28) at 7 p.m. before UC Santa Barbara comes to town on Saturday (Dec. 30) for a 2 p.m. tip-off.