Titans Win Nailbiter at San Francisco
Dec. 20, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO - Senior Megan Richardson finished with a game-high 21 points and junior Lauren Bushong tied a career high with 14 rebounds Tuesday night to help lift Cal State Fullerton to a 55-50 victory over host San Francisco at War Memorial Gym.
The Titans evened their record at 5-5 overall on the season, overcoming a poor-shooting first-half to hold off the Dons, who rallied from nine-points down in the second half only to suffer the 10th loss in their last 11 games and fall to 2-11 overall.
Richardson, who reached 20 points for the third time in the last four games, and Bushong, who grabbed double-digit rebounds for the first time since setting her career high with 14 rebounds against Bakersfield on Jan. 26 of last season, provided the decisive points in the final minutes after USF used a 7-0 run to tie the game at 45-45 with just under three minutes to play.
Bushong was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to break the deadlock and Richardson nailed a jumper off a steal by Bushong to make it a four-point, 51-47, lead with 1:26 to play. Taj Winston hit 1-of-2 from the line and then put back her own miss on the Dons' next trip down the floor to bring USF back to within a point, but a jumper by Lauren Chow and single free throws by Alicya Crisp and Bushong in the final 26 seconds sealed the win after the Dons turned the ball over twice and missed three shots in the same span to end the game.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball as the Titans hit just 32 percent from the floor to USF's 29 percent for the game, overcoming first halves that saw the teams hit just 23 and 24 percent from the field, respectively. The Dons held their largest lead of the game at 6-2 with just over two minutes gone in the game, but Fullerton whittled the lead down and tied it at 10 apiece on a three from Richardson two minutes later.
Two free throws from Bushong and a basket by Bailey Barbour had the two teams knotted once again before both sides lost their shooting touch. Neither team scored for the next three minutes before a three-pointer by San Francisco's Mel Khlok and the Titans went without a field goal for 12 minutes before Richardson's jumper with 3:19 to go in the first tied it at 15-15.
Aundrea Gordon put the Dons ahead briefly on their next possession but Richardson answered with a three pointer and Tailer Butler scored on a put-back with 26 seconds remaining to give Fullerton a 20-17 lead at the break.
Rheina Ale finished with a team-high 12 points for the Dons while Winston grabbed 11 rebounds to go with nine points. San Francisco outrebounded the Titans, 50-49, as three Dons (Winston, Katy Keating with 10, and Barbour with 11) finished in double figures.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the court on Thursday (Dec. 22) as the Titans take on San Jose State at The Event Center in their final tune-up prior to the start of Big West Conference play. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.