Titans Hang Tough With No. 14/15 Sooners
Dec. 30, 2009
NORMAN, OK - Oklahoma's Abi Olajuwon scored a career-high 25 points to lead five starters in double figures and the No. 14/15 Sooners broke open a close game with a 17-4 run late en route to a 95-76 victory over visiting Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
The loss dropped the Titans to 4-8 overall heading into this weekend's Big West Conference openers against UC Davis and Pacific at Titan Gym to usher in the new year. Fullerton takes on the Aggies on Saturday (Jan. 2) evening at 5 p.m. before welcoming the Tigers on Monday night (Jan. 4) at 7 p.m.
"I'm excited about how my team competed against the No. 14 team in the nation," first-year Titans head coach Marcia Foster said. "Oklahoma is a good team. I couldn't be more pleased with my team's effort tonight. They exploited a couple of things that I wish we had adjusted to during the game a little bit better, a lot of back door stuff. That's just solid basketball and I wish we would have done a better job."
Oklahoma won its sixth-consecutive contest in improving to 10-2 overall, but had to withstand a charge by a pesky Fullerton squad midway through the second half before sealing the victory.
Junior Lyndsey Grove, who scored a career-high 24 points two nights earlier at Tulsa, closed out the road trip with another solid outing, leading the Titans with 19 points and six rebounds. She was joined in double figures by sophomore Megan Richardson and senior Jasmine Scott, who finished with 18 and 14 points, respectively.
The 76 points scored by the Titans are the most for the team since they finished with 79 in a seven-point overtime victory over Portland State on Nov. 28. Fullerton, which entered the week with the third-ranked offense in the Big West (67.6 ppg), has now topped the 70-point plateau six times in 12 games this season - matching last year's total that had the Titans score 70 points or more six times over the course of the 30-game season.
Fullerton, which trailed by 11 points, 42-31, at the half, shot a robust 49 percent in the second period to slowly chip away at the Sooners' advantage. The Titans pulled to within six points at 70-64 on a lay-up by Richardson with 9:22 to play, but Oklahoma's offense ignited over the final eight-plus minutes, outscoring the Titans by a 25-12 count to close out the game.
Olajuwon hit on 11-of-16 from the floor and added five rebounds in the win. Nyeshia Stevenson finished with 18 points for Oklahoma which also got double figures from Carlie Roethlisberger (15), Danielle Robinson (15), and Amanda Thompson, who narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds to go along with seven assists.
The Sooners, who led by as many as 21 points with 2:53 to play, shot 61 percent from the field for the game, including hitting 8-of-15 (.533) from long-range and outscoring the Titans in the paint, 52-26. Fullerton finished the game hitting just under 42 percent from the floor for the contest.