By Cesar Gonzalez
Daily Titan Staff Writer
The Cal State Fullerton womenâ€™s basketball team was unable to come back from a deficit and lost 75-72 to the Cougars of Brigham Young University at Titan Gym Saturday night.
â€œIt was a good effort tonight by our team; the defense was better tonight,â€ said Titan Head Coach Marcia Foster. â€œFinishing the game and little mistakes are hurting us and not allowing us to close out games.â€
The Titans were led by sophomore guard Megan Richardson, who had 24 points on 8 of 18 shooting, including 8 of 9 from the free-throw line.
Junior guard Lyndsey Grove added 15 points on 4 of 9 shooting, including 3 of 5 from the three-point line.
The Cougars were led in scoring by junior guard Mindy Nielson who had 24 points.
â€œWe played well tonight; (our) defense was OK,â€ Grove said. â€œOur mistakes have hurt us the last two games.â€
The Titans had a run seven minutes into the game as freshman forward Mya Olivier capitalized on a Cougar turnover and had an easy score.
The next possession down, junior guard Ashley Richie knocked down a three-pointer and capped a 5-0 run for the Titans and gave them a 13-7 lead.
In the remaining 10 minutes of the first half, both teams had mini runs.
The Cougars were down by seven points, but they had a 6-0 run, lead by Nielson who started the run with making two free throws and then had a layup.
The Titans ended up hanging onto the lead and led at the half 29-28.
The Cougars were able to keep the game close due to poor shooting from the Titans.
Richardson and freshman guard Alicya Crisp lead CSUF at the half with nine and six points respectively.
Nielson led BYU with 10 points.
At the start of the second half, the Cougars came out motivated and in a one-minute span, they were able to knock down two three-pointers, one by junior forward Keilani Moeaki, and one by junior guard Jazmine Foreman, which gave them a 38-34 lead.
CSUF came back with a 6-0 run of their own, led by Crisp and a three-pointer by Grove.
The second half consisted of a cat and mouse game as both teams traded baskets, and neither team could gain a real advantage.
The most important run for BYU was when they were trailing 63-58 with 3:45 left in the game.
The run was facilitated by redshirt freshman forward Alexis Kaufusi, who had two easy layups.
CSUF took a one-point lead with 1:40 left in the game on a layup by junior forward Jenna Breite.
The Cougars came down and junior forward Coriann Wood hit a huge three-pointer to give the Cougars a two-point lead with 1:22 left in the game.
Grove drove to the basket and was fouled. She calmly sank both free throws to tie the game at 67-67.
Nielson made another layup to give BYU a two-point lead with less than a minute left in the game.
On CSUFâ€™s next possession, they were unable to score, so they had to foul junior guard Haley Hall.
Hall went to the free-throw line and was able to make the first free throw but missed the second.
Grove said that not being able to get the rebound on the missed free throw was an important possession, but no play makes or breaks the game.
The Titans were forced to foul again, and Foreman only made one of two free throws.
The Titans pushed the ball up the court, and Richardson was able to score on a layup to cut the lead to two with 11 seconds left.
Nielson then made two free throws and increased their lead to 73-69.
On the next possession senior guard Jasmine Scott knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to one with two seconds left.
The Titans fouled and Foreman was able to make both free throws.
The Titansâ€™ last chance was on a desperation three-pointer by Richardson, which fell short.
â€œObviously we tried to take the best shots,â€ Richardson said. â€œDefensive errors towards the end of the game hurt us.â€
She added that the team is playing better overall and not making as many mistakes on offense.
The Titans will look to get back in the win column against Eastern Washington on Dec. 21 at Titan Gym.