The Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball team has been busy over break, practicing often and playing hard in their nine games. Since the campus recessed for winter break, the team is 5-4 overall, and 3-4 in Big West action.
Amidst those games, the Titans had some excellent wins, some close games, and some tough losses. Fourth-year Head Coach Marcia Foster described some of the key games, both wins and losses, that have occurred for CSUF women’s basketball during the break.
“We had one after exams against San Jose State and won a one-point game, which was good. We beat Columbia at home after our Christmas break. We had a great first half in that game, and had an inconsistent second half, which is one of the things we are working on,” said Foster.
On Dec. 22, junior forward Mya Olivier had her best scoring game of the season as she scored 13 points with eight rebounds to help CSUF defeat San Jose State, 60-59. On Dec. 31, CSUF triumphed over Columbia University by a score of 61-49. In that win, Chante Miles and Tailer Butler led the team in scoring with 12 and 11 points respectively.
“We started conference a couple of days later with a great win over Hawaii. Hawaii is one of the top teams in the conference. We played well, and we shot well, so that was a good thing,” Foster added.
On Jan. 3, CSUF women’s basketball defeated the University of Hawaii by a score of 83-74 to open conference action. Butler once again led the Titans in scoring with a career-high 27 points. She made seven three-pointers that night, just one short of the CSUF school record. The Titans then suffered a one point loss to Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5. In that game, they had an opportunity to put the game away, but could not do so.
The Titans then went on to win a big game on the road against UC Riverside. Unfortunately, in that game sophomore point guard Chante Miles fractured her nose. As a result, freshman point guard Annie Park played in the next two games against UC Irvine and Long Beach State.
“It was different without Chante (Miles), but it was good for Annie (Park) to get the experience of playing in a game. She started and led us to a nice win against Irvine,” Foster said commenting on Park’s play. “Long Beach State we were okay for most of the game. It was more challenging than Irvine for her in that game; we played against bigger guards and trapping zones. Annie was in a challenging situation, but the experience is invaluable for her.”
With Park playing, the Titans won their game against UC Irvine 65-51 on Jan. 15, but lost to Long Beach State 45-39 on Jan. 19.
On Jan. 24 against UC Davis, both Park and Miles played as the Titans lost 88-44 to the Aggies.
“We were pretty bad against UC Davis. There were no excuses for that. It was uncharacteristic of us to not play better defense,” Foster said. “Offensively, we have struggled at times. Chante was in her first game back, and we played her for a little. We weren’t in a rhythm. It just wasn’t a great game for us.”
In their last game on Saturday, the Titans lost to one of the top teams in the conference, the University of the Pacific Tigers, 67-55. They had a strong push in the second half, but it was not enough to get a win. Junior guard Brianna Barfield led the team in points with 12. The Titans faced a tough opponent in the Tigers who are currently 6-1 in conference play.
“This conference is a conference in which anybody can win. Everybody is right in the position to do something,” Foster said.
Although CSUF is 3-4 in Big West play with a .429 winning percentage, they are still in a good spot to make it to the playoffs. Currently, they are tied for fourth with UC Davis in Big West standings.
With 11 games still to play, CSUF still has plenty of time to rack in some wins and make it to the postseason.
“This team prepares. This team plays hard to be successful. We still have a lot of season left,” Foster added. “There is a lot of good stuff we can do, so I’m going to count on us doing those good things. We just need to play some good ball.”
Hopefully, the Titans can snap their three game losing streak Thursday against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at Mott Gymnasium.
For more information about women’s basketball, visit FullertonTitans.com.