After a season-high nine-game losing streak and the tragic loss of “Coach Mo” Monica Quan, the Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball team (8-18, 4-10 Big West) finally got back in the win column with a 60-42 victory over the UC Davis Aggies to conclude their two-game road trip in Northern California.
Defense paved the way for the win as CSUF forced a season-high 30 turnovers. The Titans also surged offensively in the second half, scoring 42 points.
The Titans did not take their first lead until only ten minutes remained the second half. CSUF erased a nine-point Aggie lead when a layup by forward Xava Grooms put the Titans ahead, 33-32.
The win puts the Titans one game out of the final seed in the Big West tournament. Their competitors are UC Riverside (11-14, 4-10 Big West) and UC Irvine (9-17, 5-9 Big West). The Titans still have four more games to play, all of them against conference foes. The Aggies have lost three of their past four games, and are seventh place in the conference.
Freshman guard Annie Park led the team offensively, posting twelve points on 5-of-11 shooting. Sophomore guard/forward Kathleen Iwuoha racked up nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Chante Miles was stellar at the free throw line, making all of her nine free throws.
UC Davis was led by forward Sydnee Fipps in scoring with 14 points. Senior Cortney French also added ten points in the loss. Freshman forward Alyson Doherty recorded nine rebounds.
Overall, CSUF made 37 percent of their field goal attempts, and UC Davis made 33 percent.
The Titans shot only 7-of-28 from the field in the first half, and were down 23-18 at the half. The break gave the Titans new energy, which produced stellar offensive production in the second half. Junior guard Brianna Barfield was one of the reasons for the surge, scoring six points in less than two minutes to tie the game 27-27 with 14 minutes left in regulation.
The win followed an 81-50 loss to Pacific on Thursday. Pacific had four players who scored in double figures, and the Titans committed a season-high 33 turnovers, which ultimately cost them the game.
Mya Olivier played excellently, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Miles and junior guard Alex Thomas each scored seven points in the loss.
The Titans did not start the game well, recording seven turnovers in the first four minutes. CSUF did not score until more than eight minutes had passed.
CSUF looks to continue their winning streak in their next game on Thursday at home against UC Santa Barbara. They will have a tough test against the Gauchos, who are fourth in conference standings with an 8-6 Big West record. Senior forward Sweets Underwood leads the team in points per game with 12.3.
The Thursday night game starts at 5:30 p.m. and takes place in Titan Gym as a part of a double header, with the men’s basketball game starting at 8:05 p.m. against Pacific. For more information, visit FullertonTitans.com.