In the matinee game of Homecoming 2018, Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball pushed its winning streak to two games with a 64-56 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.
The Titans’ backcourt of Jade Vega and Raina Perez led the Titans with 17 points a piece with Vega making seven of her 15 shots attempted on the night. Fullerton (4-4) handed the Roadrunners their fourth loss in five road games this season.
The Roadrunners started slow, missing their first seven shot attempts to start the game. Bakersfield didn’t find its first basket of the game until halfway through the first quarter when Jasmin Dixon made a 3-pointer.
The Titans and Roadrunners exchanged leads in the middle of the second quarter but Bakersfield built momentum as it went on a 16-0 run to jump in front of Fullerton 26-17. The Roadrunners’ full-court press forced a few of Fullerton’s 24 turnovers of the night.
A 23-point second quarter by the Roadrunners had them leading the Titans 29-25 at halftime.
Head coach Jeff Harada told his team to “take their time, have some poise and keep battling.”
“We had a nice first quarter where we came out with great energy. Obviously, Bakersfield was going to respond in the second quarter and they did. We lost our poise, we got rattled by their pressure,” Harada said.
Center Daeja Smith got in foul trouble early in the third quarter, picking up her fourth foul just 32 seconds into the third quarter. She sat on the bench for much of the second half until eventually fouling out with two minutes left to play in the game.
The Titans faced a challenge without their leading scorer, but continued to out-rebound the Roadrunners.
Forward Carolyn Gill grabbed 16 of CSUF’s 43 rebounds, which is the sophomore’s career high. Bakersfield only reached 32 total rebounds.
“The game plan was to limit them from offensive rebounds, just limiting them to one possession,” Gill said. “I just saw it as my role to get as many boards as I could.”
While she played her role well, Fullerton was not able to execute its game plan and Bakersfield finished with 17 offensive rebounds.
Cal State Bakersfield shot 28.2 percent from the field in the second half with Jazmine Johnson and Vanessa Austin going scoreless on a combined 11 shot attempts. The win put Fullerton in second place in the Big West conference standings, behind UC Irvine.
“We’re 4-4 now. This is a big win, it got us to .500. We’ve got two games back east and we know the adversity and the challenges that will cause for us,” Harada said.
The Titans will play Columbia University on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 8 a.m. in the Levien Gymnasium.
Nathan Nguyen contributed to this report.
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