Video by: Alex Stathis
Cal State Bakersfield guards Kristine Herman and Amber Williams each scored 24 points while the Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball team turned the ball over 22 times to help the Roadrunners to a 71-63 victory at Titan Gym Thursday night.
The loss extends the Titans’ (9-16, 2-11) losing streak to five games, matching an earlier skid in the season. The Roadrunners (5-21) earned only their fifth overall victory of the year.
“We need to come out with more energy. We’re coming out super flat. We just need to come out with more energy,” said Titans senior guard Megan Richardson.
A 13-4 Bakersfield run to begin the second half broke open what was a tight game and gave the Roadrunners a 44-36 lead at the 13:56 mark.
After two layups by Richardson cut the Roadrunners’ lead to 44-40, Herman answered with one of her own but was fouled as she made the shot. She then converted the free throw to complete a three-point play making it a 47-40 game. Herman’s play started a 15-4 Bakersfield run giving the Roadrunners their largest lead of the game 59-44 with 7:48 left to play.
Richardson, along with redshirt senior guard Lauren Chow and freshman forward/center Natalie Williams, traded baskets with Bakersfield down the stretch but could not cut the Roadrunner lead to less than seven.
Chow was slow to comment after the loss but did say that the team is still optimistic.
“We’re disappointed not to come out with the win, but we’re trying to stick together. We’re going to treat every game like it’s pretty much the championship game,” said Chow.
Another slow start, which has haunted CSUF in recent games, combined with the 22 turnovers, equaled another loss for the Titans.
“Some of the turnovers were careless mistakes and then some were forced by them, but I thought they did a really nice job on defense,” said Titans Head Coach Marcia Foster. “They did a really nice job pressing up on us.”
It didn’t help that Titans redshirt sophomore forward Mya Olivier was in foul trouble the entire game keeping her from finding any kind of rhythm. Olivier fouled out with 3:36 left to play in the game and only scored four points to go with four rebounds.
“When we have our bigs in foul trouble, it’s gonna be hard to play, and I mean I think they took us out of the game. They attacked our bigs,” Foster said.
CSUF made 6 of 12 points from the free-throw line while Bakersfield went 18 of 22 from the charity stripe. The Roadrunners outshot the Titans in the second half and shot 46 percent from the floor compared to CSUF’s 38 percent.
Although the Titans lost, there were still some positives that came out the game.
Richardson, along with Chow and Williams all scored in double figures. Richardson’s 20 points pushed her pass the 400 point mark in the season putting her in the record books next to CSUF’s Shayla Bradshaw (1992-1996), Genia Miller (1987-1991) and Nancy Ratliff (1980-1983) as the only Titans to score 400 or more points in three consecutive seasons.
Chow’s 17 points was a season high and Williams finished with her first career double-double of 11 points and 18 rebounds.
Both teams started the game slow in a first half that saw 14 lead changes. CSUF went on a 11-6 run to close the half taking a 32-31 lead in to the break.
The Titans have four conference games left to close the regular season starting with a rematch against UC Riverside Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Titan Gym.