The Cal State Fullerton Titans women’s basketball team went up against a tough Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Friday night, losing by just one point, 55-54.
The Titans gave the Lumberjacks their first win of the season, as CSUF fell to an overall record 2-5.
Although Northern Arizona was 0-6 going into this game, Head Coach Marcia Foster said their record did not change a thing because she knew how strong the Lumberjacks were.
“They are a veteran team that has beaten us last year, and they are just struggling this year. This game really had nothing to do with their record,” said Foster.
Sophomore forward Kathleen Iwuoha had an all time career-high of 14 points during the course of the game. Freshman guard Annie Park also had a personal best with nine points.
“We just try to go into every game thinking we have to get better, and we have to play hard and play as a team,” said Park.
The Titans started off the game with a strong effort, racking up three offensive rebounds. They took a 1-0 lead within the first minute of the game thanks to Iwuoha, who made a free throw and put the Titans on the scoreboard. The Titans trailed behind Northern Arizona for the majority of the first half, and only made two of their first 11 field goal attempts. However, the Titans kept fighting and tied the game at 16-16 with 9:02 remaining in the first half. Fullerton kept the game close, and were only down by one point, 26-25, at halftime.
This Friday night showdown drew in a decent size crowd for both the Titans and the Lumberjacks.
No matter how loud or quiet the crowd may be, the players are in the zone and try to focus solely on the game.
“For me, I block out everything around me and focus on the court, and I think that is what the team does too,” Park said.
After the half, the Titans and Lumberjacks continued their battle as the teams continued to go back and forth, trading the lead eight times.
With less than four minutes left to play, Iwuoha made a beautiful shot, giving the Titans the lead 52-50. Unfortunately, that would be their last lead of the game.
With 11 seconds remaining, the Titans called their final timeout.
Foster wanted to find a way for the Titans to come out of this game with a win.
“I wanted to design the perfect play. We got a layup, that is what we needed but we just could not do it again,” Foster said.
The Titans ultimately fell short and Northern Arizona left Titan Gym with a win.
“I really thought we had it this game, and now we have to get out of this losing streak,” said Iwuoha.
The Titans only made 28 percent of their field goals, and were 55 percent from the free throw line, which was a season low for them.
“We were 20 for 70 from the floor, we missed 50 shots. We are taking good shots, I like what we were doing, how we were executing defensively, we just did not make shots,” Foster said.
Coach Foster is hopeful for their next game, and knows the team needs to really focus during their practice in the next week.
“We need to work on shooting. We executed better, we just did not shoot the ball well,” Foster said.
The Titans were heartbroken by this loss, and fell to 0-5 losing streak against Northern Arizona. However, the team cannot dwell on this loss and needs to move forward and focus on their next game against New Mexico.
“To be honest, I hate losing, especially by one point. We have to practice our hardest, and focus on our execution, and we can get a win,” Iwuoha said.
For more information on this game and the women’s basketball team, visit FullertonTitans.com