Guard Carolyn Gill’s career night catapulted CSUF women’s basketball past the University of Antelope Valley on Friday 77-65, pushing its win streak to five games.
“I think we are the type of team that can just continue and just get better. We’re not even at our peak yet of how good of a team we are,” Gill said.
Gill set a career-high 20 points while matching her season high of 16 rebounds.
Before the loss against CSUF on Friday, the Pioneers had won four-straight road games.
With no Pioneers over 6 feet tall on the roster, center Daeja Smith, the tallest player on the court for the Titans, was aggressive at the basket.
To start the game, the 6-foot 3-inch center scored 8 of the Titans’ first 10 points and finished with 22 for the night from the field.
The start was crucial as the team felt they were in a slump despite being on a winning streak, Smith said.
“Everyone had the mindset to do better than our last game,” Smith said. “I think tonight, we just proved it.”
Smith’s presence was felt on the defensive side. Her length forced the Antelope Valley offense to settle for shots from the perimeter.
As a result, the Pioneers made only eight successful shots out of 25 attempts.
CSUF had success with ball movement to find an open player as the 18 assists of the night were above the 15.6 season average.
Titans head coach Jeff Harada was pleased that the team committed less that 15 turnovers versus Antelope Valley, which was its goal heading in.
“Hopefully we realize that when we get stops like rebounding and taking care of the basketball, it’s going to make things a lot easier for us,” Harada said.
It was a close contest between these two teams through the first 30 minutes, as no team had a lead larger than 5 points. However, the Titans put up 29 points in the fourth quarter to pull away.
A 3-pointer by forward Amiee Book capped a 10-0 run in the final quarter for Fullerton to force Pioneers head coach Deon Price to use a timeout.
Book was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time in her collegiate career after coming off the bench in every game this season.
She replaced guard Hannah Thompson, who has been struggling to find her footing on the offensive end.
Thompson has scored just one field goal or less in four of the last five games she has played.
William Robbins contributed to this article.