After they started out the season with two losses, the Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball team hoped to turn the season around against the San Diego Toreros, but the Titans still came up short losing at Titan Gym 70-60 on Tuesday night.
The last time the two faced off, the Toreros won, 72-67. San Diego holds the all time winning record between the two schools, 16-8.
San Diego came out with high energy on offense and displayed exceptional defense as the Toreros forced eight turnovers in the first quarter. However, both teams were careless with the ball and traded takeaways throughout the frame, with the Toreros tallying five turnovers themselves.
The Titans were slow starting the game, but kept close to the Toreros. The last possession of the first quarter resulted in a layup made by CSUF freshman center Ashlee Lewis, which brought the score to 18-15 heading into the second quarter.
CSUF started the second quarter with more energy, but it was no match for the Toreros and their high intensity offense and defense. The Toreros continued to force multiple turnovers against the Titans and kept them scoreless for the first three minutes. Joy Krupa, senior forward for CSUF, helped the Titans finally get on the board with a layup.
Back-to-back takeaways for the Titans forced the Toreros to call a quick timeout after their lead was cut to 11 points, 34-25, with just over three minutes left in the second quarter. San Diego stopped any sort of momentum CSUF had after the timeout as the Toreros hit a last second 3-pointer to finish the first half with a score of 41-25.
When the Titans were able to set up their possessions, their offense flowed; however, they could not seem to piece it all together nor sustain it for all four quarters
Krupa and freshman Gabi Vidmar brought good energy throughout the first half and midway through the third quarter to bring the score within seven points.
The fourth quarter provided more excitement as both teams traded baskets, but ultimately the Toreros were unmatched and defeated the Titans.
Head coach Jeff Harada said both teams fought hard but expressed his displeasure for the countless mistakes and 29 turnovers the Titans had against the Toreros.
“Unfortunately, we made a little too many mistakes. The turnovers continue on us, 29 turnovers which led to 22 of their points is not a number we like, it is a little too high,” Harada said.
The Titans finished with 18 total assists on 45.1% from the floor, 30% beyond the arc and 72.7% at the free throw line.
While CSUF junior Aimee Book led the Titans with 14 points and nine rebounds, Vidmar was productive as well as she had 14 points and five assists. Krupa chipped in with six points, 14 rebounds and gave the Titans a spark or hustle play whenever she was out on the floor.
“I think we had a pretty good game. Obviously, we had patches where we did not follow the game plan, but we are a new team and I think we can only go up from here,” Vidmar said.
The Titans have a 0-3 record so far and continue to seek their first win with their next home game against Pepperdine on Dec. 20.