After a double-digit loss to Long Beach State on Friday, the Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball team looked to avoid a seventh straight loss on Saturday night as it faced its conference rival.
However, a fourth quarter comeback was not enough as a game-tying shot was missed at the buzzer and the Titans fell, 66-64, to the Beach. The loss put CSUF at 0-7 on the season and 0-4 in conference play, while Long Beach is 7-1 and 6-0 in the Big West.
Down by as many as 14 points in the final quarter, Fullerton outscored Long Beach 21-9 in six minutes to cut the deficit to two points with 50 seconds to go.
3 POINTER. BOOK. 2 POINT GAME pic.twitter.com/DI9fEdq0EE— Titans Women’s Basketball (@FullertonWBB) January 10, 2021
Amiee Book, junior forward, had a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line with 27 seconds, but missed both attempts. CSUF rebounded the ball, but Bella Stratford missed a driving layup as time expired.
Book had a team-high 21 points for the Titans and was hot from beyond the arc as she went 4-for-5 from 3-point land. Long Beach guard Justina King also had 21 points, 12 of which came from the free-throw line.
Despite shooting nearly 60% from the field, turnovers once again hurt the Titans. The team entered the game giving up a conference worst 21.7 turnovers a game. CSUF gave up the ball 26 times which resulted in 22 Long Beach points. The Beach had 10 turnovers allowing CSUF to score three points. Free throws also played a factor, as Fullerton went 10-for-20 from the line while Long Beach went 18-for-26.
Overall, CSUF made 59% of its field goals and went 6-for-10 in 3-pointers. Long Beach made 43% of its shots and was an abysmal 2-for-14 in 3-pointers.
The Titans shot well to start the game with six of 11 shots made in the first quarter. However, turnovers once again plagued the team as it gave the ball up seven times. Despite holding Long Beach to a nearly five-minute scoring drought, CSUF ended the quarter without a score in over four minutes.
The second quarter was much of the same, as the team went 5-for-8 from the field but had 9 turnovers. The 16 first half turnovers resulted in 11 Long Beach points and a 32-26 lead for the Beach at halftime.
Despite forcing turnovers, Long Beach made only 43% of its first half shots, and went 1-for-7 from the 3-point line. CSUF ended the half with a 58% field goal percentage, and 3-for-4 from 3-point land. Book finished the half with 14 points and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, while the Beach’s Naomi Hunt also had 14 points.
The third quarter remained close as well, with Long Beach outscoring the Titans 18-17 in the quarter.
The Titans will return home next weekend when they host UC Davis. Both games on Friday and Saturday will tip off at 5 p.m.