Fullerton Upends Buffs 89-77
FULLERTON, Calif. - Toni Thomas had 27 points and India McDaniel had three second half 3-pointers as Cal State Fullerton pulled out an 89-77 win over Colorado Thursday night at Titan Gymnasium.
Colorado started on the right foot as McFarland hit her first four shots and the Buffs made six of their first eight, building an 18-15 advantage. McFarland had 14 points in the first half and a lay up off a Whitney Houston pass with 8:27 remaining in the first half gave the Buffs a 22-19 lead.
From that point the Buffaloes cooled considerably from the floor hitting just two of their final 10 shots of the half. Cal State Fullerton also took advantage of 13 first-half turnovers as the Titans outscored the Buffaloes 21-7 to end the half and take a 40-29 lead a halftime.
Cal State Fullerton started nailing the long ball early in the second half. McDaniel and Charlee Underwood hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, increasing the Titan lead to 18 at 52-34 five minutes in to the period. Cal State Fullerton made 6-of-8 from downtown in the second half and finished the game 9-of-16, a season-high 56 percent allowed by Colorado.
The situation appeared it would get worse once McFarland fouled out with 12:20 remaining in the game and the Titans led 59-40 after a pair of Dayana Frias free throws. However, Colorado fought back led by Ilic, who scored 10 of her 20 points after McFarland left the game and freshman Bianca Smith who came off the bench for 12 second-half points.
Ilic scored on three straight trips for the Buffaloes, but each shot was answered by the Titans with McDaniel and Thomas each hitting 3-pointers.
Down 69-53, Smith entered the game and found her stroke from the outside. She made three 3-pointers in a 2:27 span to cut the Cal State Fullerton lead to 73-64 with 5:04 left. But just like the last CU run, the Titans had an answer McDaniel hit her fourth 3-pointer and Thomas connected on a lay up putting CSF back up by 14.
Cal State Fullerton then put the game away at the free throw line. Thomas' lay up with 4:33 left was the last field goal the Titans would score. CSF made 11-of-14 from the line over the final 4:33 and hit 30-of-40 for the game. Thomas alone was 10-of-13 from the charity stripe.
Freshman point guard Whitney Houston came off the bench and scored 12 points and dished four assists. Houston and Smith accounted for the Buffaloes' final 24 points of the game.
CU freshman Aija Putnina will likely miss the next two games to recover from a stress reaction in the third metatarsal of her left foot. Putnina started Thursday's game but was limited to 10 minutes recording just two points and two rebounds. The injury is not a fracture, rather a "hot spot" on the bone, and with just two games in the next three weeks for Colorado, with rest she could return healthy for the games following the Christmas holiday break.
Colorado will continue its west coast swing by facing the University of Oregon on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. MST at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore., as part of the 2006 Pape Jam.