Late Free Throws Lift Cal State Fullerton Past Cal Poly, 78-77
FULLERTON, Calif. – A Cal Poly foul with less than a second left in regulation put Cal State Fullerton's Chante Miles on the line and she responded by hitting all three and leading Cal State Fullerton to a 78-77 win over the Mustangs in a Big West Conference game in Fullerton on Thursday.
With the loss the Mustangs fall to 14-11 overall and 8-4 in Big West games while Cal State Fullerton improved to 10-14 overall and 6-5. Cal Poly returns to the court when they team travels to UC Riverside for a 7pm game on Saturday.
Senior Nwamaka Ofodu led the Mustangs with a career-high 20 points. It surpassed her previous high of 17 points set when the Mustangs faced Cal State Fullerton earlier this season. Ofodu hit eight of 13 from the floor and four of five from long range. Junior Kristen Ale came off the bench to add 15 points when she made four of eight from beyond the arc. Senior Jonae Ervin and Junior Ariana Elegado each helped out with 10 points. Ervin recorded her fourth double-double of the season when she handed out 10 assists. Taryn Garza led the team with nine rebounds. Standout post player, senior Molly Schlemer, was limited to 24 minutes and four points due to foul trouble.
Miles led all scorers with 26 points while Alex Thomas added 16 points. Samantha Logan and Tailer Butler scored 13 and 10 points respectively.
Cal Poly finished the game shooting 43 percent from the floor while hitting 12 of 23 from long range. Cal Poly made nine of 13 from the line. CSF also shot 43 percent from the floor and made 11 of 27 from long range. The Titans converted 15 of 22 free throws. Cal Poly outrebounded CSF 44-35, but committed two more turnovers, 9-7.
The Mustangs opened the game with an Elegado three, but CSF answered with eight straight points for an 8-3 lead just three minutes into the game. A jumper by Garza with 15:08 on the clock tied the game at 10-10. Ofodu canned her second three of the half (13:58) to give the Mustangs a 13-12 lead and the junior banked in a jumper to give her 10 points and a 17-15 lead for the Mustangs. Ofodu hit back-to-back three's to put the Mustangs up 23-21 with 10:45 on the clock. At 5:32, Ale connected on a three to put the Mustangs up 32-23. With 2:07 left in the period, Ofodu scored her 18th point of the half and established a new career-high and a six point lead for the Mustangs (37-31). The Mustangs settled for a 43-38 lead at the break.
The Mustangs shot 52 percent in the half and made seven of 10 three pointers while CSF shot 43 percent from the floor and made seven of 14 from long range.
Just over four minutes into the second half, CSF cut the lead to two, 45-43, and tied it at 46-46 on a three by Butler. At 11:35, Cal Poly held a 50-49 lead despite seeing its shooting percentage drop to 40 percent. Hannah Gilbert gave the Mustangs a three point lead (54-51) with 9:50 on the clock and a three by Ale put the Mustangs up six. CSF came right back and tied the game, 59-59, on a three by King with 7:34 left in the game. Ale connected on another three for a 66-62 lead with 5:01 on the clock.
CSF came back to tie the game, 66-66, on a pair of free throws, forcing a Cal Poly timeout at 4:46. CSF called a timeout at 3:27 with the score tied at 68-68. The Titans went up four with 2:08 left on a Miles jump shot and made it a five point lead, 74-69, with 1:31 left in the game. Elegado hit a three, cutting the lead to two with just over a minute remaining. Miles made one of two free throws to put CSF up three, but on the next possession Ale banked in a three to tie the game, 75-75, with 37 seconds remaining. After a missed layup by CSF with seven seconds on the clock, Elegado grabbed the rebound, raced down the court, and was fouled with three seconds left with an opportunity to win the game with a pair of free throws. After a CSF timeout, Elegado went to the line and made both to put Cal Poly up two. On the inbounds play, Miles missed on a three with two tenths of a second on the clock, but was fouled by Ervin, putting her at the line for three free throws. Miles hit all three for a 78-77 Titan win.