No. 3 UC Riverside, No. 5 Cal Poly Victorious In Quarterfinal Matchups
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UC Riverside-Cal State Fullerton Box Score
UC Riverside-Cal State Fullerton Quotes
Cal Poly-Pacific Box Score
Cal Poly-Pacific Quotes
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Post game interviews
Third-Seeded UC Riverside Defeats Cal State Fullerton, 59-47
Roney Friend scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead third-seeded UC Riverside to a 59-47 win over Cal State Fullerton in Big West Tournament Quarterfinal action on Thursday afternoon at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The Highlanders, who are looking to defend their 2007 tournament title, also got 16 points and nine rebounds from Brittany Waddell to improve to 14-15 on the season. Amber Cox, Tainoisouti Lott and Seyram Gbewonyo all scored eight points for UCR.
Cal State Fullerton, which ended its season at 11-19, was led by freshman Lauren Chow's 14 points. She was the only Titan in double digits. Daviyonne Weathersby added nine points and Toni Thomas chipped in with eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.
UC Riverside moves to Friday's semifinals where they will take on second-seeded UC Davis at approximately 2 p.m.
The Highlanders hit 20-of-23 (.870) of its free throw attempts and used a smothering defense to limit the Titans to a .267 (16-60) field goal percentage. UCR also forced 18 turnovers in the contest and out-rebounded Fullerton 43-to-39.
Fullerton began by scoring the first six points of the game on back-to-back three's by Chow. UCR didn't get on the scoreboard until the 15:32 mark on two free throws by Waddell. The Titans pushed their advantage to 12-6 with 12:20 remaining before the Highlander defense took over. UCR limited the Titans to just five points the remainder of the half, as the Highlanders went on a 16-5 spree to take a 22-17 lead into the lockerroom. Fullerton hung tough in the half by grabbing seven offensive rebounds, but the Titans shot just .222 (6-27) from the field.
After Fullerton cut the deficit to 24-22 at the 17:10 mark, the Highlanders went on a 15-2 run over the next 5:33 to take a 39-24 lead with 11:37 remaining. Fullerton had one run left in them though as the Titans rallied to pull to within 46-40 with 5:33 left after a lay-up by Weathersby.
The Titans were still in the contest at 3:33 after another Weathersby lay-up cut the lead to 49-42, but the Highlanders went on an 8-1 run to expand the lead to 57-43 with 2:05 left. UCR hit 10-of-12 charity tosses in the final 4:30 of the contest to seal the victory, including seven-of-eight by Friend.
Second Half Comeback Lifts Cal Poly To Berth In Semifinals
Sparkle Anderson's two free throws with 26 seconds left in the game gave Cal Poly the lead for the first time in the second half as the Mustangs battled back from a 17-point halftime deficit to defeat the University of the Pacific 79-76 in a Big West Tournament Quarterfinal thriller at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Cal Poly (13-18) was led by Anderson's 18 points and four assists. Rebecca Tratter had 16 points off the bench for the Mustangs, who shot an impressive .630 (17-27) from the field in the second half. Lisa McBride chipped in with 12 points and six rebounds, while center Kristina Santiago was the fourth Mustang in double digits with 11 points.
The Mustangs will face UC Santa Barbara in Friday's first semifinal contest at noon. The semifinal appearance will be the first for the Mustangs since 2001.
Senior Kelsey Lavender led the Tigers (13-16) with 21 points, while Emma Head added 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers out-rebounded the Mustangs 45-to-34, but shot just .321 (9-28) from the field in the second half.
Cal Poly came out of the blocks in the second half and cut the deficit to single digits in the first five minutes. The Mustangs trailed by just six points, 54-48, at the 14:44 mark after a 20-9 sprint to begin the half. Lavender scored five quick points to push the advantage to 59-48 with 12:15 left, but Cal Poly was primed for another run.
The Mustangs eventually chipped the deficit to 63-60 at the 8:55 mark on an Anderson jumper, and then pulled to within two points, 66-64, with 7:13 left. Pacific responded by pushing the lead to 75-68 at 3:19 after two free throws by Lavender, but the Tigers would score just one point over the final three-plus minutes of the game.
Andersonís three-pointer from the right wing at 1:11 finally tied the game for the Mustangs at 75-75. After Pacific went up 76-75 on a Janae Young free throw, Anderson was fouled on the next possession. She sank both charity tosses giving Cal Poly a 77-76 lead. The Mustangs then forced a Pacific turnover and Tratter was fouled with 13 seconds left. After hitting one of two charity tosses to put Cal Poly up 78-76, Lavender missed a three-pointer with four seconds left that would have given the Tigers the lead. Anderson hit one more free throw with one second left to seal the 79-76 victory.
Pacific took charge midway through the first half en route to a 45-28 halftime lead. The Tigers were down 22-21 at the 8:25 mark, but went closed out the half on a 24-6 run. Pacific shot .433 (13-30) in the stanza, out-rebounded Cal Poly 27-to-18 and limited the Mustangs 12-of-36 (.333) shooting. The Tigers biggest lead of 19 points (45-26) came at the 1:52 mark in the first half.