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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – In its Big West Conference opener, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team fell to Cal State Fullerton 70-68 in overtime.
"At times we played well, but we weren't aggressive in the fourth quarter at all offensively," said UCSB head coach Bonnie Henrickson, "but in this league you have to be able to bounce back and turn it around quick."
Junior point guard Danae Miller put up 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, as she surpassed the 500-point mark in her career. Both redshirt senior guard Coco Miller and freshman center Ila Lane put up double-digit scoring figures, with the latter securing her ninth double-double of the season.
UCSB (5-9, 0-1 Big West) led by as many as eight points in the opening period, but Fullerton (9-5, 1-0 Big West) fought back to take the lead at 17-16 with 1:49 left.
The Gauchos answered by ending the first quarter on a 5-0 run and scoring the first nine points of the next frame in just two minutes to lead 30-17 at the 8:01 mark.
Following a Fullerton make on the next possession, Danae Miller converted a triple from the left wing to put UCSB up by 14, its largest lead of the game.
UCSB kept the Titans at bay for most of the second quarter, but the visitors unleashed a deluge of shots in the final two minutes, cutting the Gauchos' advantage all the way down to just two, capping off an 11-0 run to make the score 39-37 at the half.
In similar fashion to the first quarter, the Gauchos knocked down the first shots of the third quarter before Fullerton battled to get back on even terms.
The Titans temporarily took the lead at the 5:13 mark when Taylor Turney hit a jumper on the fast break, but a pair of free throws from redshirt senior Tal Sahar kickstarted a 7-0 run that saw the Gauchos enter the fourth quarter on top by six, leading 53-47.
The game tightened up in the fourth quarter, as the Titans kept it a one or two-score game throughout.
A clutch three-point shot from Danae Miller gave the Gauchos a two-point lead with just over a minute to go, but an Amiee Book layup with 14 seconds left sent the game to overtime at 70-70.
It was Fullerton that went ahead first in overtime, with guard Reina Perez taking a turnover to the basket to take the 62-60 lead within the first minute.
The Titans' lead would grow to as much as five points before Danae Miller scored on back-to-back possessions to put the Gauchos down by one, 66-65.
On the ensuing possession, Raina Perez knocked down a straight-away triple to put Fullerton up by four and give the visitors a 69-65 lead. A Carolyn Gill free throw made it a five-point lead with 28 seconds left, and it was enough to see out the game as the Titans won 70-68.