Eugene, Ore. – The Titans took the first lead of the game and they never relinquished it in their 69-64 home win versus Clackamas.
How it happened
First quarter: Megan Fossen opened the scoring with a jump shot 21 seconds into the game. Over the next 7:58, the Titans went on a 23-6 run capped by three Hailey Steven free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt. A Cougar three with 52 seconds left cut the lead to 14 at the end of the first.
The Titans had a fantastic overall quarter: shooting 47.4 percent from the floor, versus 21.4 percent by Clackamas; a plus six rebound advantage; three fewer fouls and turnovers; and most important, 14 more points.
Second quarter: Going back to the end of the first, Clackamas would continue their run into the second quarter and would reduce their deficit to six, 25-19, after a 13-2 run to the 5:09 mark. The Titans went on a 6:32 stretch with only two points after Hailey Stevens made her three free throws at the 1:41 mark of the first.
Kalina Rojas made a jump shot with 3:34 remaining to make it a three-possession lead, 27-19. That was the Titans second basket over the previous 8:07. For comparison, the Titans scored 20 points in the first 7:11 of the game. Two more Cougar baskets extended their run to 17-4 over 8:23 and made it a four-point game, 27-23, with 2:29 remaining in the half. With only four point in their last 9:37, the Titans finished the half on a 9-5 run to take a 36-28 lead to half thanks to a Megan Fossen three at the end of the half.
After a clean, efficient first quarter, the Titans struggled to a 28.6 percent mark and 10 combined turnovers and fouls. Despite this, the Titans manage to limit the damage, only being minus six points. Kalina Rojas added six more points and four more rebounds. And all 36 points in the half were scored by the starters.
Third quarter: It was another slow offensive start in the third, with the Titans failing to find a basket over the first 2:41 while going 0-5 from the field. Megan Fossen made a three with 7:18 remaining to make it a 39-30 game. After a pair of Cougar free throws, they reduced the lead back to two-possessions, 39-34, with 5:07 remaining.
For the first time since the beginning of the first quarter, the Titans lead was one-possession, 39-36, after a Cougar basket with 4:42 remaining, making their run 30-16 dating back to the end of the first.
Another great finish to a quarter by the Titans made it a 10-point lead, 49-39, at the end of three thanks to a 10-3 run with first five points coming from Maddie Bertsch.
It was a poor quarter offensively by both sides: combining for 19 fouls and turnovers and a combined 24.1 percent shooting mark. After the run to end the quarter, the Titans managed a plus three-point advantage in the quarter.
Fourth quarter: As crazy as the second and third quarters were, the fourth took the cake. An opening layup from Aolani Talamaivao-Calderon made it a 12-point lead, but like the previous quarters, Clackamas had an immediate answer, with an 8-3 run to the 7:09 mark to make it a seven-point game, 54-47.
Mia Morey made a big three to extend the lead back to double-digits, 60-49, with 5:14 remaining. Another Clackamas response, this time 7-2, made it a two-possession game, 62-58, with 1:47 left in the game.
A 7-5 run closed out the game for the Titans despite the fact they went 4-10 from the line over the last 48 seconds while only leading by five at the time.
Combined in the quarter, the two teams had 31 field goal attempts and 33 free throw attempts. The Titans were minus five points in the quarter mainly due to an 11-23 (47.8 percent) mark at the line, because they shot 44.4 percent from the field versus 40.9 by Clackamas.
What stood out:
64 points allowed: The Titans are 17-2 when allowing fewer than 70 points … 20 fouls committed: 2-2 in conference play when committing 20 or more fouls … 6 blocks: 4-0 with five or more blocks, nine combined blocks in five losses … 41 rebounds: 16-1 when recording 40 or more rebounds; averaging 47.4 rebounds/game in wins and 36.6 in losses … 11 turnovers: 7-0 when committing 14 or fewer turnovers.
Who stood out:
Kalina Rojas: 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks; 19th double-double, 28th career; tied a career-high with three blocks … Kendra McAninch: 11 points, eight assists, six rebounds and one steal; the Titans are 12-0 when she has 6 or more assists; 11-0 when recording five or more rebounds; 9-0 when recording five or more assists and rebounds each … Aolani Talamaivao-Calderon: 11 points and five rebounds; Titans are 6-1 when she scores double figures, 12-1 in her career … Hailey Stevens: 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a steal; Titans are 4-0 when she scores in double-figures; 4-0 when she has four or more rebounds and assists … Megan Fossen: 10 points four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal; 12-2 when scoring in double figures and 33-3 in her career.
What it means: Titans move into a three-way tie for second place with Clackamas and Mt. Hood. Titans win the season series versus Clackamas, so they hold the tie breaker with them. They sit three games behind first place Umpqua
What's next: The Titans (19-5, 8-3) travel to Coos Bay, Ore. to face seventh place Southwestern Oregon (9-14, 3-7) on Wednesday Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m.