FULLERTON, Calif. - Columbia women's basketball dominated the second half, outscoring Cal State Fullerton 31-19, but could not overcome a big halftime deficit as the Lions dropped a 61-49 decision on New Year's Eve at Titan Gym.
Columbia (2-10) was led by Miwa Tachibana, who set a new career-high with 12 points that included a trio of 3-pointers and a 3-of-3 effort from the charity stripe. The Titans (4-8) were led by Mya Olivier, who scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
The Lions started off strong, taking an 11-9 lead after a second-effort bucket by Tyler Simpson with 12:26 left in the first half. Cal State Fullerton responded with a 22-3 run over the next several minutes to take control, 31-14, at the 7:47 mark and led by 24 at the break.
Columbia methodically chipped away in the second half, and pulled within 59-49 after a pair of Simpson free-throws with 2:43 on the clock, but the Titans held the Lions off the scoresheet for the final duration of the contest.
The Lions were pesky on the defensive end, forcing 23 turnovers which led to 21 points. The Titans shot 42.9 percent from the floor, while holding Columbia to 28.0 percent. Simpson pitched in 10 points and four rebounds for the Lions.
The Lions return to action on Monday, January 7, at Lehigh. Tip-off is slated for 11:30 a.m.