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No. 1 Titans beat No. 7 Saints on the road, 79-61

Kalina Rojas, women's basketball
Kalina Rojas

The Titans got a career-high 28 points from Kalina Rojas and setup a matchup for 1st place on Wednesday after a 79-61 victory at No. 7 Mt. Hood.

How it happened: Kalina Rojas scored eight of the first 10 Titan points, but they only lead by one, 10-9, past the halfway point of the 1st quarter. After a Mt. Hood timeout, they went on a 6-0 run and took their largest lead of the game at five, 15-10. A Kalina Rojas 12-0 run gave the Titans a 22-17 lead with 37 seconds remaining; they would win the quarter by the same score.

The Titans shot a solid 46.7 percent and made all eight of their free throws. They did however allow 50 percent shooting by the Saints but compensated by not conceding a free throw. Kalina Rojas had 20 of the Titans 22 points and had all eight of their free throws.

Kylie Guelsdorf made a three and a free throw to open the 2nd quarter in what was a 9-0 run in the first 4:21. Kalina Rojas made a couple of free throws and Mya India Thomas made a three in the final minute and the Titans led by 13 at the half, 43-30.

The Titans struggled from the field at 41.2 percent, but four threes and three free throws compensated for the poor shooting. The Titans defense was much better, holding the Saints to 29.4 percent shooting and zero free throw attempts. Meagan Briggs had six points and two steals; Mya India Thomas had six points off the bench and overall five of the eight Titans that played scored.

Megan Fossen made a three to open the scoring in the 3rd quarter. The Titans would continue to extend their lead until it was their largest of the game at 22, 57-35, with 4:37 remaining in the quarter. A Saint run in the last two minutes cut the Titan lead to 15 after three, 64-49.

The Titans shot 50 percent and made 5-6 free throws, but six fouls lead to the first seven free throw attempts for Mt. Hood and couple that with 50 percent shooting allowed, and the Titans were only plus two in the quarter. Six players scored with Meagan Briggs leading the way with six points and three rebounds.

A 10-5 Titan run to the 4:07 mark gave them another 20-point, 75-54, lead and sealed the victory. A slight advantage over the final few minutes denied the Titans a 20 plus point victory, but a win none the less, 79-61.

The Titans shot 46.2 percent and only got the line twice but held Mt. Hood to 31.3 percent shooting and won all four of the quarters. Meagan Briggs led the way again with six points and five of the six Titans scored.

What/who stood out: 79 points breaks a streak of three games with 90 plus…18 made free throws is the most in six games…90 percent from the line is a season-high…six offensive rebounds is the first time in 27 games in single-digits…32 total rebounds is a season-low…13 assists is the lowest in six games…12 steals is the sixth straight game in double-figures…11 fouls ties a season-low; other game was vs Portland.

Kalina Rojas scored a career-high 28 points and added nine rebounds (nine rebounds or more 10 times and eight times in her last nine games) and three assists…Meagan Briggs had 18 points, four rebounds and three steals…Megan Still had nine points, a season-high 10 rebounds, four steals, two blocks and an assist.

What it means: The Titans remain in 1st place at 13-1 and an NWAC-best 25-2 overall. The win guarantees the Titans at worst 2nd place, but a win vs Umpqua locks the 1-seed up.

What's next: The Titans host 2nd place Umpqua (23-4, 12-2) on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.