Montana State (11-14) at Cal State Fullerton (17-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 9:05 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (4,000) -- Fullerton, California. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 6-6, Fullerton 10-1. Away Record: MSU 5-8, Fullerton 6-5. Neutral Record: MSU 0-0, Fullerton 1-1. Conference Record: MSU 6-8, Fullerton 9-3. Series Record: Montana State leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: Pitting the Big West Conference against the Big Sky, the 10th annual BracketBusters event sees the Montana State Bobcats paying a visit to the Titans of Cal State Fullerton this evening.
Montana State has been heading in the wrong direction the last three weeks and on Wednesday night dropped a 79-70 decision to Weber State, which means the Bobcats are now dealing with a six-game losing streak. At 6-8 in conference, MSU enters the weekend in sixth place in the Big Sky standings.
As for the Titans, currently tied with UC Santa Barbara for second place in the Big West with a record of 9-3, they were last in action three nights ago as well when they took out UC Riverside on the road. The victory was the fourth in a row and the seventh in eight tries for the program.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, Montana State leads 4-2, with the most recent of those victories coming in Honolulu last season by a score of 80-76.
Montana State managed to hold the nation's leading scorer, Damian Lillard, to 17 points, but still the Bobcats could not keep up with the Wildcats. In an attempt to keep the Bobcats close, Shawn Reid scored a career-high 31 points, hitting all seven of his shots inside the three-point line and 5-of-8 beyond the mark. Reid added seven rebounds, but he also turned the ball over seven times. Mohamed Fall tacked on 13 points off the bench as the team shot just 6- of-26 behind the three-point line and turned the ball over 16 times. Although he didn't play a few nights back, Xavier Blount is still the top scorer overall for the Bobcats with his 11.7 ppg, with Christian Moon and Reid checking in with 10.6 and 10.1 ppg, respectively. As a group, Montana State is putting up a solid 71.4 ppg this season, but at the same time the group is allowing 72.6 ppg as well.
Fullerton made up for 15 turnovers and just 62.5 percent shooting at the free- throw line by converting 9-of-17 shots behind the three-point line in the win over UC Riverside the last time out. Omondi Amoke controlled the paint for the visitors with his 18 points and 14 rebounds, while teammates Isiah Umipig and Orane Chin both matched Amoke in the scoring department. The effort by the trio was much needed since only twice before had D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn not scored in double figures and both of those outings turned into defeats for the Titans. Even though they were less than vital against the Highlanders, Seeley and Vaughn are still the two primary scorers for the program with 16.6 and 16.2 ppg, respectively. Amoke (12.5 ppg) is shooting almost as well from the floor (.545) as he is at the charity stripe (.563), which could mean he is a liability late in close games.
With so many offensive options, a team like Fullerton should have its way against the Bobcats at home tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 78, Montana State 62
02/18 10:31:22 ET