Cal State Fullerton (18-7) at Pacific (11-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 23rd, 10:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150) -- Stockton, California. Television: None. Home Record: Fullerton 11-1, Pacific 8-6. Away Record: Fullerton 6-5, Pacific 3-9. Neutral Record: Fullerton 1-1, Pacific 0-0. Conference Record: Fullerton 9-3, Pacific 6-7. Series Record: Pacific leads 46-36.
GAME NOTES: The Titans of Cal State Fullerton try to run their win streak to six in a row tonight as they tangle with the Pacific Tigers in Big West Conference play at the Spanos Center in Stockton, California.
Outside of a 75-61 loss to league-leading Long Beach State back on January 28, the last five weeks have been quite fruitful for the Titans with a total of eight victories. Last Saturday, the team took a break from conference play to clash with Montana State and easily dismissed the Bobcats in an 80-66 final.
As for the Tigers, a team which is still one game under .500 (6-7) in conference play while Fullerton is 9-3, they too faced off against a member of the Big Sky Conference last weekend and slipped by Idaho State at home, 66-64, on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Trevin Harris for their second win in the last three outings.
Fullerton posted a 78-73 win at home in the first meeting of the season in early January with Pacific, which means the all-time series still favors the Tigers, but now by a count of 46-36.
The Titans shot a smoldering 61.5 percent from the floor in the first half against Montana State last weekend, finishing the meeting at 57.7 percent from the field, 8-of-13 beyond the arc and a perfect 12-of-12 at the free-throw line in order to offset 16 turnovers on the evening. Isiah Umipig scored a game-high 24 points, Orane Chin 14, while Kwame Vaughn and Sedric Martin chipped in 13 points apiece and a combined 13 rebounds. Leaning heavily on the starting five, the Titans are generating 78.8 ppg as all five of those performers are scoring in double figures, but no one else is putting up even five points per game thus far. D.J. Seeley is responsible for 16.2 ppg as he gives the program a perimeter threat with his 45.3 percent accuracy behind the three-point line. Omondi Amoke (12.2 ppg) works hard in the paint as he comes up with 8.7 rpg to help provide the program with a rebounding edge of almost seven per game this season.
In what was a cat fight for sure, the Tigers found themselves trailing by a point with just seconds remaining against the visiting Bengals and that's when Harris let fly with a prayer from just outside the three-point line on the right side. Luckily for him and the Tigers that prayer was answered, his second triple in the final 15 seconds of the game to give him eight points off the bench. Also playing a significant role as a reserve was Ross Rivera who tallied 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while starters Markus Duran and Lorenzo McCloud responded with 12 points apiece. Rivera has come off the bench in all but two games this season, yet is still the leading scorer for the Tigers with his 11.3 ppg, while McCloud settles in at 10.8 ppg despite shooting only 35.7 percent from the floor. As a group, Pacific is hitting on only 40.3 percent from the field so there is certainly room for improvement there.
Without a lot of scoring to be found on the Pacific side, assume that the starters for the Titans will have this game well in hand and claim a comfortable win on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 76, Pacific 61
02/23 10:35:12 ET