Roadrunners Rally in Second Half to Sink Titans Late, 72-70
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Stephon Carter finished with 20 points to lead four teammates in double figures and Adam Young added a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, including six key points down the stretch, pacing CSU Bakersfield to a 72-70 come-from-behind victory over host Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night at Titan Gym.
Senior Kwame Vaughn finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-of-16 from the floor to pace the Titans (3-5 overall), who led by as many as 15 points with 17:45 remaining in the second half. Senior D.J. Seeley and sophomore Alex Harris each added 14 points, including a quartet of three-pointers by Harris, while senior Sammy Yeager finished with 12 points for Fullerton, which led by 14 points, 43-29, at the break, but shot just 34.6 percent in the second half against 47 percent by the Roadrunners (3-5) during their comeback.
A three-pointer by Yeager gave the Titans their biggest lead at 50-35 with just under two minutes gone in the second period, but an 8-0 run by Bakersfield whittled that advantage down to six, 50-44, two minutes later. A trey by Harris and 1-of-2 from the line by Seeley rebuilt the lead to 10, but the Roadrunners wouldn't go away. A 7-0 run made it a three-point game and a 11-3 run later in the period -- keyed by six points from Young and a steal by the senior that led to another basket -- gave Bakersfield its first lead since the 11-minute mark of the first half, 68-66, with 3:25 to play, holding the Titans to just one field goal over an eight-minute stretch to help complete the comeback.
Vaughn hit a driving layup to climb back to within a pair, but two free throws in the final 14 seconds offset a tip-in at the buzzer by Vaughn for the final score.
Brandon Barnes (14 points), Javante Maynor (10), and Britton Williams (10) also finished in double figures for the Roadrunners, who shot 41 percent from the floor for the game and outrebounded the Titans, 47-31, including a 19-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
A 12-3 run over a three-minute span midway through the first half turned a one-point deficit into an eight-point lead as Fullerton, which shot as low as 23 percent at one point in the opening 20 minutes, finally found its stroke.
A 9-for-10 performance down the stretch in the final 4:30 upped the Titans lead to as many as 13 points and a trey by Seeley at the first-half buzzer sent the Titans into the locker room with their biggest lead of the contest.
Fullerton has the week off to prepare for its next contest, a Dec. 13 home date against Idaho State at 7:05 p.m., before hitting the road for a meeting at Texas Southern on Sunday (Dec. 16) in Houston.