December 22, 2012

Brandon’s Big Night Paces Titans Over Hope International

FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton freshman Jared Brandon finished with a career-high 20 points on 10-of-11 from the floor leading three teammates in double figures as the Titans prepared for Big West Conference play with an 87-65 victory over Hope International on Saturday night at Titan Gym.

Brandon started 9-of-9 from the field for Fullerton (6-5 overall) before missing his first shot of the night with five minutes to play in the game, adding six rebounds in 26 minutes. The performance nearly equaled the school record of 10-for-10 set by Tom Morgan against Utah State on Jan. 31, 1980.

Senior D.J. Seeley added 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Kwame Vaughn was just as balanced, scoring 18 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Sophomore Alex Harris contributed 11 points and four rebounds and three steals.

Fullerton led wire-to-wire, leading by as many as 25 points with just over three minutes to play. The score was tied twice in the first five minutes before a three-pointer by Vaughn with 14:51 to play gave the Titans the lead for good.

Fullerton, however, was unable to pull away until breaking out for an 11-2 run late in the first half to build a 15-point, 37-22, advantage with 3:54 to play.The Royals cut it to 12 points at the break, 41-29, and got back to within single digits at 48-39 with just under four minutes gone in the second half. However, an 18-5 burst over a six-minute span gave the Titans a 23-point lead and they cruised from there.

Jeremy Kilgore finished with 13 points for Hope International, which also finished with four players in double figures. Kris Rosales and Orlando Collins added 12 points apiece while Austin Sanford added 10 points.

The Titans, who dominated the scoring in the paint by a 50-22 count, shot just over 54 percent from the floor while committing only eight turnovers on the night against 16 assists. Hope International finished shooting just under 46 percent for the night, but committed 16 turnovers, leading to 20 Fullerton points.

After the holidays, Fullerton opens Big West Conference play in front of the national television audience on Saturday (Dec. 29) at 7 p.m., hosting UC Santa Barbara on ESPNU live from Titan Gym.