January 8, 2013

High-Octane Titans Travel to Bakersfield, Host Riverside This Week

THIS WEEK...
Cal State Fullerton at CSU Bakersfield
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 | 7 p.m.
Bakersfield, Calif.
Icardo Center (3,800)
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | CSF Release Adobe PDF Icon  | CSUB Release

UC Riverside at Cal State Fullerton
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 | 6:05 p.m.
Fullerton, Calif.
Titan Gym (4,000)
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video | UCR Release

TIP OFF: The end of a three-game roadtrip and the start of a three-game homestand highlight the week's action for the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team (8-6 overall, 2-1 in the Big West Conference) as the Titans, who have won five of their last six, head to Bakersfield on Wednesday (Jan. 9) for a 7 p.m. tip off against the Roadrunners before returning home to host UC Riverside on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 6:05 p.m.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans' athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, Cal State Fullerton's home games, as well as selected road contests, can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran voice of the Titans, Mike Martinez, will have the call live for both games this week.

CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?: Live streaming video for Saturday's contest against UC Riverside will be shown for free via Big West TV. To access the links, please visit the men's basketball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com. Due to technical limitations, there will be no live video for Wednesday's contest from Bakersfield, but links to live stats will be available on the men's basketball schedule page.

SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: Bakersfield enters the week at 6-12 overall, having lost its last two contests to Mountain West Conference opponents San Diego State (72-57) and UNLV (84-63) on the road... the Roadrunners' last win came on Dec. 30 against North Carolina A&T by a 60-52 count... Stephon Carter, who has led the team in scoring eight times in 18 contests this season, leads the Bakersfield offense -- one of three averaging double figures -- at 15.7 ppg while shooting .440 from the field, averaging 4.8 rpg, and notching a team-best 41 steals... Brandon Barnes (11.6 ppg) and Javante Maynor (11.0 ppg) are also in double figures, while Adam Young is averaging a team-high 5.0 rpg... the Roadrunners are shooting just .388 from the field as a team while allowing opponents to shoot just over 46 percent, but are holding teams to just 69.4 ppg while averaging 65.2 ppg themselves. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH BAKERSFIELD: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Bakersfield, 12-6, but the Titans have lost their last four consecutive meetings with the Roadrunners, including a two-point, 72-70, defeat at Titan Gym on Dec. 6 earlier this season... all four of the losses in the skid have been by single digits, three of those by just two points and the fourth by seven... Fullerton's last win in the series came on Nov. 27, 2011, posting an, 85-75, win at home -- the last in a 12-game winning streak for the Titans... Cal State Fullerton is 5-3 against Bakersfield on the road and 0-1 in the Icardo Center.

SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside enters the week with a 4-11 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Big West play following an upset win on the road over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 3... the Highlanders have lost to Cal Poly (58-48) at home and at Hawaii (76-61) in their last outing... the win over the Matadors was only UCR's second against a Division I opponent this season dating back to a 69-63 win over Northern Colorado on Dec. 1 after defeating Whitman College (Division III) and Whittier College (Division III)... junior forward and Australia native Chris Patton leads the Highlanders offensively, averaging 10.6 ppg while shooting .474 from the floor and averaging 5.4 rpg, and is joined in double figures by teammate junior forward Chris Harriel, who is scoring at a 10.2 ppg clip... Josh Fox, a freshman forward from Northern California, leads the team in rebounding at 6.1 rpg... UCR is shooting just .398 from the floor and averaging 57.9 ppg as a team while allowing opponents to shooting .418 from the field and score 65.9 ppg.

HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH UC RIVERSIDE: The Titans lead the all-time series with the Highlanders, 24-17, sweeping the regular season series between the two last year by the scores of 72-61 at home and 77-64 in the Inland Empire... Fullerton has won nine of the last 12 with Riverside, including a pair of victories in the Big West Tournament in 2008 and 2009... the Titans are 6-5 all-time at the Student Rec Center dating back to 2000-01, having won three-straight on the Highlanders' home court since the 2009-10 season.

SEELEY, VAUGHN HONORED FOR BIG STARTS: The college basketball blog College Hoops Daily has honored seniors D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn for their starts to the 2012-13 season, named to the best of the first half All-Big West Team -- including a nod to Seeley as the best player in the league. The duo is joined by Northridge's Stephan Hicks, Long Beach State's James Ennis, and UC Santa Barbara's Alan Williams. For more, visit their website at http://www.collegehoopsdaily.com/all-conference-picks-for-the-1st-half-of-the-season/.

D.J. DELIVERS: The best single-game scoring performance in the Big West Conference wasn't enough to help senior D.J. Seeley nab player of the week honors from the league office for the second time this season as clutch play from Hawaii's freshman Brandon Jawato earned conference laurels. Seeley averaged 29.5 ppg and shot just under 53 percent from the field while averaging 37 minutes against Hawaii and Cal State Northridge, including a conference single-game best of 37 points in a win over the Matadors. Earlier in the week, Seeley was Fullerton's ironman on the court at Hawaii, finishing with 22 points and eight rebounds while playing all 40 minutes against the Warriors in a two-point loss at the buzzer.

MORE ON SEELEY'S BIG NIGHT: Seeley's performance is tied for the fifth-highest single-game total in school history, matching Kwame Vaughn's 37 points against UC Santa Barbara last season and Josh Akognon's 37-point night against UC Riverside in 2009. The total eclipsed his previous career and conference best of 32 points set earlier this year against Southern Utah on Nov. 17 and marked the third time in his Titans career that he has reached 30 points in a game after also scoring 32 in the 2011-12 season finale at LMU on March 14. 

1. INDIANA... 2. CAL STATE FULLERTON: That's what 105 points will do for you in the race for the NCAA scoring title. Thanks to its third 100-point scoring performance at Cal State Northridge over the weekend, Cal State Fullerton's 85.6 ppg (one of only 13 teams to average better than 80.0 ppg entering the week) trails only No. 5 Indiana's 87.9 ppg for the moniker of the highest-scoring team in the nation while continuing to rank among the NCAA's top 10 in four other categories as of Jan. 6: three-point field goals per game (5th at 9.4 pg), free throw percentage (6th at .779), three-point percentage (8th at .419), and field goal percentage (8th at .507). The Hoosiers, whose average took almost a two-point hit after being held to just 69 points in a win at Iowa, plays at Penn State on Jan. 7.

POTENT 1-2-9 PUNCH: Cal State Fullerton is the only school to have three players among the Big West Conference's top 10 in scoring entering the week as D.J. Seeley (1st, 20.0 ppg), Kwame Vaughn (2nd, 19.7 ppg), and Sammy Yeager (9th, 14.8 ppg) all make the cut. This is the third consecutive week that a Titan has led the conference in scoring (Seeley on Dec. 24, Vaughn on Dec. 31, and Seeley again this week) while both Seeley (No. 18) and Vaughn (No. 23) also rank among the top 25 in the nation in that category. The last Titan to lead the league in scoring was Josh Akognon (23.9 ppg) in 2009 -- one of only three Fullerton players to have paced the Big West in that category since 1970: Leon Wood in 1984 (24.0 ppg), Cedric Ceballos in 1989 (21.2 ppg) and 1990 (23.1 ppg), and Ralphy Holmes in 2005 (16.9 ppg).

14-FOR-14: One might be hard-pressed to determine who has been the most consistent scorer this year, but it doesn't detract from the fact that seniors D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn remain as the only two Titans to reach double figures in all 14 games this season. Dating back to last year, Seeley has reached double figures in his last 20 consecutive games while Vaughn has a current streak of 18 games. Seeley's last single-digit game was on Feb. 18, 2011, against Montana State (6 points) while Vaughn's was on Feb. 25, 2011, at UC Davis (6 points).

VAUGHN'S 20-20-20 VISION: Senior Kwame Vaughn added to what is becoming another stellar scoring season at Hawaii and Cal State Northridge, scoring a team-high 26 points against the Warriors and 22 more against the Matadors to raise his season average to 19.7 ppg. Vaughn leads the team and Big West Conference with seven, 20-point games and has reached the 20-point mark in each of his last three contests (25.0 ppg) -- the first Titan to do so since teammate D.J. Seeley accomplished the feat in three-straight from Feb. 25-March 3 against UC Davis (21), Cal State Northridge (25), and Long Beach State (27).

THE TITANS' 20-POINT PLAN: Fullerton has had at least one 20-point scorer in each of the team's last five games: D.J. Seeley (27) at Texas Southern, Jared Brandon (20) vs. Hope International, Sammy Yeager and Kwame Vaughn (30 and 27, respectively) against UC Santa Barbara, Vaughn (26) and Seeley (22) at Hawaii, and Seeley (37), Vaughn (22), and Yeager (21) at Cal State Northridge. The Titans have had at least one 20-point scorer in 11 of the team's 14 games this season, posting a 6-5 mark in those contests.

TRIO OF TWENTY'S: Along with Seeley's 37 against the Matadors, Vaughn's 22 points and Yeager's 21 points gave the Titans three, 20-point scorers in a game for the first time since Seeley (27), Vaughn (25), and Omondi Amoke (23) accomplished the feat in a 92-84 win at UC Irvine on Jan. 21, 2012.

MORE TWENTY-POINT TIDBITS: Last season, Fullerton was 17-5 when either Seeley (10-3) or Vaughn (7-2) scored at least 20 points, but the Titans are just 5-5 when that occurs in 2012-13... the duo has reached 20 points in the same game 12 times during their Fullerton careers (eight of those coming last season and three times this year), posting a 7-5 mark in those contests (5-0 at home, 2-4 on the road, and 0-1 on a neutral floor)... Seeley has the most career 20-point games of any active player in the Big West (19) and is just one of three in double figures along with teammate Vaughn (16) and Northridge's Stephan Hicks (11).

THEY'RE NOT HALF BAD: The Titans have had the hot shooting hand as of late, hitting on better than 50 percent from the floor overall in each of their last five games (including a 61 percent clip at Texas Southern to start the streak) and better than 43 percent from three-point range in four of those five contests.

"DEUCE" FOR A DEUCE: Junior James "Deuce" Johnson had the best offensive game of his young Fullerton career on the road at Hawaii on Jan. 3, hitting 7-of-13 from the floor for a career-high 14 points while grabbing six rebounds -- all on the offensive glass. It was his third double-digit scoring performance of the season -- the second that has come on the road -- and his first since a 10-point night at Texas Southern on Dec. 16.

EIGHT(Y) IS GREAT(Y)...: What a difference a point makes. Cal State Fullerton suffered its first loss of the season when scoring more than 80 points in a game after falling 90-88 at Hawaii on Jan. 3, but the Titans are still a stellar 7-1 this season when hitting the mark compared to just 1-5 when scoring 79 points or fewer.

...AND NINETY IS NICE...: Fullerton's 105 points in its win at Cal State Northridge marked the fifth time in eight victories this season that the Titans have eclipsed the 90-point plateau. Fullerton, which reached 90 points six times in 31 games combined last season, is averaging 93.5 ppg in its eight victories this season while holding opponents to just 72.5 ppg in those contests.

...BUT A HUNDRED IS HEAVENLY: The Titans reached the 100-point plateau for the third time this season with their 105 points against the Matadors -- the first time that Fullerton has surpassed the 100-point plateau three times in a single season since the 2006-07 campaign when the Titans reached the century mark four times against Cal Maritime (W, 108-56), Eastern Washington (L, 110-100), San Jose State (W, 104-77), and Pacific (W, 100-92 in 2OT).

ALRIGHT, YOU'VE MADE YOUR POINT: With the win at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5, the Titans improved to 54-1 all-time when scoring at least 100 points as the 105 points against the Matadors rank among the top 25 point totals in school history. Earlier this season, Cal State Fullerton's 112 points in a 43-point win over Southern Utah on Nov. 17 is tied for the sixth-highest point total in school history while the 106 points scored against San Diego Christian on Nov. 23 are tied for No. 20. Fullerton's single-game record stands at 128 points against Chapman University on Jan. 8, 1972, in a 128-88 victory.

SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR WINNING: Saturday night's victory at Cal State Northridge improved Cal State Fullerton to 4-0 this season on Saturday's -- the only unbeaten night of the week for the Titans thus far.

WINNING COMFORTABLY...: Although you only have to have one more point than the other team at the buzzer, the Titans have comfortably put away opponents in their eight victories this season as six of the wins have come via double digits with the only "blemishes" being a pair of seven-point wins at Texas Southern on Dec. 16 and against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 29.

... BUT LOSING HEARTBREAKERS: On the flip side, only one of Fullerton's six losses have come by double digits (13 points at Stanford on Nov. 12) and the Titans' last five losses have each come by four points or fewer, the last three by two points each, and all five by a grand total of 13 points (2.6 ppg). In its six losses, Fullerton has held a double-digit second-half lead in four of those games.

PLAYING FROM AHEAD: Cal State Fullerton has either led (11 times, 7-4 overall) or has been tied (twice, 0-2 overall) at the half in all but one game this season. In the only game in which the Titans have trailed at the half (at Texas Southern on Dec. 16), Fullerton rallied from a five-point halftime deficit -- and an eventual 10-point second half gap -- thanks to a 14-0 run en route to a 93-86 win.

#BULLSEYE: The marksmanship medal should go to the Titans thus far this season as Fullerton is, perhaps, the best-shooting team in the Big West Conference. The Titans lead the league in all three shooting categories entering the week: field goal percentage (.507 to Pacific's .473), three-point percentage (.419 to Cal Poly's .377), and free throw percentage (.779 to Cal State Northridge's .764).

YES, "HALF" SOME: Fullerton has scored at least 40 points in a half 18 times in 28 halves of action (64.3%), including five-straight and eight of its last nine, and has seven halves of 50-plus points in 2012-13. The Titans' 61-point second half at Texas Southern on Dec. 16 was its highest-scoring half of the year, eclipsing a 57-point first half against Southern Utah on Nov. 17, and was the best half scoring-wise for a Fullerton squad since the Titans scored 70 points against Redlands in last year's season opener on Nov. 11, 2011. Saturday against Northridge marked the third time Cal State Fullerton has scored at least 50 points in both halves of a game this season (Southern Utah & San Diego Christian).

THEY GIVETH AND THEY TAKETH AWAY: When not scoring, multi-faceted senior guards D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn have also been doing the little things, entering the week ranked among the league's top 10 in both assists and steals -- two of only four players to do so entering the week. Seeley leads the league at 2.1 spg and ranks eighth at 3.7 apg while Vaughn is seventh in assists (3.9 apg) and fifth in steals (1.6 spg).

REAL STEAL REDUX: After scouring the record books, we were able to come up with another nugget for the Titans' 20-steal performance against Southern Utah on Nov. 17, as the total marked the most for the Fullerton defense since a 27-steal night against Lamar on Nov. 24, 1989, as part of a, 104-67, victory. The 20 swipes against Southern Utah were the most for a member of the Big West since Cal State Northridge finished with 24 swipes against Redlands on Nov. 15, 2006 and, of those 20 steals against the Thunderbirds, senior D.J. Seeley finished with nearly a third of the team's total as his career-high seven steals were just two shy of the school's single game record set by Cedric Ceballos against San Jose State on Jan. 19, 1989.

HORNE REMAINS OUT: Cal State Fullerton junior forward Marquis Horne is still listed as questionable for this week's contests, sidelined with an injured shoulder. The date of his return is unknown. Horne has missed the team's last eight games dating back to the Dec. 2 contest against Washington. In six starts this season, he is averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting .484 from the floor.