Titans Hold Off Islanders to Claim Second-Straight Win
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Cal State Fullerton senior Kwame Vaughn led all scorers with 18 points while grabbing six rebounds and three Titans finished in double figures Saturday afternoon as they escaped with a 63-57 victory over host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the Dugan Wellness Center.
The Titans won back-to-back games for the first time since early January, improving to 14-13 overall while the Islanders lost for the third-consecutive outing, falling to 4-21 overall on the season.
Vaughn hit 6-of-11 from the field and 5-of-8 from the line in the second half to account for all of his scoring after finishing 0-for-4 from the floor in the first 20 minutes. D.J. Seeley added 16 points to go with three assists, a pair of blocks, and two steals, while sophomore Alex Harris hit four free throws in the second half to finish in double figures with 13 points.
Jelanie Curry, who entered the day with seven points total on the season, led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 13 points off the bench while Hameed Ali added 11 to also finish in double figures. Leading scorer Will Nelson, who entered averaging almost 13 points per game, was held to just eight points on 3-of-11 from the floor, but grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Fullerton shot just under 48 percent in the second half to fuel a comeback after losing a five-point first-half lead to trail by one, 29-28, at the break. The Titans then fell behind by as many as three points in the first three minutes and were tied at 40-40 with 10:34 to play before going on a decisive 7-0 run that was extended to 12-3 for their biggest lead of the game at 52-43 with 7:11 to go.
However, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi would not go quietly, chipping away with a 14-3 burst to climb back to with a pair at 57-55 with 33 seconds to go, but the Titans hit 6-of-6 down the stretch to hold off the charge.
The first half saw Fullerton lead by as many as five points, the last coming after a Jared Brandon lay-up to make it 20-15 with 5:25 to play, but the advantage was short-lived. A 9-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from Brandon Pye erased the deficit and was part of a larger streak that saw the Islanders make eight-straight from the floor before carrying a one-point, 29-28, lead into the locker room at the break.
After allowing 57 percent from the floor in the first half, the Titans held the Islanders to just 38 percent after the break, and finished the game outrebounding the home team, 31-29, for the game.
Cal State Fullerton returns to action on Thursday (Feb. 28) at 8:05 pm as the Titans host Pacific in the second game of a doubleheader with the women's team at Titan Gym.