Slow Start Plagues Fullerton Again
SAN JOSE Calif., - For the second straight game, early turnovers and poor shooting plagued Cal State Fullerton as the Titans suffered an 81-59 loss to San Jose State at the Event Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Titans (2-3), who were once again without leading scorer Alex Harris due to a right ankle sprain, scored a season-low 51 points shooting a season-low 37.0 percent (20-of-54) from the floor.
The Spartans (2-4), winners of two in a row, were led by Rashad Muhammad and D.J. Brown, who each scored 17 points off the bench as SJSU held three clear advantages in the game.
San Jose State, led by Devante Wilson's 16-point effort on 4-of-10 shooting from long distance, knocked down 11 three-pointers, while the Titans converted 5-of-12 from beyond the arc.
In addition, the Titans committed 13 turnovers while the Spartans did a better job taking of the ball, committing only five errors as SJSU scored 18 points off Titan miscues.
At the free-throw line, San Jose State made 34 trips to the stripe, converting 26 of those opportunities. Fullerton made 22 trips to the charity stripe, knocking down 14.
SJSU's Chris Cunningham was the final Spartan in double figures with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, recording the game's only double-double.
Michael Williams led the Titans in scoring for the second time this season with a team-high 12 points, while junior Josh Gentry poured in 10. Freshmen Joe Boyd and Sheldon Blackwell each added nine points off the bench.
Senior forward James Johnson saw his first action of the year, grabbing two rebounds in six minutes of court time. Johnson missed the first four games of the season with a left foot injury.
San Jose State opened the game on an 8-0 run until Blackwell's lay-up at the 16:20 mark. But the Spartans continued to pull away early, as a Blackwell offensive board and tip-in led to the Titans second score at the 12:28 mark with SJSU leading 17-4.
By the end of the first period, San Jose State led Cal State Fullerton 49-19, as the 30-point deficit marked the largest of the year for Fullerton. In the first period, Fullerton committed 10 n, while the Spartans shot 42.4 percent from the floor and knocked down nine three-pointers. The Spartans also received 27 points from its bench in the first half, compared to six for Fullerton.
The Titans, who opened the season with four of their first five on the road, return to Cal State Fullerton on Thursday to host 25th-ranked Marquette as part of the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy.
Individual session tickets featuring two games each for the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy will go on sale at 12 p.m. (PT) Monday for the in-season college basketball tournament being played next week at Titan Gym on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
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Notes: The Titans have lost two in a row for the first time this season…Cal State Fullerton allowed 81 points in the loss, the most a Cal State Fullerton opponent has scored since CSF suffered an 86-66 loss at UC Irvine on Feb. 16, 2013…the Spartans also knocked down 26 free throws, the most for a Titan opponent in 2013-14…other opponent highs set by San Jose State included rebounds (40) and steals (8)…Cal State Fullerton's 59 points marked its lowest scoring total since falling, 66-50, at UC Santa Barbara on March 7, 2013…the Titans also set season low in field goals made (20) and field goal percentage (.370)…Cal State Fullerton's 19 points in the first half marked a season low, the lowest point total for the Titans in half since scoring 16 vs. Pacific on Feb. 28, 2013…Fullerton's 22-point loss was its largest margin of defeat since suffer a 27-point loss to UC Irvine, 92-65, on Jan. 17, 2013…the Titans trailed by 30 points, 49-19, with six seconds to play in the first, the largest lead for a Titan opponent in 2013-14…Fullerton has not held a lead in its last two games...Cal State Fullerton senior forward James Johnson, after being cleared to practice on Thursday, appeared in the game playing six minutes. He missed the first four contests of the year with a left foot injury…the Titans were without leading scorer Alex Harris for the second straight game as the junior is listed as day-to-day with a right ankle sprain…Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series against San Jose State, 26-25, but trails in road games against the Spartans, 17-8….for the first time this season, Marquis Horne did not score in double figures.