Titans Begin Three-Game Homestand with Northridge

Cal State Northridge (14-15, 6-7) at Cal State Fullerton (9-17, 4-8)
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 | 7:00 PM
Fullerton, Calif. • Titan Gym

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Webcast: www.FullertonTitans.com
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ON  TAP: With only four games remaining in Big West Conference regular season play, Cal State Fullerton will host its next three contests at Titan Gym, beginning the three-game homestand with Cal State Northridge at 7 pm on Thursday.

Pachyderm Challenge: Cal State Fullerton faculty, staff and students will take to the floor at halftime of Thursday's men's basketball game to play in the inaugural "Pachyderm Challenge" at Titan Gym.

During the inaugural match-up between Fullerton students vs. Fullerton faculty and staff – entitled "Pachyderm Challenge"  - there will be an eight-minute running clock with a 24-second shot clock and unlimited substitutions. Vice President for Information Technology Amir Dabirian will serve as the team captain for the faculty and staff while ASI President Rohullah Latif will serve as the captain of the student team.

Cal State Fullerton Athletics Director Jim Donovan will assist as one of the game officials.

PROMOTIONS: Cal State Fullerton returns to Titan Gym on Saturday to host Long Beach State. Fans in attendance will receive a Titan Rally Buff while supplies last. In addition, Cal State Fullerton's women's soccer team will be honored at halftime for its 2013 Big West Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.

TICKETS: Single-game tickets for all home games can be purchased online at www.FullertonTitans.com as well as in person or by calling the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Ticket Office at (657) 278-2783 from the hours of 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. On gamedays, tickets can be purchased one hour prior to tip-off at the Titan Gym ticket box office.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @FullertonHoops for updates during the 2013-14 season.

SCOUTING CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE:  Cal State Northridge (14-15, 6-7 Big West) returns to the floor following an 81-75 win over Big West Conference co-leader UC Irvine last Saturday. The Matadors have not won back-to-back games since the opening weekend of Big West play, defeating UC Davis (Jan. 9) and Hawai'i (Jan. 14) at the Matadome. CSUN has three players averaging double figures led by Stephen Maxwell (17.6 ppg), Stephan Hicks (16.6 ppg) and Josh Greene (15.3 ppg).

HEAD-TO-HEAD VS. CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE:  Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal State Northridge, 38-31, including an 18-12 advantage in home games. Last season, the Matadors and Titans split their seasons series, although Cal State Northridge's 92-86 win came at Titan Gym on Jan. 31, 2013. In Big West Conference play, CSF holds a slim 14-11 edge in the all-time series.

LAST TIME OUT VS. CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE:  Josh Greene's three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left on the clock in regulation sent the game into overtime, and Cal State Northridge pulled away in the extra frame recording a 92-83 victory on Feb. 8 night at the Matadome.

Fullerton suffered the loss despite dynamic performances from Alex Harris, Michael Williams and Steve McClellan

THE SECOND LEG: Cal State Fullerton has completed half of its Big West Conference schedule, although the Titans played UC Riverside twice during the first leg, and Fullerton will pay Hawai'i twice during the second leg. The Titans have split season series with UC Davis, UC Riverside, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. Cal State Fullerton won its third straight Big West Conference opener following a 78-73 win over UC Riverside on Jan. 9. Against the Highlanders, five Titans scored in double figures - a first for Fullerton during the 2013-14 season.

ROSTER STATUS: Cal State Fullerton currently has 16 student-athletes listed on its roster, with 12 players having seen game action thus far in 2013-14. Corey Walker and Moses Morgan must redshirt the season due to NCAA transfer rules. Freshman guard Hidde Vos and junior guard James Douglas are expected to redshirt the season. 

EARLY SEASON NOTES: Head coach Dedrique Taylor earned his first win as a head coach after the Titans defeated Montana State, 84-55, in Bozeman, Mont., on Nov. 9...Taylor is the fifth Titan head coach to win his first game at Cal State Fullerton...Cal State Fullerton won its season opener against a Division I opponent for the first time since a 75-67 win at BYU on Nov. 22, 1996 (the 2007-08 season opener was played against CSU Bakersfield as the program was in transition to Div. I status)...Cal State Fullerton's 29-point victory at Montana State was its largest margin of victory on the road since an 81-50 win at Utah on Dec. 7, 2011.

THE LAST TIME: The Titans, who suffered a 92-83 overtime loss at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 8, played in their first overtime game since an 83-77 win at UC Riverside on Jan. 8, 2011.

THE FIRST TIME: In Cal State Fullerton's loss to the Matadors on Feb. 8, for the only time this year, the Titans shot a higher percentage (.421-.410) than its opponent and lost.

SEASON BESTS: Alex Harris knocked down seven three-pointers at CSUN on Feb. 8,   setting a career high and Titan season high. As a team, the Titans knocked down 12 three-pointers at CSUN, setting a season high. In addition, Fullerton's 23 made free throws and 37 free-throw attempts set season highs at Northridge. Steve McClellan set career highs scoring 18 points and grabbing 15 rebounds at CSUN. McClellan's 15 rebounds also marked a Titan season high. Alex Harris' 29 points vs. Hawai'i on Feb. 15 marked a career best as well as a Titan season high, which was matched by Michael Williams' 29-point effort at UC Santa Barbara last Saturday. Williams scored 23 points in the second half at UCSB, also a season best for any Titan in a half this year. The crowd of 3,017 for Homecoming vs. Hawai'i on Feb. 15 was Fullerton's largest home crowd of the year. Williams' 14 made free throws and 16 attempts set career highs as well as Titan season bests at Cal Poly last Thursday. Marquis Horne's four blocks at Cal Poly set a Titan season best as well as career high for the senior.

CURRENT NOTES: Cal State Fullerton has used nine different starting lineups this season...Fullerton has not led in a game nine times this year...on Feb. 15 vs. Hawai'i, the Titans lost their fourth halftime lead of the year....CSF completed non-conference action with a record of 5-9...Fullerton overcame a 10-point deficit against Sacramento State on Dec. 21 – the largest deficit the Titans have overcome this year...Fullerton's 59-point total against Sacramento State marked its lowest in a win this year...the Titans are 5-0 when scoring over 74 points and shooting 50 percent or more from the floor...Fullerton has also come back twice this season from halftime deficits to win: at Pepperdine (Dec. 4) and vs. Sacramento State (Dec. 21).

ROAD WOES: The Titans' 67-59 win over Cal Poly last Thursday snapped a seven-game road losing streak as Fullerton won its first Big West road game of the year. The Titans also won in San Luis Obispo for the first time since Feb. 24, 2010 Fullerton. The Titans' average 66.4 points per game on the road (3-11, 1-6 Big West) compared to  70.1 ppg at Titan Gym (6-5, 3-2 Big West).

HOT HANDS:  Through the last eight games,  Cal State Fullerton has a record of 3-5. During that stretch, Alex Harris is averaging 20.3 points per game, shooting 46.2 percent from the floor while knocking down 26 three-pointers. The junior from Richmond, Calif., has led the Titans in scoring in five of the Titans' last eight games.

Senior Michael Williams is averaging 20.6 points per game over the last eight games, while knocking down 25 three-pointers and dishing 28 assists.

INDIVIDUAL MARKERS: Michael Williams has scored in double figures for 26 straight games...Williams has scored at least 20 points on 10  occasions this year. His eight assists against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 25 set a Titan season high, and last Thursday at Cal Poly his 14 free throws and 16 attempts set Fullerton season highs as well as career bests. Last Saturday at UCSB, Williams scored a season high 29 points while knocking down a season-best five three-pointers. Williams scored 23 points in the second half, also a season best for any Titan in a half this year.

Alex Harris scored a career-high 29 points on Feb. 15 in a loss to Hawai'i. Harris drained seven three-pointers on Feb. 8 at Cal State Northridge - setting Titan season highs in both categories. 

Steve McClellan's 18-point, 15-rebound performance against CSUN on Feb. 8 marked the fifth Titan double-double of the season. Both marks were career highs for McClellan.

IN THE BIG WEST: Entering the week, Michael Williams' average of 17.3 points per game ranks fifth in the league, his 2.27 three-pointers per game rank fourth, his three-point field goal percentage of .371 rates seventh and his .750 free-throw percentage ranks ninth...Alex Harris' 15.3 points per game rank 10th in the Big West and  his 2.0 three-pointers per game rank eighth in the league...Steve McClellan's 2.19 offensive rebounds per game 10th in the Big West as well.

WIN-LOSS COMPARISONS: In nine wins, the Titans have shot 49.4 percent from the floor while averaging 76.3 points per game. Also in those wins, Fullerton holds a 36.0-32.6 rebounding advantage and holds opponents to a shooting percentage of .388 and an average of 65.7points per game.

In 17 losses this season, Fullerton is shooting a field goal percentage of .388 while averaging just 62.5 points per game while opponents average 74.0 ppg and shoot at a clip of .485. In addition, opponents outrebound CSF 36.2-33.4.

MORE COMPARISONS: The Titans have outscored opponents 730-698 in the paint this year, but trail opponents in second chance points (254-263) and points off turnovers (340-376. In losses, the Titans have made just 342 trips to the free-throw line, compared to 444 opportunities for opponents.

ROOKIES: Freshman Sheldon Blackwell, a 6-foot-5 guard from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is second on the team totaling 53 assists while averaging 5.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Blackwell scored a career-high 15 points vs. Hawai'i on Feb. 15, and dished a career-best six assists vs. Miami on Nov. 29. Freshman Joe Boyd, a 6-foot-9 forward from Scottsdale, Ariz., is averaging 2.6 ppg while adding 3.0 rpg. Boyd scored a career-high 10 points in Fullerton's 87-80 win over Texas Southern on Dec. 15, and recorded 10 rebounds at USC on Nov. 19.

NEWCOMERS: Cal State Fullerton senior Michael Williams is playing in his first year as a Titan after redshirting the 2012-13 season following a transfer from San Francisco. Williams has experienced immediate success, averaging a team-leading 17.3 points per game, scoring in double figures in 26 straight games. Williams has also scored at least 20 points on 10 occasions this season. Junior Steve McClellan, in his first year at Fullerton after transferring from Louisiana-Monroe, is averaging a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per game, and has recorded four games with at least 10 rebounds.

AIR TIME: Currently, Cal State Fullerton has had 12 men's basketball games scheduled on television this year. The Titans post a 1-11 record in games that were broadcast during the 2013-14 season. Fullerton's next televised game is set for 6 p.m., Saturday on ESPN3.

A NEW ERA BEGINS: Former Arizona State associate head men's basketball coach and long-time college assistant Dedrique Taylor was appointed the 11th men's basketball head coach in Cal State Fullerton history, Athletic Director Jim Donovan announced on April 3, 2013.

A NEW LOOK: Of the 16 players on Cal State Fullerton's roster, 10 had not suited up in a Cal State Fullerton uniform before the 2013-14 season.

REPLACING OFFENSE: Cal State Fullerton lost 60 percent of its scoring from last season with the departure of seniors Sammy Yeager (15.8 ppg), Kwame Vaughn (18.4 ppg) and D.J. Seeley (17.9 ppg).

TITANS IN THE NBA: Former Cal State Fullerton men's basketball player Josh Akognon became the 12th former Titan to appear in the NBA on April 10, 2013 playing four minutes and scoring two points to go with an assist for the Dallas Mavericks in their 102-91 loss to the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. Akognon, who played two seasons for Fullerton from 2007-09, became the first Titan to appear in an NBA game since Bobby Brown (2003-07) competed for the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009-10 season.

2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy Attracts Record Crowds: With the attendance for the final four games of the 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy being 6,007 for the competition at Honda Center on Dec. 1, the three-day event over Thanksgiving weekend attracted a record 14,982 fans for the in-season college basketball tournament near Disneyland. The Dec. 1 total of 6,007 was a single-day record The 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy featured a Marquette vs. San Diego State championship game at Honda Center. Other schools in the event were Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, College of Charleston, Creighton, George Washington and Miami. With the first four sessions of the 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy being played November 28 and 29 at Titan Gym on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, the final four games were combined into one session at Honda Center. The two days of action at Titan Gym drew 3,831 on Thanksgiving Day and 5,144 on Nov. 29.The previous tournament attendance record for the three days of competition at the Anaheim Convention was 14,212 set in November 2009.