PORTLAND, Ore. – Khalil Ahmad and Jamar Akoh tallied a pair of career-highs in points and rebounds, respectively, but Cal State Fullerton could not overcome 34.4-percent shooting in the second half as Portland capitalized on 18 points off of turnovers to win the game, 65-60, on the final day of the Far West Classic.
The Titans have now dropped their last four games in a row as they fall to 6-5 overall, while the Pilots move to 6-7.
Portland's Alec Wintering led the Pilots with 19 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals. Bryce Pressley was one board shy of a double-double as he notched 15 points and nine rebounds in the game.
Ahmad turned in his second 20-plus point performance of the year as he recorded a new career-high with 25 points in the contest. He shot 45-percent from the floor as he connected on 9-of-20 field goals and he sunk 6-of-8 free throws to shoot 75-percent from the line.
Joining Ahmad in double figures was Tre' Coggins who shot 55-percent from the field (6-of-11) and 83-percent from beyond the arc (5-for-6) for a total of 17 points. Coggins also added five boards, two steals and one assist.
Akoh did his job at the post as he pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds, 13 of which were defensive. He also contributed four points and one assist.
On the evening, Fullerton out-shot Portland 38.6-percent to 35.7-percent and out-rebounded the Pilots 41-39. However, Portland held the edge on assists (14-8), blocks (5-1), bench points (18-1) and points off of turnovers (18-9). The Pilots converted 18-of-26 free throws, while the Titans shot just 42.9-percent (9-of-21) from the line.
The Titans jumped on top of the Pilots early in the game as Fullerton used a 9-1 run to take a 10-3 lead. However, Portland stuck with CSF and slowly chipped away at the Titans' lead until the Pilots evened the score at 22-22 with 6:22 left to play in the frame.
The final six minutes of action saw the two teams trade points until the Pilots took a 27-25 lead over the Titans on a three by Jazz Johnson. Portland would hold that lead until the clock expired at halftime as Cal State Fullerton went into the locker room trailing by three, 31-28.
In the half, the Titans out-shot the Pilots 44-percent to 27.6-percent. Fullerton also held the edge in rebounding (19-18) thanks in part to Akoh's 11 boards in the first 20 minutes of action.
Coggins started off the second half with a three to tie the game at 31-all, but Pressley quickly countered with a jumper to give the Pilots back the lead. From that point on, Portland held a slight edge over Cal State Fullerton, never leading by more than nine, but keeping the Titans at bay.
The Titans stayed with the Pilots and made it a one-possession game (60-57) with just 39 seconds remaining in the game. Fullerton called a timeout to get a game plan together, but a missed three-pointer led to a layup by Pressley as Portland extended its lead to five with less than 30 seconds left to play.
Another Cal State Fullerton missed three followed by a turnover, led to Portland pushing its lead to eight (65-57) with just four ticks on the clock. Malcolm Brooks, who finished the game with six points, hit a jumper from long distance to make it a five-point game (65-60) as time expired.
Cal State Fullerton will be back in action in 10 days at Portland State on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m.