FULLERTON, Calif. – Behind a double-double from Kennedy Esume and four double-figure scoring efforts, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak with a 75-52 victory over Cal State East Bay Saturday night.
The Titans close out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 7-6 overall record, while the Pioneers' record remains at 5-7 as the game was an exhibition contest for the Division II visitors.
Esume turned in a solid performance as the 6-foot-10 center posted his first-career double-double in a Titans' uniform with 14 rebounds and a season-high 11 points. He also recorded a pair of blocks in the contest.
Tre' Coggins led the offense with 19 points, marking the sixth time he's led the Titans in scoring this season. The redshirt junior guard also added six rebounds, two assists and one steal. He set the tone for Cal State Fullerton's scoring attack as Khalil Ahmad, Lionheart Leslie and Esume each recorded double-figures in the game.
Ahmad registered 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal, while Leslie garnered 13 points, four boards and three assists.
For Cal State East Bay, Alex Manu was the only Pioneer to reach double-figures with 14 points. Marquise Tolson led the team with six rebounds, while Jordan Balser dished out three assists to lead the squad.
Cal State Fullerton shot 43.4-percent from the field, while the Titans' defense held the Pioneers to just 30.5-percent shooting in the game. Additionally, Fullerton out-rebounded Cal State East Bay, 46-34, while the Titans also held the advantage in points off of turnovers (19-12), second chance points (15-8) and points in the paint (28-10).
The Titans opened the game on an 8-0 run and pushed their lead to as many as 15 in the first half (40-25). Fullerton held a steady lead in the frame as it shot 46.4-percent from the field (13-of-28).
In the first 20 minutes of action, Coggins collected 11 points, while Leslie notched seven and Esume pulled down seven boards.
Ahmad heated up in the second half and recorded 10 of his 16 points in the final 20 minutes of play. He helped the Titans out-score the Pioneers 35-23 in the frame as Cal State Fullerton extended its lead and led by as many as 23 points (73-50) before taking the game by a final of 75-52.
Cal State Fullerton looks to bring the momentum from its victory over Cal State East Bay into Big West Conference action as the Titans open league play at UC Riverside on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. The conference opener will be televised on ESPN3.