FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's basketball began Big West Conference play with a 68-65 win over UC Riverside thanks to junior guard Kyle Allman, Jr.'s game-winning bucket with seven seconds left in the game.
With the game tied, 29 seconds left on the game clock and 25 seconds left on the shot clock, head coach Dedrique Taylor called a timeout and designed a play for Allman to run a high pick and roll with sophomore forward Jackson Rowe and they executed to perfection. Allman connected on his layup and knocked down the free throw. Redshirt sophomore guard Jamal Smith heavily contested the Highlanders' game-tying attempt that missed and the Titans won.
Allman (16 points) and three other Titans scored in double figures, including Rowe (11 points, five rebounds, two assists), junior guard Khalil Ahmad (15 points, five rebounds, two assists) and sophomore forward Davon Clare (10 points, six rebounds, one assist, one block). Smith scored two points for the Titans but chipped in six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
CSF (8-5, 1-0) led by five at the break but UC Riverside (5-10, 0-1) rallied and took a five-point lead of their own in the second frame. The Titans trailed 59-54 with seven minutes left and went on a 14-6 run to end the game.
The Titans shot 54.0 percent (27-50) from the field but just 23.1 percent (3-13) from distance. However, CSF out-scored UCR in the paint 44-14 and 12-0 on the fast break. It was also an efficient night at the charity stripe for CSF as it went 11-13 but it was tied for the fewest attempts at the line all season. The Titans also shot 13 against both Cal Lutheran and Bethesda.
For UCR, DJ Sylvester scored a game-high 24 points on 7-11 FGA (5-5 3FG, 5-5 FT) and he also hauled in five rebounds. The Highlanders had 13 second-chance points but were out-rebounded by CSF 37-28.
Cal State Fullerton returns to action on Saturday at Cal Poly at 7 p.m. PT.
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