FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's basketball improved to 3-0 in Big West Conference play and 10-5 overall on Thursday night after it won 67-64 at UC Irvine. The Titans won at UC Irvine for the first time since Jan. 21, 2012 thanks to four Titans scoring in double figures and clutch free-throw shooting.
CSF (10-5, 3-0) trailed UC Irvine (6-13, 1-2) by nine but sophomore guard Austen Awosika buried a layup at the halftime buzzer to cut the deficit to seven. The Titans then out-scored the Anteaters 39-29 in the second half to secure the win. CSF relentlessly attacked the basket and were into the bonus halfway through the second frame. After shooting just 5-9 from the charity stripe in the first half, CSF shot 18-22 in the second and it was the difference in the game. The Titans are 8-1 on the year when they make more free throws than the opponent and UC Irvine made just nine.
Sophomore forward Jackson Rowe led the Titans in scoring with 14 points (3-5 FGA, 7-8 FT) and he also pitched in eight rebounds, three assists, one block, one steal and did not turn the ball over. Junior guard Kyle Allman, Jr. tallied 13 points and shot 10+ free throws for the sixth time this season, connecting on eight of those attempts. Junior guard Khalil Ahmad had 10 points, two rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers for the Titans. Awosika also scored in double figures for the second straight game, chipping in 11 points and four rebounds off the bench.
UC Irvine's Evan Leonard scored a game-high 20 points to go along with three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Eyassu Worku also scored 14 points, hauled in four rebounds and recorded three steals.
CSF returns to the court on Saturday at 6 p.m. PT to host UC Davis at Titan Gym. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN3.
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