ANAHEIM, Calif. – No. 4 seeded Cal State Fullerton men's basketball trailed by 13 at the 17:05 mark of the second half but came back to win against No. 1 seeded UC Davis, the reigning league champions and tournament champions, by a score of 55-52. The Titans will compete in the final of the Big West Tournament for the first time since 2008, the last time they made the NCAA Tournament.
CSF (19-11) held UC Davis (22-10) to just 12 points over the last 14:05 of the game to secure the victory. It was a wild finish with a lot of fouls committed and free throws but the Titans found a way, with the team's lone senior Arkim Robertson grabbing a defensive rebound and drawing a foul with 0.4 seconds left to secure the win. Robertson knocked down two free throws to give the Titans a three-point lead at 55-52, their largest lead of the game.
CSF shot 43% (20-47) from the field and 70% (14-20) from the free-throw line but were just 1-13 from beyond the arc. At halftime, UC Davis had 11 second-chance points and they finished the game with 13. The Titans won the rebounding battle 36-32 and had 32 points in the paint to their 22.
Sophomore forward Jackson Rowe led the way for the Titans with 16 points (7-12 FGA, 2-4 FT) and 11 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season. Rowe also chipped in two assists, one block and three steals.
Junior guard Khalil Ahmad scored 10 points and was the only other Titan in double figures. Junior guard Kyle Allman, Jr. sat for most of the first half in foul trouble and scored just eight points, marking only the fourth time in 30 games this year he has not scored in double figures. However, he still impacted the game as the Titans out-scored UC Davis by 12 points on the night when Allman was on the floor.
With Allman on the bench in foul trouble, sophomore wing Dwight Ramos came off the bench and gave CSF a huge lift. In 14 minutes, Ramos scored six points (2-4 FGA, 2-3 FTA), hauled in three rebounds (two offensive), dished out an assist and recorded a steal.
Sophomore guard Austen Awosika led the team with five assists to go along with four points, two rebounds and a block.
CSF will play in the final of the league tournament on Saturday at the Honda Center at 9 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
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