FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team hosts the UC Riverside Highlanders on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT for Once Upon A Student Night. Then on Saturday, the squad heads to Long Beach State for a matchup at 7 p.m. PT.
FROM THE TIP
• The Titans look to secure their first Big West Conference win when they host UC Riverside on Thursday night followed by a trip to Long Beach State on Saturday night.
• Senior guard Khalil Ahmad, the Nov. 19 Big West Player of the Week, is tops on the team and third in the Big West in scoring at 18.0 points per game. He had a strong showing at the Myrtle Beach Invitational as he earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Over the three-game tournament he averaged 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals, including a 40-point outburst against Monmouth. He's also fourth in the league in steals per game at 1.56. He has scored 20+ points in three of the last four games and seven times this season.
• Senior guard Kyle Allman, Jr., Allman is second on the team and fourth in the league in points per game at 17.5. He's third on the squad in assists and tied a career-high against Wake Forest (Nov. 16) with eight helpers. The Brooklyn native has scored has scored 10+ in 34 of his last 36 games. Allman has scored 30+ six times over the course of this season and last season.
• Ahmad became the 24th Titan in program history to score 1,000 points in a career after scoring 31 at UC Davis (Feb. 10, 2018). He has totaled 1,437 points in his career, the seventh-best mark in the program. Allman joined him in the 1K Club on Feb. 28 when he scored 23 points at CSUN (Feb. 16, 2018). He sits 1,365 points for his career, No. 9 all-time.
• Junior forward Jackson Rowe, the Big West Player of the Week on Jan. 7, has been doing a bit of everything on the floor this year for the Titans. He is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 0.80 steals per game. He leads the team in both rebounds and blocks. He's shooting an impressive 56.6% (64-113) from the field this year, the No. 2 mark in the league. He recorded his second double-double of the season at Washington (Jan. 1) to earn weekly conference honors as he posted 22 points and 11 rebounds.
THE 3 POINT CONFERENCE PICK 'EM PLAN FOR $33
Reserved Seats for 3 conference games of your choice, which can include premium games vs. UC Irvine on January 12th and Long Beach State on February 13th, and what's even better is you get to pick YOUR seats!!! You are pretty much getting 3 games for the price of 2! Purchase your seats by clicking HERE or by calling the Titan Athletics Ticket Office at 657-278-2783. Offer expires on February 20th.
ONCE UPON A STUDENT NIGHT
-Free admission to the student section (RSVP required - CLICK HERE)
-Free PBJ for those sitting in the student section
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17 VS. UC RIVERSIDE || 7 PM PT
Series Record: 30-22
Home Record: 17-10
Away Record: 11-12
Neutral Record: 2-0
Current Streak: L1
First Meeting: 01/12/61 at UCR, W, 110-60
Last Meeting: 02/21/18 at UCR, L, 69-65
LONG BEACH STATE NOTES
Long Beach State opened conference play with an impressive home win, downing defending champions UC Davis 82-77 in the Walter Pyramid. Senior Deishuan Booker scored a career-high 32 points and set a school record at the line, making 19 of 20 free throws, breaking the old record of 17 makes in one game.
Long Beach State boasts a six-player senior class, giving LBSU an older roster. Only two of the six seniors (Temidayo Yussuf and Mason Riggins) have spent more than two seasons at the Beach, with the other four transferring in from other schools, though all six played during the 2017-18 season for the Beach.
LBSU returns a pair of All-Big West honorees from a season ago. Both Temidayo Yussuf and Deishuan Booker were Honorable Mention All-Big West selections one season ago, and are again leading the Beach in scoring this season.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19 AT LONG BEACH STATE || 7 PM PT
Series Record: 47-71
Home Record: 31-21
Away Record: 14-40
Neutral Record: 2-10
Current Streak: W1
First Meeting: 12/10/60 at LBSU, W, 73-68
Last Meeting: 03/08/18 vs. LBSU, W, 76-74
UC RIVERSIDE NOTES
The Highlanders have found success from behind the arc this season as their .372 3pt shooting percentage is for 1st in the Big West and 11 different student-athletes have hit from deep.
The Highlanders' leading scorer, Dikymbe Martin, has notched 20+ points five different times this season already, which ties for 4th in the Big West. His highest scoring performance came at this past Wednesday where the junior guard dropped 25 on CSUN.
Sophomore guard Jordan Gilliam has proved to be an excellent addition to the team as he leads the team in assists, is fourth on the team in scoring (7.7 ppg), and is fifth in rebounding (3.3 rpg).
Per KenPom, the Titans have the No. 6 ranked non-conference schedule in the country and the No. 16 overall strength of schedule. The squad played just four non-conference home games.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
For CSF, junior guard Austen Awosika is fourth on the team in scoring (8.5 points per game), first in assists (3.75 per game), second in blocks (11 total, 0.69 per game), second in steals (1.31 per game) and second in rebounding (5.6 per game). He led the team in the category last year and is tops on the team again this year in assist percentage (an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals assisted while on the floor) at 22.7%. He has the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 1.88.
UPDATING THE RECORD BOOKS
In addition to Khalil Ahmad and Kyle Allman, Jr. climbing the rankings of all-time points as a Titan, the duo added their names to the list of individual scoring performances in a single game this season. Ahmad scored 40 points against Monmouth (Nov. 18) and had a historic day, setting career highs in points (40), field goals made (13, on just 22 shots) and three-point field goals made (8). He is just the fifth Titan to ever score 40 points or more in a game, joining Bobby Brown, Tre' Coggins, Josh Akognon and Kyle Allman, Jr. Ahmad's 40 points was the highest point total ever in a men's basketball game at the HTC Center, breaking the previous record of 36 set by Quinton Wood on Dec. 13, 2013.
Allman scored 38 points at Hofstra (Nov. 21), tied for the seventh-best scoring performance in a single game in program history and just two points off his career-high. He knocked down a career-high eight three-point field goals, improving on his previous best of five.
Allman now has four of the top 30 scoring performances in CSF history while Ahmad has two.
ONLY TWO NEW FACES
The Titans just two newcomers to the squad this season in freshman guard Wayne Arnold and forward Amel Kuljuhovic. Arnold prepped at Dominguez High School in Compton while Kuljuhovic is a transfer from Lake Land College. Arnold is a high-level shooter he showed against West Coast Baptist when he scored 23 points to lead all scorers, including four three-point field goals. He is averaging 3.3 points and 11.1 minutes per game. Kuljuhovic has the size to work down low but can also stretch the defense with his jump shot. He is averaging 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game. He scored 7 points and hauled in 7 rebounds at San Francisco (Dec. 16).
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