Jan. 7, 2006
Northridge, Calif. - Frank Robinson and Justin Burns combined for 38 points and 17 rebounds Saturday afternoon and got second-half help from Jamaal and Bobby Brown as the Titans rallied to defeat Cal State Northridge, 83-78, despite a phenomenal shooting display by Mike Efevberha, who had 39 points for CSUN.
The win improved the Titans' record to 8-4 and 2-1 in the Big West Conference while the Matadors fell to 5-6 in losing their Big West opener.
Bobby Brown finished with 17 points and Jamaal had 16 to go with a game-high 11 rebounds. Thomas Shewmake helped Efevberha out with 12 points and 9 rebounds while Calvin Chitwood had 10 points and 10 rebounds in his third game since becoming eligible.
The Titans used a 52-point second half to overcome the Matadors, who led by 4 at halftime and 46-36 after Bakari Altheimer's 3-point basket with 16:56 to play. Fullerton used a 10-0 run to get back in the game which seesawed down the stretch.
Fullerton took the lead for good at 67-64 on Robinson's 3-pointer with 4:49 to play. But the Titans couldn't relax until the final seconds as Efevberha made his seventh and eighth 3-point baskets of the game in the final two minutes.
Only Rich Anema's 42 points for Pacific against Fullerton on Feb. 27, 1986, surpass Efevberha's effort in CSF Div. I history. Only Derrick Anderson of Nevada and Chris Brown with UC Irvine have made more threes against Fullerton, each making nine.
"We ran the same offense in the second half as in the first half, we just did a way better job of handling their defense," said Head Coach Bob Burton. "Frank hit some key shots from the corner and then we got the ball inside to Jamaal.
"Every game we play with Northridge is like this. They play so hard and you just hope you can hang in there long enough to play comfortably against their 1-3-1 defense."
Fullerton ended up shooting a season-high 58 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range. Burns made 12 of 20 free throws including 9 of 10 in the first half, when the Titans managed only 18 shots. The school record for free throw attempts by an individual is 22 by Leon Wood vs. Texas-Arlington on Dec. 19, 1981.
Bobby Brown's third and final 3-point basket established a Fullerton career high. He now has made 192 in 508 attempts in less than two and a half seasons. Chris Dade made 191 of 541 during the 1994-95 through 1997-98 seasons.
Cal State Fullerton travels to Pacific for a Monday night game to be carried nationally on CSTV at 8:05 p.m PST. The Tigers lost their conference opener Saturday to surprising UC Riverside.