Akognon's Hot Hand, Defense Lead to Rout
Jan. 7, 2008
Riverside, Calif. - Josh Akognon scored 30 points and Cal State Fullerton's defense contributed to UC Riverside's 27 percent shooting effort Monday night as the Titans rolled to a 77-47 Big West Conference victory.
The Titans improved to 9-4 overall and are 2-0 in conference play for the first time since the 1994-95 season. UCR got 11 points from Cleavon Barlow and fell to 3-11 and 0-3 while losing its second home game in five outings.
"I thought we played good defense again tonight," said Fullerton Head Coach Bob Burton. "Our ball pressure was good as was our help defense. And it doesn't hurt to have Josh get hot like that."
Akognon matched his career high in 3-pointers by making seven for the third time this season but in only 11 tries compared to 13 attempts on the two previous occasions. He hit five in the first half on his way to 22 points as the Titans built a 41-25 lead.
"I forced my first shot and the second one, too," said Akognon. "I knew I had to get to the line to get the flow started. I made only one of two but I saw the ball go through the hoop and that got my confidence going."
Akognon scored 13 of Fullerton's first 20 points and his back-to-back treys 42 seconds apart gave Fullerton a 34-18 lead with 5:45 left in the half.
Larry Cunningham was the only other Highlander in double figures with 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting. Sean Cunningham made only 2 of 16 shots as UCR shot 15 percent from the 3-point line, 0-for-11 in the second half.
The 47-point total by UCR was the lowest by a Fullerton opponent since the Highlanders beat Fullerton, 47-41, on Jan. 18, 2003. The 30-point road win was the biggest since an 89-57 win at UC Irvine on Jan. 25, 1997.
Fullerton's only weakness was at the foul line where it went 13-for-27.
The Titans host Cal Poly on Thursday night while UCR is idle until a Jan. 16 home game against Cal State Northridge.