Jan. 8, 2009
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Josh Akognon scored 26 points including two free throws with 33 seconds to play Thursday night that proved the difference as Cal State Fullerton held on for an 86-82 Big West Conference victory at Cal Poly.
Jacques Streeter scored 19 points for the Titans, who improved to 7-8 overall and 1-2 in the Big West.Chaz Thomas had a season-high 23 points plus game highs of 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the Mustangs, who fell to 3-10 and 0-3 before a nationally televised ESPNU broadcast.
Akognon's free throws gave Fullerton a 83-81 lead. Thomas made one of two and Streeter did likewise and Cal Poly had the ball after a traveling call on Gerard Anderson after a rebound with 9.3 seconds left. Shawn Lewis missed a driving bank shot in the paint and Charles Anderson got the rebound on the opposite side and then missed another bank shot. Marcio Lassiter rebounded, was fouled and sank two clinching free throws with 0.2 seconds left.
Fullerton committed only 10 turnovers (season low is 9) and battled to a virtual draw on the backboards, trailing 37-36. The Titans shot 49 percent overall and 44 percent (12 of 27) from the 3-point line. Cal Poly shot 44 percent overall and 33 percent from the 3-point line.
"It was a great road win for us," said Coach Bob Burton. "Our guys hung in there. We won the kind of game we lost the other night. It's good to be on the other side."
Fullerton scored the first 7 points of the second half to take its biggest lead at 58-48 but Cal Poly came back with an 18-5 run, taking a 66-63 lead on Thomas' second trey of the half and fifth of the game.
Akognon scored five unanswered points to turn a 72-71 Cal Poly lead into a 76-72 Fullerton advantage at 7:13. He ended the night with 1,002 career points, becoming the 19th Titan to reach quadruple figures.
Cal Poly scored the next six points capped by two Lorenzo Keeler free throws for a 78-76 lead which would prove its last.
Cal Poly jumped out to a 9-0 lead after hitting its first three 3-point field goal tries. But Fullerton came back to take a 19-18 lead at 10:55 and led most of the rest of the half by as many as 5 points on a couple of occasions.
After a slow start, Akognon hit three treys in the closing minutes to finish with a team-high 13 points while Jacques Streeter and Marcio Lassiter each hit a pair of treys on their way to 10-point halves. Fullerton made 9 of 14 treys while Cal Poly hit 6 of 12.
The Mustangs stayed close by grabbing 11 offensive rebounds and making 8 of 12 free throws to Fullertons 4 of 7 effort.