Jan. 9, 2010
Riverside, Calif. - Senior forward Aaron Thompson had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and three teammates also scored in double figures Saturday evening as Cal State Fullerton logged a 69-56 Big West Conference victory at UC Riverside.
Sean Cunningham with 18 points and Kyle Austin with 17 accounted for all but 21 of the points for the Highlanders (7-8, 1-2), who lost only their second home game of the year.
Fullerton never trailed by more than 1 point in the game and took control with an 11-0 run for a 20-10 lead with 9:10 to go in the first half. UCR got as close as 22-18 and 24-20 before trailing at the half, 28-23.
UCR never got closer than 4 points in the second half, either. But after falling behind, 51-39 at 7:24 on a Jacques Streeter free throw, the Highlanders pulled within 4 at 51-47. Thompson hit a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock at 4:51 for Fullerton and that triggerd an 8-2 run that got the lead back to double digits. Fullerton made its last 10 free throws of the game to keep the Highlanders at bay.
Fullerton shot 54.5 percent form the floor including 5 of 6 3-pointers as it pulled away from its halftime lead.
"We're excited about this -- it's a tremendous win for us," said CSF Coach Bob Burton. "We were set up for a leetdown here after an emotional win over Long Beach State on Thursday night.
"We are relaxing more and getting our confidence with two wins in a row. Part of our problems on the road was a long stretch where we had injuries and illness. Anderson had a hand injury and Jacques had the flu.
"I've never seen the atmosphere like this before," said Burton of the loud, student-oriented crowd. "They should be excited about the team they are putting on the floor."
Both teams began the game cold, each missing their first four 3-point attempts. Fullerton shot 34 percent overall and UCR was at 31 percent in a defensive oriented first half.
Fullerton won the battle of the backboards, 38-35, led by Thompson's career high.
Peltier hit all four of his 3-point tries after making only 2-of-14 in the first two conference games.
Fullerton is home next week to Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge.