Jan. 10, 2008
Fullerton, Calif. -
Josh Akognon scored 21 points and Junior Russell matched his season's high with 16 Thursday night to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 78-64 Big West Conference men's basketball victory over Cal Poly.
The Titans improved to 10-4 overall and are 3-0 in the Big West for the first time since 1984.
Cal Poly got a career-high 22 points and 6 rebounds from Matt Hanson but fell to 6-9 and 1-2.
Scott Cutley and Frank Robinson also were in double figures for Fullerton with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Marcus Morgan led Fullerton to a 33-27 advantage on the backboards with nine. Titus Shelton was the only other Mustang in double figures with 10 points.
Fullerton led all the way after an explosive start. The Titans hit their first nine shots -- seven from the 3-point line including four by Akognon -- to open a 25-16 lead. The start of the second half was similar. Fullerton opened with a 18-2 run to take a 55-35 lead with 14:04 to play.
With Hanson scoring mostly inside on 10-of-15 shooting, the Mustangs crept back into the game and got within 5 at 69-64 with 2:45 to play. But Russell hit his fourth trey of the night in as many tries and the Titans went 6-for-6 at the foul line in the final 43 seconds.
Akognon came out of the game after his first four baskets and hit only 1 of 9 the rest of the game. Fullerton finished 14-for-30 for the game while the Mustangs hit only 7 of 25 from behind the arc.
Fullerton cooled off after its torrid start, shooting 59 percent in the first half and 45 percent in the second half to finish at 51 percent overall.
Fullerton hosts UC Santa Barbara Saturday at 6 p.m. while Cal Poly visits UC Irvine. UCI beat UCSB, 66-63, on Thursday night.