Feb. 4, 2010
Long Beach, Calif. -
Senior guard Aaron Thompson scored 23 points including 10 in overtime Thursday night to lead Cal State Fullerton to an 81-75 Big West Conference victory at Long Beach State before an overflow crowd of 4,806 and a national ESPNU audience.
The Titans (11-10, 5-4) completed a season-sweep of their oldest rival and the league's pre-season favorite. Casper Ware and Larry Anderson scored 20 points each for the 49ers (10-12, 4-5). Gerard Anderson had 12 points, all after halftime, and Bryce Webster and DevonPeltier each added 11 for Fullerton. Webster had a double-double with 12 rebounds.
Thompson, who made all 8 of his field-goal attempts, hit two free throws to open the overtime scoring and his 3-pointer at 4:15 put Fullerton ahead to stay at 69-66. Another 3-pointer made it 76-69 at 1:19 and he added two more free throws.
"We showed a lot of resiliency to lose the lead the way we did and then come back and play so well in overtime," said CSF Coach Bob Burton. "Both teams played hard and both were exhausted at the end. It was a great win for us."
Fullerton had a 64-57 lead with 2:50 to play in regulation after a Jacques Streeter layup. But the Titans missed four free throws and committed two turnovers that led to a 7-0 Long Beach run to finish the game. Ware missed a jumper at the buzzer and injured an ankle in the process but returned 2 minutes into overtime.
Long Beach scored the first 8 points of the second half to get off to a 15-6 start, hitting 7 of 9 while the Titans were going 3-for-12 to make it 42-39 at the first media timeout at 14:31. The 49ers took the lead briefly at 46-45 on a layin by Andrew Fleming but Anderson turned a Peltier steal into a layup and Fullerton regained the lead momentarily. Fleming's tip-in at 8:04 tied the game at 50-50. Anderson broke that tie with his fifth 3-pointer of the season and the Titans would not trail again although Long Beach twice tied it.
The fast-paced first half produced minimal scoring. Long Beach shot poorly (11 of 34, .324, and 1-for-6 at the line) while the Titans committed the first 7 turnovers of the game and finished the half with 12 giveaways. Fullerton used a 10-0 run featuring back-to-back treys by Peltier and Streeter and outscored the 49ers, 14-1 over the final 4:15 for a 36-24 halftime lead.
The Titans host UC Riverside on Saturday while Long Beach hosts Cal State Northridge.