Rally Beats Anteaters

Feb. 9, 2012

Box Score

Video Highlights

Fullerton, Calif. - D. J. Seeley scored 27 points and Kwame Vaughn had 24 points Thursday night to help Cal State Fullerton rally for a 100-94 Big West Conference victory over UC Irvine.

Orane Chin scored 17 points and Sedric Martin came off the bench for a career-high 14 points as the Titans (16-7, 8-3) won their third in a row to sweep the season series, take over second place in the Big West and clinch a winning season. Daman Starring had 22 points and Will Davis II added 20 points and 6 rebounds for the Anteaters (9-15, 5-6).

Fullerton played without leading rebounder Omondi Amoke due to a sprained ankle. He had career highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds in a 92-84 win at UCI on Jan. 21.

The Titans trailed by as many as 15 points but scored the final 8 points of the first half to close within 47-40. They caught up for the first time at 10:28 on a 3-point play by Vaughn and took the lead for good on a layup by Chin that made it 71-69 at 9:25. The lead grew to six points at 79-73 and 89-83, the latter at 3:55 on a 3-pointer by Vaughn that proved to be Fullerton's last field goal. UCI got within a point at 89-88 at 2:44 on a 3-pointer by Chris McNealy but Fullerton made 11 of 11 free throws to finish the game and hit the century mark for the second time this season.

"We never got in rhythm the first half and I was just hoping we could hold on long enough to get some scoring," said Fullerton Coach Bob Burton. "We finally got some stops... we can really score.

"Amoke is the heart and soul of this team with his rebounding and defending and this was the first time this year we had to play without him. Orane Chin was the most important guy for us.... He was our only size as we played a lot with four guards for the first time this season.

"And Sedric saved us... he had four offensive rebounds, too.

"It was an entertaining game. There wasn't a lot of defense by either team, but then there are a lot of good offensive players out there. UCI is one of the toughest teams in the league to guard. They have really improved. They run the pick and roll so well and we couldn't stop it. We doubled and got some steals but then they adjusted to that."

Chin made 7 of 9 shots and made a block of a Davis shot with 1:26 to play. Seeley blocked a layup try by Starring with 42 seconds left to help preserve what was then a 5-point lead.

Davis made 10 of 15 shots and had 5 offensive rebounds for UCI. Starring hit 8 of 11 but the rest of the team went 15-for-35 for a total of 54 percent. Fullerton also shot 54 percent, 59 percent in the second half.

UCI, which made only 6 of 35 3-pointers in its last game, made its first five Thursday and jumped out to an early 30-17 lead 12:20 into the game.

Fullerton's 31 of 35 (.886) effort at the foul line was its best of the season. UCI made 19 of 22 (.864) to contribute to the high scoring game. Martin's 5 rebounds matched his career high. Fullerton has won six of seven and is 10-1 at home this season.

Fullerton is idle this weekend, next playing Wednesday at UC Riverside. UCI visits Cal Poly on Saturday night.