March 3, 2011
Stockton, Calif. -
Devon Peltier scored 23 points to lead five Titans in double figures Thursday night as Cal State Fullerton snapped a 5-game losing streak and clinched a post-season tournament berth with an 82-80 Big West Conference victory at Pacific.
The win improved the Titans' record to 10-19 and 6-9 in the Big West while the Tigers fell to 16-13 and 8-7.
Fullerton swept Pacific for only the second time in the last 22 seasons.
Jer'Vaughn Johnson and Isiah Umipig each scored 16 points, Orane Chin had 12 and Andre Hardy had 10 off the bench as Fullerton shot 54 percent from the floor and 69 percent (11 of 16) from the 3-point line. Peltier made 6 of 8 from behind the arc. Johnson had a double-double with 12 rebounds.
Pacific got 26 points and 10 rebounds from Terrell Smith, who missed a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining. Allen Huddleston had 18 points and Demetrece Young had 12 including two free throws with 52 seconds left that were the last points of the game. Perry Webster missed a jumper for Fullerton with about 24 seconds left to set up the Tigers' last possession.
Fullerton used a 24-5 surge over the last 7 minutes of the first half to lead at intermission, 39-25. Pacific cut that down to a single point at 48-47 in less than 7 minutes of the second half before Fullerton got a trey from Peltier and a bucket from Hardy to pull out to a 6-point lead. It grew to as many as 11 points at 77-66 at 4:14 on a Umipig bucket and was still 7 at 82-75 on a Johnson bucket inside at 1:33.
Smith hit a trey and Eric Williams missed a free throw at 1:13 before Young made his pair. Fullerton had lost five games this year when leading at the half, several by 10 points or more. It is now 8-5 when ahead at the half.
The win in Stockton was only the third for the Titans since 1989. The 5-game losing streak this year was the longest in the tenure of eighth-year Coach Bob Burton.
Fullerton closes out the regular season Saturday night at UC Davis, which was eliminated from the post-season tourney by Fullerton's win which left UC Riverside holding no worse than a tie and the tie-breaker over the Aggies for the eighth slot.