Another Close 'L' for CSF

Nov. 15, 2010

Box Score

Honolulu, Hawai'i - Forward Bobby Howard scored 18 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds Monday night to lead Montana State to an 80-76 victory over Cal State Fullerton on the third and final night of the Outrigger Hotel Rainbow Men's Basketball Classic.

Erik Rush added 17 points and 6 rebounds for the Bobcats, who were 2-1 in the tourney and are the same for the season.

Orane Chin led the way for Fullerton with 24 points and Devon Peltier added 19 but the Titans finished 0-3, losing three games that were decided in the final 3 minutes.

Montana State used a 21-9 run to end the first half for a 38-34 lead at intermission. The Bobcats never trailed in the second half but Fullerton was within one possession with 2 minutes to go. Twice in the closing minute the Bobcats missed a one-and-one but got offensive rebound over a Titan team playing without its three biggest players due to injury.

Peltier's free throws with 29 seconds left made it 76-73 and Rod Singleton missed a free throw but Howard rebounded and the Titans had to foul Chris McCall. He made the first and missed the second but the Bobcats got the ball again and Danny Piepoli hit a pair of free throws to make it 79-73 with 18 seconds left.

Steve Jurich, who started the first two games, joined returning starter Jer'Vaughn Johnson and redshirt Andre Hardy on the sidelines with a back problem. Fullerton suited only 9 players.

"I've never seen anything like it in my 40-plus years of coaching," said Fullerton's Bob Burton. "All the injuries at the same position. And we had only seven scholarship players.

"Tonight we tried to make do with what we had and guys out of position. The block-outs were big but we had guards trying to block out big men. We need to finish games better. But I was proud of the effort. The guys are giving it all they have."

Fullerton got off to a good start for the third game with Peltier finally getting hot after a 1-for-10 effort behind the 3-point line over the first two games. He made 3 of 5 and had 11 first-half points.

But the Bobcats wore down the Titans and ended up with 17 second-chance points and a 25-9 edge on the bench. Montana State had 14 offensive rebounds to 6 for Fullerton.

The Titans fly home Tuesday and play again on Sunday at San Diego.