Nov. 16, 2008
Senior guard Josh Akognon scored an arena-record 41 points as Cal State Fullerton pulled away for a 90-76 victory at Hawai'i Sunday night in the Verizon Tip-Off Men's Basketball Classic.
The win evened Fullerton's record at 1-1 while Hawaii fell to 0-2 and lost its ninth in a row dating to last season. San Francisco went to 2-0 earlier Sunday with an 88-74 win over Texas State to win the tourney title.
Akognon made 12 of 29 shots including 7 of 18 3-point tries to break his previous Titan best of 31 points (three times).
His point total is the second highest in Fullerton's Div. I history, behind only Bobby Brown's 47-point effort vs. Bethune Cookman on Dec. 16, 2006. The new Stan Sheriff Center mark covers a 15-year history.
Roderick Flemings led the Warriors with 21 points and Bill Amis had a game-high 11 rebounds. The Warriors made only 3 of 17 3-point field goals and only 11 of 20 free throws.
"It was a great win, especially considering Friday night's loss," said Head Coach Bob Burton. "We don't win the game without Josh getting 41 like that.
"I could tell from the opening minutes he was going to score 40 or 50. It was amazing watching him play so badly on Friday night.
"I thought the key to the second half was our 2-3 zone. We were in such foul trouble and it gave them problems."
Akognon, who fouled out with 15 minutes to play with only 11 points on 5 of 15 shooting in a 10-point loss to Texas State on Friday, equaled his career high by making seven 3-point baskets for the fourth time in his 2-year CSF career. His previous high for attempted treys was 13 on six occasions.
There were other herores. Freshman point guard Jacques Streeter handled Hawai'i's full-court pressure flawlessly with 0 turnovers and 9 assists and added 15 points and 6 rebounds. He, Gerard Anderson (10 points and 7 rebounds) and Papa Guisse (6 points and 3 rebounds) each converted late one-and-one opportunities to keep Hawaii at bay. Marcio Lassiter made 3 of 5 shot for 9 points after going 1-for-11 on Friday.
"I was just trying to do whatever it took to help us win," said Akognon. "I came out aggressive and took some stupid shots - too quick - in the first half. My teammates got more involved in the second half and took pressure off me."
Akognon made only 5 of 17 shots overall and 4 of 10 treys in a 20-point first half. He was 7 of 12 and 3 of 8, respectively, in the second half and made all four of his free throw tries in the final 1:03 to finish 10 of 11.
Fullerton trailed, 43-39, early in the second half when Burton went to the zone after watching Hawaii get a couple of easy buckets and Guisse pick up his fourth foul with 18:47 remaining. Lassiter hit a trey to put Fullerton ahead, 47-44 and Ray Miller followed with his only bucket and the Titans led the rest of the way.
The Titans host Hope International on Thursday night in the home opener.