Nov. 30, 2007
Missoula, MT - Senior Frank Robinsons scored a career-high 30 points and junior Josh Akognon added 26 Friday night to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 100-91 non-conference victory at Montana.
The Titans improved to 4-1 with an impressive rebound from a lopsided loss Wednesday night at Arizona.
Jordan Hasquet had 26 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who fell to 5-3 after giving up 100 points at home for the first time in 18 years. Andrew Strait had 21 points and 7 rebounds and Matt Martin added 17 points for the Griz.
Fullerton made its first eight 3-point attempts of the second half -- four by Akognon and two by Robinson -- to help stretch a 46-43 halftime lead to 80-62 with 9:21 to play. The Griz had moved as close as a point at 55-54 but the Titans then went on an 11-2 run.
Montana got as close as 6 points at 87-81 with 1:31 to play but Robinson and Andrew Green each converted a pair of free throws to make it 91-81 and the TItans made 7 for 8 the rest of the way to hold off Montana, a co-favorite for the Big Sky Conference crown and a team which had lost only to nationally ranked Gonzaga and Washington State.
Both teams had their shooting touch. Fullerton shot 52 percent from the floor and 56 percent behind the 3-point line, tying the school record with 14 treys in 25 attempts. The Titans made 16 of 19 free throws. Montana was even better from the floor, shooting 57 percent overall and 58 percent (11 of 19) from behind the arc.
Montana had not allowed a team to score 100 points since Nevada registered a 102-93 win in overtime on March 2, 1989.
"This was a really terrific win for us," said Head Coach Bob Burton. "We rebounded after a tough loss at Arizona. It was a gut-check game for us. And Montana is a good team and this is a hard place to play. Our kids played terrific."
Fullerton won its last game in Missoula in 1996. Prior to that Montana had won all six meetings.
Counting two wins in three tries this year on the road and the last three seasons, Coach Burton has a 30-26 record away from Titan Gym. In the previous TEN seasons, the Titans won only 30 away games against 115 losses.
Robinson made only 1 of 7 shots in a 3-point game at Arizona but Friday night made 11 of 16 including 3 of 5 treys and he added 5 assists.
The first half was a see-saw affair with 14 lead changes and 8 ties as both teams sizzled from the floor. Fullerton's biggest lead was 5 points and the Grizzlies' biggest edge was at 5-2. Montana hit 6 of 10 treys and made 5 more free throws and had an 18-14 advantage on the boards. But Montana committed 10 turnovers to only three for Fullerton, which finished the game with 13.
Senior forward Scott Cutley made his first start of the year and just missed a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 9 rebounds in 30 minutes. The first-team All-Big West Conference selection fractured his right ankle in mid-October. Marcus Crenshaw got his first start since Nov. 22 of last season and scored 13 points with 5 assists.
All 11 TItan players got into the game in the first half and Marcio Lassiter, a transfer from City College of San Francisco, had a season-high 9 points in 11 minutes including 3-for-3 at the line in crunch time. Marcus Morgan, who had a career game at Arizona, got in early foul trouble and finished with 2 points and 3 rebounds in front of a group of 12 family members, the lone Titan fans among the crowd of 4,236.