Dec. 27, 2005
Miami, FL - Senior Andre Owens scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Tuesday evening to lead Texas-San Antonio to an 88-76 victory over Cal State Fullerton in the opening game of the Florida International University Holiday Classic in Miami, Florida.
Bobby Brown equaled a career-high with 30 points for the Titans, who blew a 7-point halftime lead but then rallied to within 2 points after falling behind by as many as 10 late in the second half. After Fullerton got within 71-69 on a 3-pointer by Bobby Brown at 4:28, the Roadrunners made 13 of 14 free throws to hold off the Titans and drop them to 5-3 overall and improve their own record to 4-5.
Texas San Antonio outrebounded the Titans by 11 in the second half while posting 55 points. Junior forward Gabe Bernard, a transfer from Pierce College in Woodland Hills who attended Cleveland High in Reseda, scored 15 points for UTSA in his first start of the season. Roderick Rodgers, who averages 6 points and 4 rebounds, had 12 points and 7 rebounds for the Roadrunners.
"The game came down to toughness, and they were way tougher than we were," said Fullerton Coach Bob Burton. "It was our most discouraging effort of the year.
"We played poor defense. It was our worst defensive effort and our worst rebounding effort."
Fullerton also may have lost the services of Justin Burns. He suffered a severe laceration when his right hand hit the rim while trying to block a shot by Owens with 2 minutes to play.
The Titans overcame an early 24-17 deficit with a 23-9 run to the half with reserve guard John Clemmons sparking the rally with his defensive play (4 steals) and two layups to go with a career-high 7 assists.
UTSA used an 8-0 run to turn a 51-48 deficit into a 56-51 lead at 12:40 and they never relinquished it, building it to as many as 10 points at 69-59 at 7:29. But Bobby Brown scored 8 points in a 10-2 Fullerton run to make it close.
Fullerton will play Wednesday at 6 p.m. EST in the consolation game against the loser of tonight's FIU vs. St. Bonaventure game.