Dec. 28, 2007
Moraga, Calif. - Josh Akognon scored 31 points and Scott Cutley added 22 Saturday afternoon as Cal State Fullerton routed winless Furman University, 103-72, in the opening game of the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic at Saint Mary's College.
The Titans made a school-record 15 3-point field goals -- seven by Akognon -- in improving to 7-3 and earning a probable shot at host Saint Mary's, which took a 10-1 record into the tourney's second game against an injury-plagued 3-9 Howard University team. Furman fell to 0-11 in extending the longest losing streak in the history of the Greenville, South Carolina-based liberal arts college.
Fullerton hit the century mark for the second time this year (100 at Montana) and the eighth time in the 5-year tenure of Coach Bob Burton.
"It was our best offensive game of the year," said Burton. "We were unselfish and did a good job on the offensive glass.
"Defensively, they shot 50 percent but I thought we did a good job. We were concerned about defending their Princeton-style offense and I thought we did well."
Fullerton jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never trailed in the game. The biggest first-half lead was 17 points and the margin was 16 at the half. Furman scored the first four points of the second half but Fullerton scored the next 7 and Furman never got closer than 17 points the rest of the way.
The Titans' previous best for treys was 14 on four occasions, most recently on Nov. 30 at Montana. Akognon made seven for the second time this year with the fifth-best single-game total in Titan annals.
Starting point guard Junior Russell suffered a head injury early in the second half and his availability for Saturday is unknown.
"We will have to play our best game of the year assuming we face Saint Mary's," said Burton. "They are one of the finest teams in the west if not the country. With the difficult environment here, we will have our hands full."
A Fullerton-Saint Mary's game will begin at 7:30 p.m. If Howard scores a major upset, the Bison would play the Titans in the championship game at 5 p.m. as Saint Mary's will play the second game, win or lose.