Dec. 28, 2006
San Luis Obispo, CA - Bobby Brown scored 28 points and had 8 assists and five teammates were in double figures Thursday night as Cal State Fullerton won its season opener with a 99-91 victory at Cal Poly.
The Titans continue their best start in 23 years at 10-2 while the Mustangs fall to 5-6 in dropping their first home game in five tries.
Derek Stockalper had a career-high 22 points and added 12 rebounds for the double-double to pace the Mustangs, who won at Fullerton in last year's Big West opener.
Fullerton tied a school record by making 14 3-point baskets -- 11 of them in the first half -- despite making only 3 of 9 in the second half. Brown made 5 of 8, Marcus Crenshaw (12 points) made 4 of 8 off the bench and Frank Robinson (14 points) made 3 of 7 to lead the way.
Cal Poly made 10 of 23 including 7 of 10 in a first half that ended with Fullerton ahead, 51-49. The Mustangs shot 68 percent from the floor in the first half and 56 percent overall but committed 17 turnovers to a season-low 9 turnovers for the Titans.
"All in all, it was a great way to start league play," said Fullerton Head Coach Bob Burton. "This is a tough place to play and they hadn't lost here this year.
"We gave up 91 points, but we did a good job and got stops when we needed them down the stretch. Our offense was good all night. When they cut the margin down, we answered at both ends.
"L.B. (Bobby Brown) was absolutely terrific, in all phases of the game."
After several lead changes in the first 10 minutes of the game, Fullerton took the lead for good at 41-31 with a 13-3 run with Brown on his way to 19 first-half points including 5 of 7 3-pointers. The Mustangs outscored Fullerton, 11-3 in the final 2:39 of the half.
Fullerton led the entire second half but never by more than 10 points until the final minute. Scott Cutley scored 12 of his 16 points after intermission but Cal Poly closed to 85-82 at 2:33 when Dawin Whiten hit the first of two free throws. But he missed the second and the Titans scored the next 9 points capped by four free throws in four tries by Justin Burns (13 points) at 1:13 and 1:01.
The Titans finished up with 19 free throws in 22 tries.
Fullerton plays at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night. After a Thursday night win over UC Riveside, UCSB has the second-best overall mark in the conference at 9-3. Cal Poly hosts the Highlanders.