Bobcats BracketBuster Foe on Saturday

Feb. 16, 2012

Fullerton, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Sat., Feb. 18 -- Sears Bracket Buster: Montana State, Titan Gym (4,000), 6:05 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 23 -- at Pacific, Spanos Center (6,150), 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 25 -- at UC Davis, The Pavilion (7,600), 7 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (17-7, 9-3) take a quick break from the Big West Conference stretch run to host Montana State (11-14) of the Big Sky Conference in the Sears Bracket Buster series. Fullerton is 3-3 in previous Bracket Busters and 2-3 in reciprocal games. Fullerton has won four in a row and seven of eight while the Bobcats have lost six in a row.

WINNING SEASON: With at least six games to go, Fullerton has clinched its sixth winning season in the Bob Burton Era and the sixth in the last 19 seasons. The 17 wins have been surpassed only eight times in school history (52nd season), three times by Burton teams.

AUDIO: Most Titan games can be heard live on the internet. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. Mike Martinez and Kevin Barbarino will call the Montana State game.

VIDEO: All Big West games can be viewed on computers via BigWest subscription TV.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg a/rpg Quick Notes
G 5 Kwame Vaughn 6-3 Jr. 16.5 4.0a Transfer from USF; BWC player of last week after 37-point game vs. UCSB
G 13 Isiah Umipig* 6-1 So. 13.0 2.8r Hit 7 of 11 3-point tries vs. UCSB, two to beat buzzers
G 11 D. J. Seeley 6-4 Jr. 17.0 5.2r Transfer from Cal; 0-for-3-point line for only third time at UCR
F 15 Orane Chin** 6-7 Sr. 9.4 5.0r Transfer from South Florida; 36-for-56 FGs (.643) over last 8 games
F 21 Omondi Amoke 6-7 Sr. 12.2 8.8r Transfer from Cal; 7th double-double at UCR after missing UCI game (ankle)

OFF THE BENCH:
F 0 Andre Hardy* 6-6 Sr. 4.9 4.5r Transfer from ORU; has missed last 8 games due to family issues; in classes
G 3 Perry Webster* 6-1 Sr. 3.1 3.0a Season-high 7 assists vs. UCI; 7-for-9 treys over last 5 games
G 10 Cameron Glover 6-0 Jr. 1.0 0.7r Transfer from Mt. San Jacinto JC
C 12 John Underwood 6-9 Jr. 1.3 1.5r Transfer from Missouri has started 3 games
G 14 Orlando Brown* 6-2 Sr. 2.4 1.3r Hit clutch trey to stop 7-0 UCI run in second half on Jan. 21
C 24 Bernard Webb 6-9 Jr. 2.0 0.6r Transfer from Salt Lake City CC played in only 7 games due to a broken foot
G 32 Chris Collins 6-4 RFr. 1.7 1.0r Sat out true freshman season last year
C 33 Sedric Martin* 6-6 Sr. 1.1 1.2r Second strong game vs. UCI with career highs 14 points and 5 (tie) rebounds
G 44 Jordan Knox 6-0 Jr. 0.0 0.7r Transfer from Las Positas JC in Livermore, Calif.
*letters earned

HOW YOU SAY IT: OHR-uhn Chin &\#149; igh-ZAY-uh YOO-muh-pig &\#149; kwah-MAY Vaughn &\#149; oh-MAHN-dee ah-MOHK-ee

LAST GAME: On a night when neither D. J. Seeley (9 points) nor Kwame Vaughn (8 points) reached double figures (third time this season, 0-2 previously), the three other starters stepped up to score 18 points each and the Titans rolled to a 77-64 win at UC Riverside on Wednesday night. Fullerton led wire-to-wire thanks to an early 12-0 run and a 15-0 spurt bracketing halftime (7-0 to close first half, 8-0 to open second half) that led to a 23-point lead.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 151-119 in his ninth season at Cal State Fullerton and career. He has passed Alex Omalev (139-176 in 12 years) for the most CSF wins all-time. Burton's winning percentage of .559 trails only Bobby Dye (.583, 109-78).

FRIENDLY CONFINES: At 10-1 this season, the Titans are now 79-35 (.693) under Bob Burton in Titan Gym -- 39-5 (.886) in non-conference games and 40-30 (.571) in Big West games. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 304-168 (.644). Fullerton also is 1-8 in regular season home games at the Anaheim Convention Center. Fullerton has won 36 of its last 39 home non-conference games with the exceptions an 84-80 loss to Wright State on Dec. 22, 2007, a 71-57 loss to Montana on Dec. 22, 2010, and Nov. 26 of this season vs. Bakersfield.

ON THE ROAD: The Titans are a game over .500 on the road this season at 7-6. From the 2004-05 through 2009-10 seasons, Coach Burton's second thru seventh years, the Titans were 57-51 (.528) on the road. But last year they were only 4-15 away from Titan Gym. Coach Burton's current total (including 13-19 on neutral floors) is 72-84 (.462). By comparison, for the nine seasons (1994-95 thru 2002-03) prior to Burton's arrival, the combined road record was 27-104 (.206).

BRACKET BUSTER HISTORY: Fullerton is 3-3 in Bracket Busters (3-0 home, 0-3 road) and 2-3 in the reciprocal games (1-1 home, 1-2 road and one home game owed by Idaho State). Previous foes have been Eastern Washington (1-1), Wright State (0-2), Portland State (1-1), New Mexico State (1-1), SIU-Edwardsville (2-0) and Idaho State (0-1).

ABOUT THE OPPONENT: The Bobcats lost their sixth game in a row Wednesday night at home to Weber State, 79-70. They had won six of their first eight to open Big Sky Conference play. The teams have five common opponents in Utah (both 1-0), Portland State (MSU 2-0, CSF 1-0), Eastern Washington (MSU 0-2, CSF 1-0), UC Riverside (MSU 0-1, CSF 2-0) and CSU Bakersfield (MSU 1-0, CSF 0-2). The Bobcats have balanced scoring with five players averaging between 11.7 and 9.0 points led by Xavier Blount. Tre Johnson at 6.3 is the top rebounder.

SERIES HISTORY: Montana State leads it, 4-2, with three of the meetings in the last four seasons. MSU won, 80-76, in Honolulu on Nov. 15, 2010, in the last encounter. Each team won at hme in the 2008-09 season.

HALFTIME INDICATORS: Fullerton is 12-0 when leading at the half, 5-6 when trailing and 0-1 when tied. The Titans have outscored the opposition by 80 points (38.3 to 34.9) in the first half and by 119 points (40.4 to 35.5) in the second half.

BALANCED, EXPLOSIVE STARTING FIVE: The Titans have used the same starting lineup -- Chin, Amoke, Seeley, Vaughn & Umipig -- in every game but three. All but Chin (9.8) are averaging in double figures led by Seeley and Vaughn, at 16.6 and 16.2 ppg, respectively. Each of the five has been the team's game leader or co-leader in scoring at least three times (Vaughn and Seeley 8 each, Umipig 5, Amoke 4 and Chin 3). The bench scored only 3 points (Perry Webster) in the home wins over Pacific, UCR and UCSB and only 2 (Underwood) at Northridge but contributed 16 and 14 vs. Cal Poly and 7 and 21 vs. UCI. With Seeley and Chin coming off the bench the Titans got 19 points from non-starters at Bakersfield.

SCORING TRIO: Last-season redshirts Seeley, Amoke and Vaughn have combined for 1,074 or 57 percent of Fullerton's 1,891 points so far this season. Isiah Umipig (316) has scored 17 percent to leave the remaining 26 percent spread among 10 players.

WINNING AT HOME: Fullerton has not gone unbeaten at home in conference play since the 1982-83 team went 8-0. The current squad is 6-0 with Northridge and Long Beach to go. Coach Burton's best home Big West record is 7-2 in 2004-05. The 2006-07 and 2007-08 teams both went 6-2.

AMOKE: Omondi Amoke urt his ankle in the Cal Poly game but played on it -- and well with 12 points and 8 rebounds -- vs. UCSB but couldn't go against UCI, a team he dropped career highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds on in the first meeting. He came back at UCR with his seventh double-double (18 pts. and 14 rebs).

CHIN: Orane Chin has averaged 16.0 points over the last 3 games while making 20 of 29 field goals (.690) including 6-of-7 threes. Over the last 88 games he is 36-for-56 (.643) including 9-for-15 (.600) treys. The third-year player leads the current Titans in career scoring with 843 points and 404 rebounds.

MARTIN: Sedric Martin has scored 31 points and grabbed 21 rebounds this year with 18 of the points and 8 of the rebounds coming in two games vs. UC Irvine.

SEELEY: Despite an 0-for-2 effort at UCR on Wednesday, D. J. Seeley is threatening the Titan single-season record for 3-point field goal percentage. He's at .457 after 24 games and the record is .443 by Don Leary (89 of 201) in 1992-93. Orane Chin (.512) and Perry Webster (.471) have even better marks but less than 1 make per game.
At .423, the team has a ways to go to top the school record of .436 by the 1984-85 squad, which made 44 of 101 attempts in the early days of the rule. But it's well ahead of the best performance by a Bob Burton Era team -- .385 (285 of 741) by the 2007-08 NCAA Tournament team.

UMIPIG: Isiah "Zeke" Umipig's .854 free-throw percentage leads the team and would top the Big West but at 41-of-48 he is 7 makes shy of the qualifying minimum.

VAUGHN: Kwame Vaughn's 37-point game vs. UCSB is surpassed only by the following in Titan Div. I history: 47 points by Bobby Brown vs. Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 16, 2006; 41 by Josh Akognon twice; and 38 by Richard Morton. Akognon also had a 37-point game.

WEBSTER: Perry Webster led the Big West last year in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.67 to 1 and he's not far off that pace this season at 2.40 to 1 (72 assists, 30 turnovers).

AMONG THE BIG WEST: Through games of Feb. 15, Fullerton was among the Big West Conference leaders in:
-- scoring (1st)
-- FG percentage (1st)
-- 3ptFG percentage (1st)
-- rebounding margin (1st)
-- 3pt FGs made (1st)
-- scoring margin (2nd)
-- assists (3rd)
-- steals (3rd)
but near the bottom in:
-- turnover margin (8th)
-- assist/turnover ratio (7th)

Individually:
-- Vaughn was 1st in assists
-- Seeley was 1st in 3pt FG percentage
-- Amoke was 1st in FG percentage
-- Umipig was 1st in 3ptFGs made
-- Vaughn was 2nd in FT percentage
-- Amoke was 2nd in rebounding
-- Amoke was 2nd in double-doubles
-- Seeley was 3rd in steals
-- and the Titans had four of the top 10 scorers in Seeley (4th), Vaughn (5th), Umipig (9th) and Amoke (10th).

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Thru games of Feb. 12, Fullerton ranked 4th in 3-point FG percentage at .419 (Northern Colorado No. 1 at .445); 13th in FG percentage at .488 (Creighton No. 1 at .504); and 15th in scoring at 78.9 ppg (North Carolina at 83.5).

COIN DRIVE: The nine campuses of the Big West Conference are conducting their fifth annual Coin Drive during February to benefit local charities. Last year Fullerton fans contributed \$306.10 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Pacific won the competition with \$2,512.07 for the St. Josephs Foundation for Breast Cancer Services.

STREAKY TEAM: "Streaky" is the best one-word description of the 2011-12 Titans -- from week to week, game to game, half to half and even within a half (although not so much lately) -- Fullerton has displayed consistent inconsistency this season with sometimes equal amounts of good play and bad play. They have a 7-game win streak, a current 4-game win streak, two 3-game winning streaks and two 3-game losing streaks. They have trailed 14-0 at the outset (to Houston Baptist) and also led from the opening tip 14-0 (at Utah). They were a second-half team in routing LaVerne (51-12 for 86-44 win) and rallying past Portland State (56-44 for a 92-86 win) but squandered double-digit first-half leads over UC Davis (+16) and Pacific (+14) before pulling away from late ties (59-59 vs. Davis and 68-68 vs. Pacific) for wins of 65-64 and 78-73, respectively. Against UCR, they bracketed halftime with a 25-6 run (11-3 to finish the first half and 14-3 to open the second half). At UCI they jumped out to a 52-22 lead but were outscored 62-40 the rest of the way. Vs. UCI at home, they outscored UCI 68-47 over the final 22 minutes. At UCR they bracketed halftime with a 15-0 run (7-0 to end the first, 8-0 to start the second).

VICTIMS OF SPURTS: CSF has had a bad spell in each of the last 13 games. It was outscored 18 points to 6 over 9:05 vs. UC Davis; 19-5 over 6:21 vs. Pacific; 24-7 over 6:48 at UCSB; 18-0 over 5:25 at Cal Poly; 11-2 over 2:52 to lose a 9-point lead in the first half at Bakerfield; 15-5 over 7:48 to lose an early lead vs. UCR; 14-4 over 3:38 by UC Irvine; a 15-0 run over 4:08 by Cal State Northridge and a 15-2 run over the final 3:48 by Long Beach State. Even Cal Poly had an 11-2 surge to finish the game. UCSB used a 15-0 run over 3:49 late in the first half to take a short-lived 40-28 lead and UCI had a 19-5 surge over 5:47 to go from 12-11 down to 30-17 up. UCR had a 14-5 run over the final 7 minutes.

REBOUNDING EDGE: Fullerton has outrebounded its opponents by an average of 6.9 per game despite a lack of great size but is only +3.9 in Big West play. The school record for rebounding margin is + 6.1 by the 2003-04 team. The next best is plus 5.1 by the 1978-79 squad.

DIVISION I TRANSFERS: Omondi Amoke, D. J. Seeley, John Underwood and Kwame Vaughn have brought the number of Div. I transfers to play for Coach Bob Burton to 15. Teammates Orane Chin and Andre Hardy preceded them. Two others (Sean Williams, Syracuse, academics; and Lloyd Walls, Wright State, injury) redshirted but never actually played. In Fullerton's Div. I history, they bring the total to 38. In the same time frame (1975 to present), only six players have left for other Div. I programs and only one (Jacques Streeter to UTEP) in the Burton era. Currently waiting in the wings are Sammy Yeager from TCU, Alex Harris from Northeastern and late arrival Darius Nelson from UTEP.

ANOTHER DIV. I TRANSFER: Forward Darius Nelson has walked on the Titan roster after completing Fall classes at UTEP and will be eligible for the Titans at the end of the Fall 2012 semester. He was one of the highest scoring players in northern California history for Sheldon High School in Sacramento County. His brother DeMarcus played four seasons at Duke and later with the Golden State Warriors.

NOVEMBER SIGNEES: The Titans have signed three incoming players for 2012-13. Forwards Marquis Horne of Salt Lake City Community College and center James "Deuce" Johnson of Central Wyoming College both began their careers at the Div. I level. Horne, 6-foot-6, began his career at Ohio University but never played while Johnson, 6-foot-7, played his freshman year at Louisiana Tech. Horne and Johnson will have two seasons of eligibility while 6-foot-4 prep school guard Jared Brandon of Maine Central Institute, who led Canyon Springs High School of North Las Vegas to the Nevada state championship in 2011, will have four.