December 4, 2008

CMU Visits for Long-Awaited Titan Home Game

Dec. 4, 2008

Fullerton, Calif. -

UPCOMING:
Sat., Dec. 6 -- Central Michigan, Titan Gym, 6:05 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 9 -- at Montana State, Worthington Arena, 7 p.m. MST
Sat., Dec. 13 -- Cal State Bakersfield, Titan Gym, 6:05 p.m.

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IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (3-5) play only their second home game of the season Saturday night, seeking to avenge a foul-plagued 79-76 loss last year at Central Michigan. A total of 54 fouls were called in that game resulting in 74 free throw attempts. Fullerton is coming off an 84-63 loss at LSU Tuesday night, its fifth away game in 10 days. This is the latest (ninth game) into a season any of the Div. I Titan teams has played only its second home game.

AUDIO: All Titan games can be heard live on the internet on computers with sound cards. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. Michael Martinez will call the Central Michigan game.

VIDEO: All Titan home games and road Big West Conference games are available via videostreaming on a subscription basis Details are available on the Big West website at www.bigwest.org.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg r/apg Quick Notes
G 1 Josh Akognon* 6-1 Sr. 24.3 1.5a Can become first Div. I Titan to score 20 points in 8 consecutive games
G 22 Jacques Streeter 6-0 Fr. 8.9 5.1a 2.05 assist-to-turnover ratio among Big West leaders
G 11 Marcio Lassiter* 6-2 Sr. 8.6 2.7r Second to Akognon with 12 3-point field goals
F 24 Gerard Anderson 6-6 Jr. 11.4 7.0r Scored 20 points in second half vs. Texas State; 12 boards vs. Wake Forest
F 42 Papa Guisse 6-8 Jr. 5.3 5.6r 11 rebounds vs. Charlotte & 9 at LSU; 5 blocked shots vs. Saint Mary's
OFF THE BENCH:
G 0 Aaron Thompson 6-4 Jr. 8.3 4.0r Made bucket to put Titans ahead for good in OT vs. Charlotte
F 43 Ray Miller 6-8 Jr. 4.8 4.4r Leads team with .552 field-goal percentage
G 14 Ameer Shamsud-din 6-2 Fr. 1.0 1.6a True freshman has 13 assists vs. 10 turnovers
G 21 Chris Rhymes 6-4 Jr. 5.7 2.2r Scored 10 points in first half vs. Charlotte on 4-for-4 shooting
C 55 Adam Thomas 7-2 Jr. 0.6 0.9r Redshirted last year; late start to his basketball career
F 5 Regan Andersen 6-7 Jr. 3.0 3.5r Well-traveled Milwaukee native; walk-on transfer from Oxnard College
G 44 Kwasi Mensah 6-3 Fr. 0.0 0.0a Walk-on from Rancho Cucamonga HS
*letters earned

EASY FOR ME TO SAY: Josh ah-KOY-uhn &\#149; POP gee-SAY &\#149; Ameer shahm-suh-DEEN &\#149; zyah-KEESE Streeter &\#149; KWAH-zee Mensah &\#149; REE-guhn Andersen

SERIES HISTORY: The Titans and Central Michigan have split two well-separated meetings. Fullerton won at home, 75-42, on Dec. 15, 1975, while the Chippewas logged a 79-76 victory in Mt. Pleasant last season on Dec. 8.

ABOUT THE CHIPPEWAS: Central Michigan brings a 2-4 record into Titan Gym after an 81-67 loss before 13,158 at No. 25-ranked Marquette on Tuesday night. The wins came at Princeton and at home over Wright State in overtime. Chris Kellerman (15.5 ppg) and Jeremy Allen (15.3) lead a balanced attack that has five men averaging in double figures. CMU opponents have made only 27 of 90 3-point field goals.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 95-65 in his sixth year at Cal State Fullerton and career. At .594, Burton is the winningest coach in Titan history. Alex Omalev, who passed away on Nov. 10 at the age of 88, has the most total victories (139-176) followed by George McQuarn (122-117). Bobby Dye is second in winning percentage at .583 (109-78).

LONG TRIP TO LOSE: After playing 3 games in 4 days at the Anaheim Convention Center 9 miles from campus, the Titans flew 1,736 miles from LAX via Las Vegas to New Orleans on Monday, where they caught a bus north to Baton Rouge to play the Tigers on Tuesday night. After the 84-63 loss, it was a 3:45 a.m. CST wake-up call Wednesday for a 4:15 a.m. bus back to New Orleans for a 9:37 a.m. CST direct flight home to Los Angeles, landing about 9:30 a.m. PST.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Bob Burton, the Titans are 49-18 (.731) in Titan Gym including 1-0 this season. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 274-152 (.643). Fullerton also is 1-8 in regular season home games at the Anaheim Convention Center.

RARE LOSING STREAK: CSF's recent 3-game losing streak was its longest since a 3-gamer Jan. 19-25, 2006. Coach Burton also had a 3-game losing streak in `04-05 and two in `03-04, when he had an additional 4-game skid. Last year's team lost consecutive games only once.

PLAYER UPDATES:
Guard Josh Akognon has scored 20 or more points in every game except the season opener vs. Texas State, when he fouled out with 15 minutes to play with 11 points. With 20 or more points vs. Central Michigan, he would become the first Div. I Titan to accomplish the feat in eight consective games. Richard Morton is the only other Titan to do it in seven consecutive games (2/2/87 vs. San Jose State thru 2/21/87 at UCSB)... Leon Wood did it six times in a row in the 1983-84 season... Akognon made the all-tournament team in Hawai'i and was one vote shy of making the 6-man All-76 Classic squad. He is averaging 20 shots per game including just under 11.5 3-point tries. He set a Stan Sheriff Center record in Honolulu with 41 points in the win over Hawaii, making 12 of 29 shots including 7 of 18 3-pointers. It was the second highest scoring game in CSF's Div. I history (Bobby Brown, currently of the Sacramento Kings, had 47 vs. Bethune Cookman on Dec. 16, 2006). In 40 career games, Akognon already has moved into the No. 5 spot on the CSF career 3-point field goal list with 149 (Marcus Crenshaw is No. 4 with 151). He's also No. 5 in attempts with 387 (Frank Robinson is No. 4 with 391). Akognon is a nominee for the Bob Cousy Award.

Forward Gerard Anderson has averaged only 6.7 points over the last 3 games after averaging 14.2 over the first five. He scored the Titans' first point of the season (3:27 into the Texas State game) but didn't score again until the second half, when he erupted for 14 points in a span of less than 5 minutes on his way to a 20-point half. At Portland State he had 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds but missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer. He had 10 rebounds in the first half and 12 total against a Wake Forest team that started three players 6-foot-9 or better.

Point guard Jacques Streeter has handled the ball extremely well for a freshman with only 20 turnovers vs. 41 assists and has been leading the Big West in assist-to-turnover ratio. He has shown the potential for a triple double -- scoring in double figures 4 times, getting 12 assists in one game and grabbing as many as 9 rebounds.

Guard Aaron Thompson has proven to be a clutch player. At Portland State he went 4-for-4 at the line in the final 3 minutes and gave Fullerton a 1-point lead with 21.4 seconds to play. His basket put Fullerton ahead to stay at 77-75 in overtime vs. Charlotte. He did miss a potential game winner with about 30 seconds to go in regulation vs. Charlotte.

Guard Marcio Lassiter made a quick return from a knee that was bruised severely on Nov. 22 in Portland, causing him to miss the Portland State game and the first half vs. Wake Forest. He got 8 points in the second half vs. the Deamon Deacons and totaled a combined 20 vs. Saint Mary's and Charlotte back in a starting role. He matched his career high by making three treys vs. Charlotte, in only three tries including a back-breaker in overtime.

Forward Chris Rhymes made a delayed season debut on Nov. 20 vs. Hope, finally cleared after rehabbing since his March knee surgery. He scored 12 points in 17 minutes. He is still rounding into shape but was a catalyst vs. Charlotte, coming off the bench to hit 4-of-4 shots including a pair of 3-pointers in a 10-point first-half effort that rallied Fullerton from an early 8-point deficit.

Forward Papa Guisse had his best game of the young season vs. Charlotte with 8 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes of play. He blocked 5 shots vs. Saint Mary's and on the season has half (13 of 26) of the team's total of rejections. He grabbed 8 rebounds at LSU.

TITANS REGULARS ON THE TUBE: The Titans' game at LSU on Dec. 2 was carried by FOX Sports South out of Atlanta, making it one of nine CSF games of this season to be televised. The others: at Hawai'i (KFVE Honolulu), all 3 games at the 76 Classic Nov. 27-30 on ESPN2 or ESPNU; Jan. 8 at Cal Poly on ESPNU; Jan. 10 at UCSB on FSN Prime Ticket; Jan. 17 vs. Pacific on ESN2; Mar. 7 vs. UC Irvine on FSN West. Additional possibilities are the ESPNU Bracket Buster the weekend of Feb. 21 and the Big West Conference post-season tourney. Fullerton had been on national TV only a handful of times prior to the last few seasons.