Cal State Fullerton vs. Cal State East Bay
Date: Saturday, Jan. 2
Time: 7:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Fullerton, Calif.
Venue: Titan Gym
Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com
Live Streaming: FullertonTitans.com
Internet Radio: FullertonTitans.com
Series Record: CSF leads 4-0
After three straight road games, Cal State Fullerton returns home to Titan Gym to open the new year and close out non-conference action on Saturday, Jan. 2 against Cal State East Bay at 7 p.m.
TICKETS & PROMOTIONS
Cal State Fullerton students receive free admission to Titan home games with their Titan I.D. card.
Additional ticket information can be found by clicking HERE.
OPPONENTS & HISTORY
Cal State East Bay | 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 2 | Titan Gym
Cal State East Bay comes into Titan Gym with a 5-6 overall record and a 1-3 ledger in conference action. The Pioneers are led by Jalen Richard who averages 14.9 points per game, while adding a team-leading 22 assists and 16 steals. Ryan Okwudibonye adds 11.9 points per game, while Jack Pasquini leads the team with 69 rebounds to average 6.9 boards per game.
Head-To-Head: The Titans and Pioneers will meet for the fifth time in program history and Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series 4-0. The Titans defeated the Pioneers twice in 1962 and once in 1963 before earning a 77-45 victory last season.
Last Meeting: The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team extended its winning streak to four games as Jordan Mason led the Titans in scoring with 14 points off the bench in a 77-45 victory over Cal State East Bay at Titan Gym on December 30, 2014.
FOLLOW THE TITANS
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Instagram (FullertonTitans). In addition, the men's basketball team has established its own Twitter presence @FullertonHoops.
LAST TIME OUT
Tre' Coggins and Malcolm Brooks each turned in a 20-plus point performance Tuesday night at the Stott Center, but Cal State Fullerton could not complete the comeback effort as the Titans dropped an 89-82 decision to Portland State.
The Titans have now lost five straight contests as they fall to 6-6 on the year, while the Vikings snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 4-7.
Coggins led all scorers with 23 points, two shy of his career-high, as he connected on 8-of-17 field goals to shoot 47-percent in the game. He was 4-for-8 from beyond the arc and a perfect 3-for-3 from the line. Coggins also added five rebounds and two assists, but turned the ball over five times in the contest.
Brooks recorded his third 20-point game this season with 22 points after shooting 66.7percent from the floor (8-of-12). He was 4-for-6 from long distance and 2-for-3 from the charity stripe. Additionally, he contributed three assists, two steals and one defensive rebound.
The Titans also received a strong showing from freshman Khalil Ahmad who posted 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go along with a team-leading six rebounds and three assists.
Despite Cal State Fullerton's efforts and 47.7 shooting percentage, the Titans could not overcome a hot-shooting Portland State team that shot 52.6-percent from the field. The Vikings also led the Titans in assists (20-14), blocks (6-0) and steals (7-6).
Portland State was led offensively by Isaiah Pineiro's 21 points as he led five Vikings in double figures. Following Pineiro's efforts were Donivine Stewart (17 points), Zach Gengler (13 points), Bryce White (13 points) and Cameron Forte (10 points).
The game began with Portland State taking an early lead, but Cal State Fullerton was quick to counter and stay on the Vikings' heels. The first of three ties came at 7:56 in the first half when Coggins hit a three-pointer to even the score at 16-all.
However, the Vikings regained momentum and went on a 10-3 run to take a 26-19 lead. The hosts would extend their lead to as many as 10 points (31-21) in the first half, but the Titans refused to quit. Down by double digits with just two minutes left in the frame, Fullerton closed out the first half on a 7-0 run to close the gap and make it a one-possession game (31-28).
Coming back onto the floor, Brooks drained a three to even the score for the second time in the game at 19:29 in the second half. The Vikings countered and ran their lead back up to five, before the Titans tied it again on another three from Coggins at 16:21 as the game moved to 39-39.
Portland State pushed its lead back up to nine (52-43) at the 12:39 mark, but the Titans continued to chip away and eventually cut the deficit to one (57-56) at 8:56 after Brooks completed a three-point play courtesy of a layup followed by a free throw.
Despite the Titans' efforts, the Vikings jumped out in front again as they led by as many as 13 points (73-60) with just two and a half minutes remaining. With the game seemingly out of hand, Fullerton battled back once again and made it a two-possession game (81-75) with just 50 seconds left on the clock. The Titans cut the Vikings' lead to five on three occasions in the final minute of action but could not come any closer as Portland State went on to win the game, 89-82.
Cal State Fullerton opened the season winning 6-of-7 games to mark its best start since the 1986-87 school year when the Titans began the year with a 7-1 record. While putting together a 6-1 record, Fullerton rode a six-game winning streak, the longest such streak for the program since the 2011-12 season. However, since Dec. 6, the Titans have dropped five straight games as they now have a losing streak to snap.
Freshman guard Khalil Ahmad recorded his first double-double of his collegiate career in an 88-56 victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills. Ahmad tallied 15 points as he shot 60-percent overall (6-of-10) and led the squad with a career-high 12 rebounds. He also added four assists and one steal. He is the only Titan to have recorded a double-double so far this season. Ahmad has done well recording double figures as well. He has notched double-figures in eight of 12 games thus far. He has notched a pair of 20-point performances including a career-high 25 point effort against Portland on Dec. 19.
CLEANING UP THE GLASS
In 12 games thus far, the Titans have had a pair of post players who have reached double figures in rebounding. Kennedy Esume grabbed a career-high 19 boards in the season opener at Loyola Marymount and Jamar Akoh pulled down 18 against Portland at the Far West Classic. Akoh leads the squad with 70 rebounds for an average of 5.8 per game, while Esume is second on the team with 58 boards (4.8 rpg).
The Titans have three players on the squad who are averaging double-figures in Tre' Coggins (16.1 ppg), Malcolm Brooks (14.2 ppg) and Khalil Ahmad (12.5 ppg). As a team, the Titans are out-scoring their opponents 881-864 and out-shooting their counterparts 42-percent to 41-percent.
The Titans have done a soild job this season of playing as a team and sharing the assist duties. Leading the way for Cal State Fullerton is Lionheart Leslie with 26 assists on the year, while Tre' Coggins is second on the team with 21 helpers. As a team, the Titans have accumulated 143 assists for an average of 11.9 per game.
During a recent road trip to Seattle, Cal State Fullerton had several players turn in career-best performances. First, the Titans defeated Seattle behind three career-best efforts. Leading the way was Malcolm Brooks who poured in a career-high 20 points. Sheldon Blackwell added a career-best eight rebounds in the contest, seven of which were defensive boards. Finally, Lionheart Leslie dished out a career-high five assists. Leslie also connected on 8-of-8 free throws. The Titans followed those career-best performances with four more at Washington. In that contest, Brooks equaled his career-high with 20 points again, while Leslie registered a career-best 16 points and Jamar Akoh cleaned up the glass collecting a then career-high seven rebounds. Rounding out the Titans in career-bests was Kennedy Esume who grabbed three steals to lead the squad to a total of 10 in the game.
BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the first time in his career, Tre' Coggins was named Big West Conference Player of the Week after recording back-to-back career-high 25-point efforts to lead the Titans to a 2-0 record last week.
The San Juan Capistrano, Calif., native, registered his first 25-point effort in an 80-66 victory over Southern Utah, then came back and poured in another 25 points in a 75-66 win over Nevada helping Cal State Fullerton improve to 4-1 on the season to equal the Titans' best start since 2007-08.
The 6-3 guard shot 45.7-percent (16-of-35) from the field overall and an impressive 52.9-percent (9-for-17) from three-point range.
On the year, Coggins is leading the Titans in scoring with 15.3 points per game, while he adds 4.5 rebounds per game, 18 assists, 11 steals and two blocks.
TITAN TEAM NOTES
• Junior Malcolm Brooks has been on an offensive tear as of late. He poured in a career-high 22 points at Portland State and has notched double figures in nine games to lead the Titans.
• Redshirt junior guard Tre' Coggins had a pair of career games at Southern Utah and versus Nevada as he poured in a career-best 25 point effort in both games en route to being named Big West Conference Player of the Week.
• Freshman guard Khalil Ahmad turned in the first 20-plus point effort of his collegiate career as he drained a career-high 22 points at Southern Utah. The Corona, Calif., native came back and tallied 25 points against Portland for a new career-high.
The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team is scheduled to make a total of nine television appearances during the 2015-16 season.
The breakdown includes six appearances via ESPN3, two on the Pac-12 Network and one on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
BIG WEST BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT ALL-SESSION TICKETS ON SALE
Honda Center and the Big West Conference have announced that all-session tickets for the 2016 Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament will go on sale Friday, November 13.
All-session school reserved tickets will be available for $69.00. These seats will be located within a school's section and can be purchased through each institution's box office.
Premium all-session tickets located in the first four rows of seating will be available for $149.00. General admission all-session tickets are also available for $69.00. These seats can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, or by calling 800-745-3000.
The 2015 Big West Tournament will be hosted for the sixth straight year at Honda Center in Anaheim. The women's tournament first round and quarterfinal games will be played at UC Irvine on March 8-9. The men's tournament begins on March 10 at Honda Center with four quarterfinal games. The semifinals and championship games for both the men and women will take place March 11 and 12 at the Honda Center.
ON DECK FOR THE TITANS
Cal State Fullerton opens Big West Conference play at UC Riverside on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. The conference contest will be televised on ESPN3.