Cal State Fullerton at UC Riverside
Cal State Fullerton opens Big West Conference action at UC Riverside on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. The contest will be televised live on ESPN3.
Following the conference opener on the road, the Titans return home to host Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 6 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
UC Riverside | 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 7 | SRC Arena
UC Riverside owns a 9-7 overall record and sits in third place in the Big West Conference standings. The Highlanders are 6-2 when playing at home and are looking to get back on the winning track after dropping their last two games to Ohio (59-81) and Cal State Bakersfield (48-67). Jaylen Bland is leading the Highlanders offensively with 261 points to average 16.3 points per game. He also leads the team with 22 steals, while adding 58 rebounds, 34 assists and one block. Cleaning up the glass for the Highlanders is Taylor Johnson who averages 8.2 rebounds per game and is second on the team with 14.5 points per game. Rounding out the double-figure scorers for UCR is Secean Johnson with an average of 11.2 points per game.
Head-To-Head: The Titans and Highlanders will meet for the 48th time in program history and Cal State Fullerton holds the edge in the all-time series 27-20. Fullerton is looking to even the slate with UCR after having lost both contests a year ago in overtime.
Last Meeting: Jaylen Bland scored 25 points and Taylor Johns posted a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 15 rebounds to lead UC Riverside to a 71-66 overtime Big West Conference victory Saturday night and spoil Fullerton's Homecoming festivities.
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LAST TIME OUT
Behind a double-double from Kennedy Esume and four double-figure scoring efforts, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak with a 75-52 victory over Cal State East Bay Saturday night.
The Titans close out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 7-6 overall record, while the Pioneers' record remains at 5-7 as the game was an exhibition contest for the Division II visitors.
Esume turned in a solid performance as the 6-foot-10 center posted his first-career double-double in a Titans' uniform with 14 rebounds and a season-high 11 points. He also recorded a pair of blocks in the contest.
Tre' Coggins led the offense with 19 points, marking the sixth time he's led the Titans in scoring this season. The redshirt junior guard also added six rebounds, two assists and one steal. He set the tone for Cal State Fullerton's scoring attack as Khalil Ahmad, Lionheart Leslie and Esume each recorded double-figures in the game.
Ahmad registered 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal, while Leslie garnered 13 points, four boards and three assists.
For Cal State East Bay, Alex Manu was the only Pioneer to reach double-figures with 14 points. Marquise Tolson led the team with six rebounds, while Jordan Balser dished out three assists to lead the squad.
Cal State Fullerton shot 43.4-percent from the field, while the Titans' defense held the Pioneers to just 30.5-percent shooting in the game. Additionally, Fullerton out-rebounded Cal State East Bay, 46-34, while the Titans also held the advantage in points off of turnovers (19-12), second chance points (15-8) and points in the paint (28-10).
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, beginning Dec. 6, the Titans suffered five straight losses to Washington, Loyola Marymount, Oregon State, Portland and Portland State. After defeating Cal State East Bay last Saturday, thte Titans are looking to start another winning streak.
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. Last Saturday, senior center Kennedy Esume notched a double-double of his own as he registered a season-high 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds against Cal State East Bay.
CLEANING UP THE GLASS
The Titans have had a pair of post players who have done their job cleaning up the glass. Senior center Kennedy Esume grabbed a career-high 19 boards in the season opener at Loyola Marymount and notched a double-double against Cal State East Bay with 14 rebounds to go along with 11 points. Not to be outdone by his teammate, sophomore forward Jamar Akoh pulled down 18 against Portland at the Far West Classic. Akoh and Esume have recorded 70 and 72 rebounds, respectively, for an average fo 5.8 and 5.5 rebounds per game.
The Titans have three players on the squad who are averaging double-figures in Tre' Coggins (16.3 ppg), Malcolm Brooks (14.2 ppg) and Khalil Ahmad (12.8 ppg). As a team, the Titans are out-scoring their opponents 956-916 for a 3.1 scoring margin and out-shooting their counterparts 42-percent to 40-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 29 assists on the year, while Tre' Coggins and Khalil Ahmad are second on the team with 23 helpers each. As a team, the Titans have accumulated 153 assists for an average of 11.8 per game.
THE TITANS ARE UNDEFEATED WHEN...
The Titans have recorded a perfect record of 4-0 when leading teams at halftime. Additionally, Cal State Fullerton has not lost a game when the Titans commit less turovers than their opponents (7-0).
IN THE BIG WEST
Cal State Fullerton has several players ranked in the top 10 in the Big West statistics. Leading the way are Malcolm Brooks and Tre' Coggins. Brooks comes in fourth in free throw percentage (.806), sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.451), seventh in scoring (14.2 ppg) and ninth in three-point field goals made (1.9 per game). Coggins ranks second in three-point made field goals (3.1 per game), third in scoring (16.3 ppg) and ninth in free throw percentage (.765). Khalil Ahmad, Jamar Akoh and Kennedy Esume's names also appear in the conference top 10.
During the Titans' 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 then-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 then-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.
• Junior forward Rashard Todd has decided to leave the team.
• ESPN has selected Cal State Fullerton's men's basketball game against UC Riverside on Saturday, Jan. 30, as a wild card selection for broadcast. The 7 p.m., contest will be played at Titan Gym and broadcast live on ESPN3.
The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team is scheduled to make a total of 10 television appearances during the 2015-16 season.
The breakdown includes seven 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 returns home to host Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m. Live stats, video and audio will be available on FullertonTitans.com.