Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara
Date: Saturday, Feb. 6
Time: 7:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Venue: The Thunderdome
Live Stats: UCSBGauchos.com
Series Record: UCSB leads 43-37
Cal State Fullerton heads to Santa Barbara, Calif., to take on the Gauchos of UCSB on Saturday, Feb. 6. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
OPPONENTS & HISTORY
UC Santa Barbara | 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6 | The Thunderdome
UC Santa Barbara brings a 9-12 overall record and a 3-5 Big West Conference mark into the game against Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos' three league wins came against Cal Poly, CSUN and UC Irvine.
Michael Bryson is the Gauchos' leading scorer averaging 19.1 points per game. He is also UCSB's leading rebounder with an average of 6.1 boards per game.
Head-To-Head: The Titans and the Gauchos will meet for the 81st time in program history and UC Santa Barbara leads the all-time series 43-37. The Gauchos have won the last three games against the Titans. Cal State Fullerton is 14-24 when playing UCSB in Santa Barbara and the Titans are looking for their first win inside the Thunderdome since 2009.
Last Meeting: Gabe Vincent scored a career-high 19 points, Alan Williams had 15 and Michael Bryson added 14 Saturday night as UC Santa Barbara rode a torrid first half to a 69-54 Big West Conference victory at Cal State Fullerton.
The Titans got 15 points from Lanerryl Johnson and nine from Moses Morgan while losing their fifth in a row and their second of the season to UCSB.
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LAST TIME OUT
The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team limited UC Davis to just 22 percent shooting in the second half as the Titans snapped a six-game losing streak with a 61-57 victory over the Aggies Thursday night at Titan Gym.
The win marked the first home conference victory of the season for Cal State Fullerton as the Titans' defense shut down UC Davis' leading scorers, Josh Fox and Siler Schneider, who combined for just two made field goals in the game.
The Titans led by as many as nine points in the close contest that saw 11 ties and seven lead changes. Despite UC Davis cutting the lead down to two with just 13 seconds remaining, Cal State Fullerton managed to pull out the victory.
Kennedy Esume led the Fullerton defense with 14 boards to help the Titans out-rebound the Aggies 51-33. Jamar Akoh added nine rebounds as he just missed a double-double with eight points, while Tim Myles pulled down a career-best nine boards in the game.
Offensively, the Titans received another strong performance from Khalil Ahmad who garnered 19 points in the game. He led a trio of double-figure scorers rounded out by Kyle Allman Jr. (13 points) and Tre' Coggins (10 points).
UC Davis' Neal Monson finished the game with a double-double after recording 12 points and 13 rebounds. He was one of three double-figure scorers for the Aggies including Darius Graham (16 points) and Brynton Lemar (13 points).
The see-saw match was a battle from the start. By halftime, the game had already been knotted seven times and the conference foes had exchanged leads on five occasions. With the game being a back-and-forth affair, it was no surprise that the contest was tied 26-26 at halftime.
In the second half, the Titans' defense stepped up. out-rebounding the Aggies 28-17 in the frame. With 20 defensive boards, Cal State Fullerton kept UC Davis' offense to just 22.2 percent shooting from the field and 15.4 percent from three-point range. The Aggies scored more than half of their second half points from the free throw line as they shot 85 percent (17-for-20) from the charity stripe.
The Titans broke the final tie of the game at 11:06 when Coggins was fouled beyond the arc. He sunk all three free throws to give Fullerton a 39-36 advantage that they would not relinquish.
CSF pushed its lead to as many as nine (57-48) with just 1:09 left to play, but UC Davis would not go away. The Aggies used the final minute of action to chip away and make it a two-point (59-57) game on a three from Graham with just 13 seconds remaining.
However, Ahmad put the game out of reach with a pair of made free throws with eight seconds left on the clock and Esume grabbed the final rebound of the game off of a missed jumper from Monson to preserve the win for Fullerton.
AHMAD ON FIRE
Freshman Khalil Ahmad has started in all eight Big West Conference games for Cal State Fullerton and during that time he has averaged 18.6 points per game to lead the Titans. The Corona, Calif., native has led Fullerton in scoring in five of its last six games and is shooting a team-leading 40.2 percent from the field in league ation.
Cal State Fullerton closes out the final month of the regular season playing five of its last eight games on the road. This season the Titans are 4-6 in away games. Three of the Titans' five road games will take place in the upcoming week as Fullerton heads to UCSB (Feb. 6), CSUN (Feb. 10) and Hawaii (Feb. 13) before returning to Titan Gym on Wednesday, Feb. 17 to host UC Irvine.
ENTERING THE RECORD BOOKS
Redshirt junior guard Tre' Coggins etched his name into the Cal State Fullerton record books with a career-best performance against CSUN in which he poured in 41 points to rank second all-time in the single-game annals. He also went 17-for-17 from the free throw line to set a Big West Conference record. Coggins is the first Titan to reach 41 points since Josh Akognon did it against CSU Bakersfield on Dec. 13, 2008. With 41 points, Coggins now ties for second for most points scored in the CSF record single-game record book. He is tied with Akognon, who reached the feat twice in 2008, and sits behind Bobby Brown who tallied 47 points in 2006 against Bethune-Cookman.
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. 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. Lionheart Leslie notched his first double-double as a Titan against Hawai'i with 17 points and 10 rebounds - both career-highs for Leslie. Most recently, Jamar Akoh made his way into the group with a double-double at UC Davis with a career-high 14 points to go along with 10 boards.
CLEANING UP THE GLASS
The Titans' post players did a soild job of cleaning up the glass against UC Davis on Thursday night. The trio of Kennedy Esume, Jamar Akoh and Tim Myles combined for 32 rebounds as they helped Cal State Fullerton out-rebound Davis 51-33 in a contest in which the Titan defense held the Aggies to just 22 percent shooting in the second half. On the year, Akoh is leading the Titans with an average of 6.5 rebounds per game.
TITAN TEAM NOTES
• The freshmen duo of Khalil Ahmad and Kyle Allman Jr., led the Titans at UC Irvine combining for 37 of the team's 59 points (nearly 63 percent). The pair have combined for 431 points on the year.
• Lionheart Leslie recorded the first double-double of his Titan career with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Hawai'i - both of which are new career-highs.
• The Titans have suffered through a pair of losing streaks this season after having dropped five games in a row from Dec. 6 - Dec. 29, then falling in six straigh games from Jan. 9 - Jan. 30. With the 61-57 win against UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton put an end to its most recent streak.
• Junior forward Rashard Todd has decided to leave the team.
• Redshirt senior guard Lanerryl Johnson has decided to leave the team.
BWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - TIMES TWO
Tre' Coggins has been named Big West Player of the Week on two occasions this season.
Coggins collected his second honor after posting a career-best 41 points against CSUN to rank second in the Cal State Fullerton single-game record book, while becoming the first Titan in eight years to reach the 40-point plateau.
Additionally, Coggins tied a Big West single-game free throw percentage record as he connected on all 17 attempts. He is just the second player in league history to accomplish such a feat. He finished the week shooting 95.7 percent (22-of-23) from the free throw line.
Prime Ticket has selected Cal State Fullerton's men's basketball game at Long Beach State on Saturday, Feb. 20, as a wild card selection for a live television broadcast. The 7:30 p.m., contest will be played at the Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State.
The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team is scheduled to make a total of 11 television appearances during the 2015-16 season.
The breakdown includes seven appearances via ESPN3, two on the Pac-12 Network and two on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
BIG WEST BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT ALL-SESSION TICKETS ON SALE
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.
Fans can call the Cal State Fullerton ticket office to purchase all-session tickets as well at: 657-279-CSUF.
The 2016 Big West Tournament will be hosted for the sixth straight year at Honda Center in Anaheim. The men's tournament begins on Thursday, March 10 at Honda Center with four quarterfinal games. The semifinals and championship games for both the men and women will take place Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 at Honda Center.
Additional ticket information for the 2016 Big West Basketball Tournament is available at HondaCenter.com. For up to date team schedules and general information regarding the 2016 Big West Basketball Tournament, please visit BigWestTournament.com.
ON DECK FOR THE TITANS
Cal State Fullerton continues its road win with a contest at CSUN on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.