Game 30 | Big West Tournament Quarterfinals
No. 8 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 1 Hawai'i
Weekly Release (.pdf)
Cal State Fullerton, the No. 8 seed at this week's Big West Tournament, will play No. 1 seed and co-Big West regular season champion Hawai'i in a quarterfinal game at 2:30 p.m., Thursday at Honda Center. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
TICKETS & PROMOTIONS
Big West Conference Men's Basketball Tournament all-session and quarterfinals tickets are on sale through the CSUF Athletics Ticket Office. All-session tickets in the Cal State Fullerton Section are $69 each.Quarterfinal general admission tickets are $30 each and good for all games on Thursday, March 10 at Honda Center.Tickets can be purchased until 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, by calling the CSUF Athletics Ticket Office at 657-278-2783.Big West Conference Student Tickets are $10 and are purchased thru the Honda Center Box Office. Cal State Fullerton students must present their Titan Card to purchase their student ticket. One ticket per student. Student tickets will be for the designated CSUF student section.
OPPONENTS & HISTORY
Hawai'i | 2:30 p.m. (PT) Thursday, March 10 | Honda Center
Fox Sports Prime Ticket | PXP: Kevin Barnett | Analyst: Corey Maggette | Sideline: Rahshaun Haylock
Hawai'i won its first Big West Conference title on Thursday with a come-from-behind 67-65 victory at UC Davis.Junior forward Stefan Jankovic was voted Big West Player of the Year, and Eran Ganot was voted Big West Coach of the Year on Monday.The 'Bows lead the league in scoring (77.8 ppg), scoring margin (+10.6 ppg), rebounding margin (+4.4), assists (15.8) and steals (7.8).UH has won eight of its last 10 entering the Big West Tournament.
Head-To-Head: The Titans and 'Bows will face each other for the 13th time in program history on Thursday, and Hawai'i leads the all-time series 10-2. Hawai'i has won the last nine meetings. Cal State Fullerton is looking for its first win over Hawai'i since 2008 when the Titans won 90-76 in Honolulu.
Last Meeting: Cal State Fullerton trailed by 17 points early in the first half and nearly erased that deficit, but the Titans could not keep pace with Hawai'i and suffered a 76-59 loss at the Stan Sheriff Center on Feb. 13, as Stefan Jankovic led the 'Bows with a near double-double of 16 points and nine rebounds.
In front of 8,401 in attendance, Hawai'i had five players reach double figures while knocking down eight buckets from long distance as a team.
Tre' Coggins scored a game-high 18 points for the Titans.
BIG WEST TOURNAMENT HISTORY
• Cal State Fullerton has an overall record of 22-34 (.393) at the Big West Tournament, and the Titans enter the tournament having lost five in a row dating back to 2010.
• Fullerton did not advance to the Big West Tournament in 2015.
• Fullerton's last win at the Big West Tournament came in 2010 when the Titans, the No. 5 seed, opened the tournament with an 84-76 win over eighth-seeded CSUN in the first round of play.
• Thursday will mark the first meeting between Cal State Fullerton and Hawai'i in Big West Tournament play. In the overall series, the 'Bows have a commanding 10-2 lead, including sweeping the 2015-16 season series.
• The last time the Titans were the No. 8 seed at the Big West Tournament, Fullerton suffered a 75-66 loss to Long Beach State in 2013. The Titans are 3-4 in Big West Tournament quarterfinal games, 1-3 as the No. 8 seed and 0-8 vs. the No. 1 seed.
BIG WEST TOURNAMENT BREAKDOWN
Cal State Fullerton finished ninth in the Big West Conference standings, but is the eighth seed at the Big West Tournament as CSUN was ineligible for postseason play.Hawai'i and UC Irvine each finished league play with records of 13-3, serving as co-regular season champions. However, UH received the No. 1 seed due to the tiebreaker, sweeping the season series with the Anteaters.
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.
In Cal State Fullerton's last three games, sophomore forward Jamar Akoh has led the Titans in both rebounds and assists in each of those contests, as well as leading Fullerton across the board - points (19), rebounds (10) and assists (3) - in the March 2 loss to Long Beach State. In his last three games, Akoh is averaging 11.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, compared to season averages of 5.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 1.5 apg.
AHMAD VOTED FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR; COGGINS HONORABLE MENTION
Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad was named the 2015-16 Big West Conference Men's Basketball Freshman of the Year, as voted on by the league's nine coaches, it was announced on Monday. In addition, Ahmad received all-Big West honorable mention recognition along with teammate Tre' Coggins. Ahmad is the third Cal State Fullerton student-athlete, and first since Bobby Brown in 2003-04, to be bestowed with the Freshman of the Year honor. The 6-foot-4 guard broke Brown's single-season freshman scoring record of 369, and has scored 424 points for the Titans. Ahmad's 14.6 points per game average ranks second on the squad this season and seventh in the Big West Conference as the league's top scoring freshman. Coggins, named Big West honorable mention, is the Titans' leading scorer averaging 16.1 points per game, which ranks third in the Big West Conference. The San Juan Capistrano, Calif., native, also ranks in the league's top 10 for free-throw percentage (3rd, .853) and three-pointers made per game (2nd, 2.7).
LAST TIME OUT
Long Beach State's Justin Bibbins sank a layup as the buzzer sounded to end a wild Big West Conference game as the 49ers defeated Cal State Fullerton, 75-73, at Titan Gym on Wednesday, March 2. The game was the regular season finale for Fullerton (10-19, 3-13). The Titans erased an 8-0 deficit to start the game, and in the final seconds looked as if victory was in their grasp as freshman Khalil Ahmad was fouled behind the three-point line with six seconds left to play. He made 2-of-3 from the stripe to tie the game at 73-73, prior to LBSU's (17-13, 10-4 BWC) coast-to-coast game-winning drive down the floor.Ahmad finished the game with 18 points and eight rebounds, but it was sophomore forward Jamar Akoh that led Fullerton with his third double-double of the season. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native scored a career-high 19 points and added a game-high10 rebounds while also leading the Titans with three assists.Lionheart Leslie poured in 15 points as the third Fullerton player in double figures.The 49ers were led by Nick Faust's game-high 30 points, while Bibbins added 14 and a game-high six assists.
Cal State Fullerton closed out the final month of the regular season playing five of its last eight games on the road. This season the Titans are 5-10 in away games. Those five road games took place in the last three weeks: UCSB (Feb. 6), CSUN (Feb. 10), Hawai'i (Feb. 13), Long Beach State (Feb. 20) and Cal Poly (Feb. 25).
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. The sophomore forward recorded his second double-double of the year scoring 12 points and adding 11 rebounds in a 75-67 loss at CSUN. His third double-double of the year consisted of 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 75-73 loss to Long Beach State.
CLEANING UP THE GLASS
The Titans' post players did a solid job of cleaning up the glass against UC Davis on Feb. 4. 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 6.4 rebounds per game.
TITAN TEAM NOTES
• The Titans have used 15 different starting lineups this season.
• Fullerton's .547 shooting percentage and .533 three-point field goal shooting percentage both set season highs at Cal Poly on Feb. 25.
• Sophomore forward Jamar Akoh dished seven assists - a Titan season high and new career high - at Cal Poly.
• Fullerton's 57 points scored at Long Beach State on Feb. 20 set a new season low.
• The first half vs. UC Irvine on Feb. 17 contained the Titans most productive first 20 minutes of basketball during the season as the CSUF matched season bests with points (42) and assists (11) and set season highs in field goal percentage (.571) and 3-pointers made (7).
• On the flip side, against the Anteaters, the Titans allowed the most points (96), most field goals made (34), highest field goal percentage (.607), most 3-pointers (13), highest 3-point field goal percentage (.542) and assists (27) for an opponent this season.
• The freshmen duo of Khalil Ahmad and Kyle Allman Jr., led the Titans at UC Irvine on Jan. 20, combining for 37 of the team's 59 points (nearly 63 percent). The pair have combined for 575 points on the year.
• The Titans have suffered through three losing streaks this season after having dropped five games in a row from Dec. 6 - Dec. 29, then falling in six straight games from Jan. 9 - Jan. 30, while its latest streak dated from Feb. 6-20.
• 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.
The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team is scheduled to make a total of 13 television appearances during the 2015-16 season.
The breakdown includes eight appearances via ESPN3, two on the Pac-12 Network and three on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.