November 18, 2012

Titans Finish Off Phoenix, 93-82, to Place Second in Reno

RENO, NV – Kwame Vaughn scored 29 points and Sammy Yeager added 21 Sunday afternoon as Cal State Fullerton hung on for a 93-82 victory over Green Bay on the final day of the World Vision Classic at the Lawlor Events Center at the University of Nevada.

The Titans (2-2) take second place at 2-1 in the tourney after host Nevada finished a perfect 3-0 after edging Southern Utah, 79-61. Green Bay got 20 points and seven rebounds from Alec Brown but fell to 1-2 in the tourney and 2-2 overall. Jordan Fouse and Sultan Muhammad each had 11 for the Phoenix and Fouse led all rebounders with nine.

Vaughn made 8-of-10 shots from the floor including 2-of-3 treys and was 11-for-11 at the foul line to go with a team-high eight rebounds and four assists.  D. J. Seeley scored 15 points before fouling out with almost five minutes to play.

Fullerton shot 55 percent from the floor including 10-of-20 -- 5-of-6 by Yeager -- from the three-point line to offset Green Bay's 41-26 rebounding edge.  Green Bay made only 4-of-24 three-point tries and was 43 percent from the floor overall.

The Titans led by as many as 26 points at 65-39 with about 15 minutes to play before the much taller Phoenix began a comeback.  Green Bay got as close as 81-77 with 2:56 to play on a layup by Muhammad.  But Vaughn responded with a three-point play at 2:43 to make it 84-77 and he made 6-of-6 free throws down the stretch as Fullerton gradually pulled away.

"It was a great defensive effort, particularly in the first half," said Interim Head Coach Andy Newman. "We really pressured the ball and created havoc and that helped us into our transition game.

"Our game plan was to not let them run plays and we did that for 30 minutes.  Then we relaxed and started playing the scoreboard instead of defense.

"It was a tremendous effort by Kwame to take over the game down the stretch."

The Titans exploded out of the gate, hitting nine of their first 10 shots including 5-of-6 three-point tries to build a big early lead that crested at 30-8 midway through the first half.  Green Bay missed its first 10 3-point tries but finally started getting the ball into its 7-foot-1 center Brown and got as close as 14 points at 41-27 before falling back by 18 at the half, 48-30.  Vaughn had 18 points before intermission to lead Fullerton and  Brown had 10.  

Fullerton next plays its home opener Friday night with an inaugural meeting with San Diego Christian College at 7:05 p.m.