Bakersfield Opens Stretch at Home For Fullerton
TIP OFF: After playing six of its first seven away from home, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team (3-4 overall) finally gets to play an extended stretch at Titan Gym, hosting CSU Bakersfield on Thursday night (Dec. 6) at 7:05 p.m., in its lone contest of the week, tipping-off a string that sees the Titans play four of their next five in front of the hometown faithful.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans' athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).
STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH'S MOUTH: Fans can preview the 2012-13 men's basketball season as the Cal State Fullerton sports information staff sat down with Interim Head Coach Andy Newman to talk about the upcoming campaign. View the video, shot in stunning HD by Matt Brown, on Cal State Fullerton's Official YouTube page at www.YouTube.com/CSFAthletics.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, Cal State Fullerton's home games, as well as selected road contests, can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran voice of the Titans, Mike Martinez, will have the call live from Titan Gym on Thursday night.
TITANS WITH AN "ASSIST" ON THANKSGIVING: The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team has much to be thankful for and, with the holiday season upon us, the Titan players, coaches, and staff took a moment out of their busy schedules to give back to those less fortunate on Thanksgiving morning.
Working in conjunction with The Cheesecake Factory for its 10th annual event, the Titans worked alongside other volunteers at the Salvation Army's Anaheim Temple Corps Community Center, serving up a full-service, sit-down meal for approximately 500 people.
The complete story, along with photos from the event, is available here: http://www.fullertontitans.com/sports/m-baskbl/2012-13/releases/20121127ay8cwk.
SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: CSU Bakersfield enters the week with a 2-5 overall record, but the Roadrunners have won two of their last three, edging Westmont (77-74) and routing Texas-San Antonio (85-52) around a loss at Wyoming (63-49)... senior guard Stefon Carter leads a tightly-bunched trio in double figures at 12.9 points to go with a team-high 4.9 rebounds per game... sophomore guard Javante Maynor, a transfer from Georgia State, and junior Brandon Barnes, a transfer from Lipscomb, are averaging 12.3 points and 12.0 points per game, respectively... Barnes is the team's best shooter at 44.4 percent as Bakersfield is hitting just 38 percent as a team... Head Coach Rod Barnes is in her second season at the helm after leading the Roadrunners to a Division I-best 16-15 record last season and a berth to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH BAKERSFIELD: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Bakersfield, 12-5, but the Titans have lost the last three-straight to the Roadrunners (all decided by single digits), including being swept in a home-and-home last year by the scores of 73-66 at home and 67-65 in Bakersfield... Fullerton's last win in the series came on Nov. 27, 2011, posting an, 85-75, win at home -- the last in a 12-game winning streak for the Titans... Bakersfield won the first two meetings between the two schools: 69-54 on Jan. 5, 1973, and 64-57 on Feb. 24, 1973... Fullerton is 7-2 against Bakersfield at Titan Gym.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING!!: With its win over San Diego Christian on Nov. 23, the Titans extended their home court winning streak to 13 consecutive contests dating back to a, 73-66, loss to CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 26 of last season. The run is tied for the 10th-longest active streak in the nation entering the week and is halfway to the longest run in the NCAA currently held by Syracuse, which has won 26 straight at home. Kentucky had held the mark, but lost to Baylor at home on Dec. 1 to end a run of 55-consecutive victories.
BUT ON THE FLIP SIDE...: Two more losses on the road last weekend have extended the Titans' road losing streak to six (0-4 this season) dating back to last year's one-point win on the road at Pacific (69-68) on Feb. 23 in Stockton, Calif.
DESPITE LOSSES, TITANS STILL AMONG NATION'S BEST: According to the NCAA statistics released on Monday morning, the Titans continue to rank among the top five in the nation in scoring, standing third at 86.1 ppg entering this week's contests. The Titans also rank among the top 10 in three other categories: 8th in three-pointers per game and ninth in both three-point percentage (.429) and assists per game (18.0 apg). Fullerton is also among the top 25 in field goal percentage (No. 15 at .495) and steals per game (23rd at 9.9 spg) as a team while senior D.J. Seeley ranks eighth in the nation in steals (3.14 spg) and is joined by senior Kwame Vaughn in the top 100 in scoring, standing No. 40 and No. 65, respectively.
IN THE "CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR" CATEGORY: Both of Cal State Fullerton's losses last weekend in the Pacific Northwest came by fewer that five points and three of the Titans four defeats this season have come by single digits. With the exception of the season opener against Stanford, Fullerton has not faced a deficit of more than six points in its other six games this season.
WAIT, THERE'S A "SECOND" HALF?: Cal State Fullerton has either led (six times) or has been tied (once) at the half in all seven of its games this season, but has struggled to find its consistency in the second half, outscored by a total of 14 points after the break after holding a 92-point advantage in first-half scoring this season. The Titans have allowed opponents to shoot just over 44 percent from the floor and shoot 35 more free throws after the break after holding them to 32.3 percent and two fewer attempts from the line in the first 20 minutes.
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SUPER SIXTH MAN: Sophomore Alex Harris has proved to be invaulable off the bench for the Titans through seven games, standing fourth on the team in scoring at 9.9 ppg and shooting 52 percent from the field in the process, including .484 from three-point range. He is one of only three Titans with double digits in steals on the defensive end and has reached double figures in points in four of the team's seven contests -- including a career-high 15 points in Fullerton's win over Southern Utah.
D.J. GIVETH AND HE TAKETH AWAY: When not scoring, multi-faceted senior D.J. Seeley has also been doing the little things, entering the week ranked tied for sixth in the conference in assists (4.00 apg) and leading the Big West in steals (3.14 spg). Seeley is one of only three players ranked in the top 10 in the league in both categories (Cal State Northridge's Josh Greene is third in both categories while UC Davis' Corey Hawkins is ninth in assists and fifth in steals).
STOP! THIEF!: Aside from Seeley, two other Titans also rank among the league's top thieves this week as freshman Jared Brandon is seventh in the league at 1.57 spg and sophomore Alex Harris stands ninth at 1.43 apg.
7-FOR-7: Seniors D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn remain as the only two Titans to reach double figures in all seven games this season. Dating back to last season, Seeley, who notched back-to-back 20-point games last weekend in Washington, has reached double figures in his last 13 consecutive games while Vaughn, who has 20-or-more points three times this season, has a current streak of 11 games. Seeley's last single-digit game was on Feb. 18, 2011, against Montana State (6 points) while Vaughn's was on Feb. 25, 2011, at UC Davis (6 points).
HE'S LIKE A MACHINE: Buoyed by those seven-straight double-digit scoring performances to start the year, Seeley is averaging a team-best 19.4 ppg which, if the season ended today (and we know it's early), would be the highest scoring average by a Titan since 2008-09 when Josh Akognon averaged 23.9 ppg -- the second-highest single-season average in the history of the program (Leon Wood, 24.0 ppg, 1983-84).
"DEUCE" WITH MORE THAN A DEUCE: Junior forward Deuce Johnson is showing some spark over the team's last three contests, scoring more points combined in those three games (27) than in his previous four contests combined (24), including a career-high 10 points against San Diego Christian off the bench. Inserted into the starting lineup on Sunday against Washington, Johnson responded with his best rebounding performance of the year, grabbing a career-best seven boards (four on the offensive glass) to go with eight points, hitting 4-of-7 from the floor. In seven games this year, Johnson has shot 50 percent or better six times.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A POINT MAKES: Score 80 points this season and the Titans have been good, posting a 3-0 record when scoring at least that many points in 2012-13. Score 79 or fewer, however, and the Titans have been not so good, finishing 0-4 when at that mark or lower.
SOMETHING'S OFF: Cal State Fullerton finished last Friday's game at Eastern Washington shooting just 38.1 percent as a team -- the only time this season that the Titans have shot worse than 40 percent from the field in a game this season. It was the lowest percentage for Fullerton since the Titans finished .355 from the field in the last year's finale at LMU in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. However, the trend doesn't seem to be one to continue as Fullerton has only been outshot from the field twice in seven games this season (at Stanford and at Eastern Washington) and has been the hotter-shooting team from three-point range in every game thus far.
BETTER ON THE BOARDS: Despite not having a player taller than 6-foot-7 in a game this season, the Titans put up their second-highest rebounding total of the year at Washington on Sunday, posting 43 boards overall and grabbing a season-high 15 offensive rebounds in the two-point loss to the Huskies. Fullerton, which enters the week ranked eighth in the Big West in rebounding (34.7 rpg), has posted its top-two rebounding performances in the last three games (50 versus San Diego Christian) and has grabbed double-digit offensive rebounds in each of its last three contests after finishing with no more than nine boards on the offensive end in each of its first four games.
#BULLSEYE: The marksmanship medal should go to the Titans early on in the 2012-13 season as Fullerton is the Big West Conference's best shooting team thus far, leading the league in field goal percentage (.495 to UC Davis' .486) and three-point percentage (.429 to Pacific's .393) while ranking second in free throw percentage (.752 to Cal State Northridge's .784) entering the week. The Titans also lead the league with 67 made three-pointers overall (UC Irvine is second with 55) and 9.57 made per game (UC Davis is second with 9.00 pg).
ALRIGHT, YOU'VE MADE YOUR POINT: With their win over San Diego Christian, the Titans improved to 53-1 all-time when scoring at least 100 points as the 106 points rank among the top 20 point totals in school history. Earlier this season, Cal State Fullerton's 112 points in a 43-point win over Southern Utah on Nov. 17 is tied for the sixth-highest point total in school history and the most for the Titans since they put up 118 points against Redlands just over a year ago to the day on Nov. 11, 2011. The record stands at 128 points against Chapman University on Jan. 8, 1972, in a 128-88 victory.
NOT HALF BAD: Fullerton's 56 points in the first half against San Diego Christian marked the second-high single-half point total for the Titans this season, trailing only the 57-point first half against Southern Utah. Fullerton has scored 50 points in a half four times this season, reaching the mark in both periods against the Thunderbirds and Hawks.
CENTURY CITY: Fullerton's 106 points against San Diego Christian College marked the second time this season that the Titans have reached triple digits on the scoreboard -- the fourth time in the last six seasons that they have accomplished that feat. Fullerton hasn't scored a 100 points in three games in a single season since the 2006-07 campaign when the Titans reached the century mark four times.
REAL STEAL REDUX: After scouring the record books, we were able to come up with another nugget for the Titans' 20-steal performance against Southern Utah on Nov. 17, as the total marked the most for the Fullerton defense since a 27-steal night against Lamar on Nov. 24, 1989, as part of a, 104-67, victory. The 20 swipes against Southern Utah were the most for a member of the Big West since Cal State Northridge finished with 24 swipes against Redlands on Nov. 15, 2006 and, of those 20 steals against the Thunderbirds, senior D.J. Seeley finished with nearly a third of the team's total as his career-high seven steals were just two shy of the school's single game record set by Cedric Ceballos against San Jose State on Jan. 19, 1989.