Seeley Leads Titans to Shootout Win in Houston

HOUSTON – Cal State Fullerton senior guard D.J. Seeley finished with a game-high 27 points to pace a quintet in double figures and the visiting Titans shot just under 61 percent from the field for the game Sunday afternoon, racing to a 93-86 victory over host Texas Southern at the H&PE Arena in Houston.

The win was the second straight for Fullerton, which evened its record at 5-5 overall and earned its first road victory since February of last season, snapping a six-game skid. The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-9 overall on the year.

Seeley hit on 11-of-14 from the field and dished out seven assists against only one turnover. Kwame Vaughn (16 points), Sammy Yeager (13), Jared Brandon (13), and Deuce Johnson (10) also reach double digits on the day as all seven players in the game for the Titans finished with at least five points.

Fred Sturdivant finished with 22 points (on 10-of-13 from the floor) and eight rebounds for Texas Southern, which had a trio reach 20 points on the day. Omar Strong had six of his seven makes on the day come from beyond the arc as he finished with 20 while Lawrence Johnson-Danner added 20 points on 8-of-10 from the field. Ray Penn had 12 assists to go with six points for the Tigers.

The Titans, who trailed at halftime in a game for the first time this season at 37-32, fell behind by as many as 10 points just four minutes into the second period, but found a way to rally after struggling in the second halves of their previous three losses. Four quick points by Johnson jumpstarted a 14-0 run for Fullerton, which got points from six different players during the spurt, giving the Titans a four-point, 52-48, advantage with 13:38 to play.

Fullerton's largest scoring half of the season (61 points) eventually saw the Titans' lead grow to as many as 10 points, shooting just over 71 percent (20-of-28) from the field for the period, as the Tigers never got closer than four points the rest of the way, despite shooting 60 percent from the floor themselves.

A back-and-forth start to the first half saw Fullerton lead by as many as four points midway through the period, but three consecutive three-pointers as part of an 18-6 burst over a five-minute span by Texas Southern built its lead to eight points at 27-19 with 8:21 to play. Eight-straight points by the Titans – four of those by Yeager – tied the score at 27, but the Tigers scored eight of the final 11 points of the half to carry a lead into the locker room at the break.

With final exams looming this week, Fullerton breaks until Saturday (Dec. 22) at 6:05 p.m., when the Titans host cross-Nutwood rival Hope International as the second game of a doubleheader with the Cal State Fullerton women's team, which meets San Jose State at 3 p.m. It is the final non-conference tune-up for the Titans, who open Big West Conference play on Saturday (Dec. 29) at 7:05 p.m. against UC Santa Barbara in a televised ESPNU contest.