Titans Travel to Texas for BracketBuster Match-Up

FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team will travel to the State of Texas on Saturday, Feb. 23, to take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as part of the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters series, it was announced Monday.

Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m. Pacific Time from the Dugan Wellness Center on campus and will be one of eight non-televised contests for the Big West Conference. Long Beach State, which will host Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 22, and Pacific, which travels to Western Michigan on Feb. 23, will be shown on ESPNU and ESPN3, respectively.

The meeting will mark the second-ever between the Titans and the Islanders after Texas A&M-Corpus Christi handed Fullerton an, 83-76, defeat in the 2002-03 season opener on Nov. 22 at the Hawaiian Airlines Tip-Off Tournament in Honolulu.

This year's contest will also be a reunion of sorts for Islanders' assistant coach Yaphett King, who played two seasons for the Titans from 2003-05, helping Fullerton to the round of 16 in the National Invitational Tournament as a senior. He then went on to play professionally in Austria and spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Redlands Community College, leading the team to 72 wins during his tenure, including 21 wins and a spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament in 2010-11.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, which will play a return game at Cal State Fullerton in either the 2013-14 or 2014-15 seasons as part of the BracketBusters agreement, is currently 2-17 overall on the season, including a 1-8 mark in Southland Conference play, posting wins over Texas Lutheran in its season opener on Nov. 10 and on the road at Lamar on Jan. 12. The Islanders, who have lost their last five, are led by junior forward Will Nelson, who leads the team in scoring (13.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg), while sophomore guard Johnathan Jordan is also in double figures at 13.1 ppg to go with a team-high 94 assists.

Cal State Fullerton is 7-6 all-time in the BracketBuster event, posting a 4-3 record in BracketBuster games and a 3-3 mark in return games, including a 66-53 win over Idaho State on Dec. 13 earlier this season. The Titans, who defeated Montana State in last year's BracketBuster game by the score of 80-66 at Titan Gym, have alternated wins and losses in their seven BracketBuster contests, going 0-3 on the road while posting a 4-0 mark at home.

This season's other BracketBuster matchups for Feb. 22 include:
Loyola Marymount at Cal Poly
Northern Colorado at UC Davis
Sacramento State at UC Santa Barbara
Northern Arizona at Hawaii
Cal State Northridge at Southern Utah
UC Irvine at Texas-Arlington
UC Riverside at Portland State

CAL STATE FULLERTON BRACKETBUSTER HISTORY
BRACKETBUSTER GAMES (4-3)
Date Opponent Result 
2.18.06  Eastern Washington W, 89-63 
2.17.07  at Wichita State  L, 77-62 
2.23.08 Portland State  W, 85-69 
2.21.09  at New Mexico State  L, 94-86 
2.20.10  SIU-Edwardsville  W, 78-74 
2.19.11  at Idaho State  L, 84-79 
2.18.12  Montana State  W, 80-66 
     
RETURN GAMES (3-3)
Date Opponent Result
11.26.06  at Eastern Washington  L, 110-100 
12.22.07  Wichita State  L, 84-80 
11.23.08  at Portland State  L, 76-75 
11.24.09  New Mexico State  W, 84-73 
12.3.11  at SIU-Edwardsville  W, 79-57 
12.13.12  Idaho State  W, 66-53 
TBD at Montana State TBD