Titans Look for Revenge Against Rival 49ers on ESPNU

NEXT UP FOR THE TITANS...
Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 | 8 p.m.
Long Beach, Calif.
Walter Pyramid (4,200)
TV: ESPNU/WatchESPN.com
Talent: Rich Cellini & Danny Schayes
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon  | LBSU Release 

TIP OFF: Round two with long-time rival Long Beach State is on tap for the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team (12-11 overall, 5-6 in the Big West Conference for sixth place) as the Titans and 49ers will lock horns on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid in front of an ESPNU nationally televised contest.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans' athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).

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. Links will be made available on the men's basketball schedule page with veteran voice of the Titans, Mike Martinez, handling the play-by-play.

CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?: Because the game will be broadcast live on ESPNU, there will be no live stream via Big West TV from the Walter Pyramid. Fans without access to ESPNU can watch online at http://es.pn/mbb-CSUFvsCSULB.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: This week's two rivalry games at Long Beach State and UC Irvine will mark Fullerton's fifth and sixth appearances on some sort of television broadcast this season -- its final "scheduled" appearance with the possibility of three "wild card game" appearances at the end of the year... the Titans are 21-17 on television in the last seven-plus seasons -- including a 6-1 mark during the 2007-08 campaign... Fullerton is 2-2 on television thus far this season after falling at Stanford on Nov. 12 and at Washington on Dec. 2 on the Pac-12 Network before defeating UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 29 on ESPNU and UC Riverside on Feb. 9 on Fox Sports Prime Ticket... the Titans are just 4-3 on TV dating back to last season.

TITANS DRAW TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI FOR BRACKETBUSTER: Cal State Fullerton 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 (Feb. 4). Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m. Pacific Time from the Dugan Wellness Center on campus. 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. For more information on the event, please visit http://www.fullertontitans.com/sports/m-baskbl/2012-13/releases/20130204aoeqcz for the complete release.

SCOUTING THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the week with a 14-9 record and a 10-2 mark in Big West play for first place... the 49ers split their two contests last week, falling at Hawaii (94-73) to end an eight-game winning streak before edging Cal State Northridge on the road (83-80)... Long Beach State is 8-2 at home this season, winning seven straight since a 64-59 loss to Fresno State on Dec. 3, and carries a 23-game home winning streak against conference opponents into Wednesday's night's clash with the Titans... senior James Ennis leads the offense, averaging 17.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting .483 from the floor and blocking 37 shots... sophomore Mike Caffey (12.3 ppg) and junior Tony Freeland (10.2 ppg) are also in double figures... Caffey leads the team with 4.2 assists per game while Freeland is shooting a team-high .597 from the field in the last 12 games since becoming eligible in December.

HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers lead the all-time series with the Titans, 61-43, after an 81-73 win in Fullerton earlier this year to snap a three-game losing streak in Orange County... Fullerton has won seven of 11 in the series dating back to 2007-08... the Titans are just 6-12 at The Walter Pyramid, having lost their last two trips to Long Beach... Fullerton's last win at Long Beach State was on Feb. 4, 2010, in an 81-75 overtime victory -- the last in a string of three-straight wins over the 49ers on their home floor.

LAST TIME OUT -- CAL STATE FULLERTON 79, UC RIVERSIDE 67: Senior Sammy Yeager scored 25 of his team-high 30 points in the second half and the Titans rallied from 11 points down after the break to pull away from the host Highlanders. D.J. Seeley added 21 points and Kwame Vaughn had 13 points and six assists as Fullerton shot better than 65 percent in the second half and hit 8-of-14 from beyond the arc, using a late 10-2 burst to take the lead for good.

LAST TIME OUT VS. LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State's James Ennis (23 pts., 11 reb.) and Keala King (12 pts., 11 reb.) each had double-doubles and the 49ers used a late 8-0 run to break open a one possession game en route to an 81-71 win at Titan Gym on Jan. 19. Senior Sammy Yeager had 22 points, D.J. Seeley added 17, and Deuce Johnson had 10 points in the loss, which featured eight ties and 16 lead changes. A lay-up by King with his team up 70-68 with 4:32 to go jumpstarted the winning run and Long Beach finished with a 12-3 burst over the final three minutes to ice the victory.

19: That's all senior D.J. Seeley needs in two games this week to reach the 1,000-point milestone, entering games against Long Beach State and UC Irvine with 981 career points in 54 career games in a standout two seasons with the Titans. Should he reach the mark, he would be the first Fullerton player since Josh Akognon in 2009 to reach the plateau and stands just 30 points back of Joe Small (1990-92), who ranks No. 20 on the all-time scoring list with 1,011 career points.

FASTEST TO 1,000?: Should Seeley get his 19 points to reach 1,000 for his career, he would be ONE of the quickest in school history to the mark, but he would not be THE quickest. That honor belongs to the great Leon Wood, who played only three seasons for Cal State Fullerton from 1981-84, but reached 1,000 career points in just 46 games, edging out two-year stars Josh Akognon (2007-09) and Cedric Ceballos (1988-90) by a single contest. A complete top-10 list of the quickest Titans to 1,000 points is below:

1. Leon Wood -- 46 games 

t2. Josh Akognon -- 47 games 

t2. Cedric Ceballos -- 47 games 

4. Joe Small -- 54 games 

5. Mark Hill -- 56 games 

6. Ike Harmon -- 64 games

t7. Bobby Brown -- 66 games

t7. Pape Sow -- 66 games

9. Chris Dade -- 78 games

10. Frank Robinson -- 79 games

TWO IN ONE YEAR?: Should both Seeley and Vaughn reach the 1,000-point plateau this season, they would become only the fifth pair in school history to accomplish the milestone in the same year:

• Keith Anderson (1,240), Kevin Heenan (1,163) & Mike Niles (1,014) in 1978-79

• Tony Neal (1,327) and Gary Davis (1,165) in 1984-85

• Cedric Ceballos (1,284) and Mark Hill (1,040) in 1989-90

• Agee Ward (1,017) and Joe Small (1,011) in 1991-92

TITANS' OFFENSE HANGS TOUGH IN NCAA TOP THREE: Despite being held under 80 points for the 13th time in 23 games this season, the Titans held steady among the nation's top-five scoring offenses entering Wednesday night's game as Fullerton ranks No. 4 in the NCAA at 81.8 ppg -- one of only four teams entering this week averaging better than 80 points per game, joining Northwestern State (84.3 ppg), Indiana (83.2 ppg), and Iona (82.6 ppg).

ELSEWHERE IN THE NATION: Fullerton also ranks among the top five teams in the NCAA in free throw percentage (2nd, .783) while standing in the top 10 in three-pointers per game (9th, 9.0 pg). The Titans are also among the top 25 teams in the nation in field goal percentage (12th, .486), total points (15th, 1881 points), three-point percentage (17th, .394), assists (19th, 16.0 apg), and turnover margin (19th, +3.7).

THREE-HEADED SCORING MONSTER: Cal State Fullerton remains as the only school to have three players among the Big West Conference's top 10 in scoring entering the night as D.J. Seeley (1st, 19.3 ppg), Kwame Vaughn (3rd, 18.0 ppg), and Sammy Yeager (8th, 16.0 ppg) all make the cut while both Seeley (No. 21) and Vaughn (No. 47) also rank among the top in the nation in that category. The last Titan to lead the league in scoring was Josh Akognon (23.9 ppg) in 2009 -- one of only three Fullerton players to have paced the Big West in that category since 1970: Leon Wood in 1984 (24.0 ppg), Cedric Ceballos in 1989 (21.2 ppg) and 1990 (23.1 ppg), and Ralphy Holmes in 2005 (16.9 ppg).

BOMBS AWAY: The catalyst for Fullerton's come-from-behind victory over UC Riverside last week, Sammy Yeager's 30 points against the Highlanders was the fifth game of, at least, 30 points by a Titan this season and matched the senior's Fullerton career high set against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 29 at Titan Gym. Yeager, held to just five points in the first half, hit 9-of-11 from the field and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in the second 20 minutes to power the Titans back from 11 points down, finishing a career high-tying 11-of-17 from the field overall and 6-of-11 from three-point range to go with four rebounds in 36 minutes.

COMFORTABLE WIN: After having its previous four games decided by seven points or fewer, Saturday night was a welcome respite from the edge-of-your-seat antics as Fullerton posted its first double-digit victory since a 12-point triumph at CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 9. Eight of the Titans' 12 wins this season have been by 10 points or more, almost the exact opposite of the team's loss column where eight of the 11 defeats have been by nine points or fewer.

BACK ON TOP: Thanks, in part, to his 21-point effort on Saturday at UC Riverside, D.J. Seeley has regained the lead in the race for the Big West scoring title with his 19.3 ppg, edging out UC Davis' Corey Hawkins by mere percentage points as the Aggies' sophomore is averaging 19.25 ppg in three fewer contests. It is the first time that a Fullerton player has stood atop the league's scoring list since the week of Jan. 14, the last in a run of five consecutive weeks that a Titan had led the Big West in scoring.

DE-FENSE... CLAP, CLAP... DE-FENSE... CLAP, CLAP: A big part of Fulleton's comeback at UC Riverside on Saturday night was holding the Highlanders to just 27 points in the second half -- the second-lowest scoring half of the season by a Fullerton opponent, trailing only the 20-point first half by Idaho State on Dec. 13. Meanwhile, the Titans were busy scoring 50 points in their second half against UCR, the ninth time that Fullerton has scored at least 50 points in a period this season.

HI, MOM!: Cal State Fullerton's three biggest scoring stars have shone just as bright in four televised games this season, but none brighter than senior Sammy Yeager, who is averaging team highs in scoring (21.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.5 rpg) while shooting .564 (31-for-55) from the floor and .594 (19-for-32) from beyond the arc. Seniors D.J. Seeley (18.8 ppg) and Kwame Vaughn (16.5 ppg) are also in double figures, but the Titans are averaging just 76.2 ppg (6.6 ppg lower than their season average overall) and shooting .464 from the field while allowing 75.2 ppg and .466 shooting from the floor by the opposition.

RALLY CAPS, EVERYONE!: Trailing by 11 in the second? Pfft. No big deal for the Titans on Saturday at UC Riverside as Fullerton came from behind to post a 12-point win in the Inland Empire. The win marked only the second time that the Titans have won when facing a double-digit deficit this season, the other coming at Texas Southern on Dec. 16, 2012, when they trailed by as many as 10 en route to a seven-point victory.

ENOUGH TO GO AROUND: Seeley, Vaughn, and Yeager have all reached double figures in points in the same game 16 times in 23 games this season, including the trio all reaching at least 20 points in both games against Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5 at The Matadome as part of a 105-86 Fullerton victory on on Jan. 31 at Titan Gym in a six-point loss. Together, the trio has combined to score better than 65 percent (1,227 of 1,881) of the team's points this season.

MORE TWENTY-POINT TIDBITS: Last season, Fullerton was 17-5 when either Seeley (10-3) or Vaughn (7-2) scored at least 20 points, but the Titans are just 7-7 when that occurs in 2012-13. The duo has reached 20 points in the same game 13 times during their Fullerton careers (eight of those coming last season and five times this year), posting an 8-5 mark in those contests (5-1 at home, 3-3 on the road, and 0-1 on a neutral floor).

#BULLSEYE: The marksmanship medal should go to the Titans thus far this season as Fullerton is, perhaps, the best-shooting team in the Big West. The Titans lead the league in all three shooting categories entering the weekend: field goal percentage (.486 to UC Davis' .470), three-point percentage (.394 to UC Davis' .390), and free throw percentage (.783 to Cal State Northridge's .725).

EIGHT(Y) IS GREAT(Y)...: What a difference a point makes. Cal State Fullerton is a stellar 8-2 this season when scoring at least 80 points this season compared to just 4-9 when scoring 79 points or fewer.

...AND NINETY IS NICE...: Fullerton's 95 points in its win at UC Davis marked the sixth time in 11 victories this season that the Titans have eclipsed the 90-point plateau. Fullerton, which reached 90 points six times in 31 games combined last season, is averaging 89.8 ppg in its 11 victories this season while holding opponents to just 72.6 ppg in those contests.

...BUT A HUNDRED IS HEAVENLY: The Titans reached the 100-point plateau for the third time this season with their 105 points against the Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5 -- the first time that Fullerton has surpassed the 100-point plateau three times in a single-season since the 2006-07 campaign when the Titans reached the century mark four times against Cal Maritime (W, 108-56), Eastern Washington (L, 110-100), San Jose State (W, 104-77), and Pacific (W, 100-92 in 2OT).

ALRIGHT, YOU'VE MADE YOUR POINT: With the win at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5, the Titans improved to 54-1 all-time when scoring at least 100 points as the 105 points against the Matadors rank among the top 25 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 while the 106 points scored against San Diego Christian on Nov. 23 are tied for No. 20. Fullerton's single-game record stands at 128 points against Chapman University on Jan. 8, 1972, in a 128-88 victory.

DIALING LONG DISTANCE: Senior Sammy Yeager, the Big West's third-best three-point shooter in terms of percentage, in also one of the nation's best sharpshooters as his .459 mark from beyond the arc also has him ranked No. 7 in the nation.

NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH: But there are such things as free points if you're Kwame Vaughn. The Titans' senior finished 11-for-12 at the line on Jan. 31 against the Matadors -- the fourth time this season he has had double-digit makes from the stripe -- and added five more at UC Riverside to increase his league-leading total to 128 free throws made. Vaughn ranks third in the Big West in free throw percentage at .853, a total that would rank him fourth on the school's single-season list, while his career mark of .851 entering the night would be the third-best in school history.

CAN'T NOBODY HOLD HIM DOWN: Since being held to a season-low five points against UC Irvine on Jan. 17, Seeley is averaging 22.2 ppg over his last six contests while shooting .480 (48-for-100) from the floor, .422 (19-for-45) from behind the arc, and snagging 6.0 rpg. He has scored at least 20 points in four of those contests, including his third, 30-point game of the year at UC Davis (32 points).

MINUTE MEN: With the Titans' regular rotation down to just seven players, Cal State Fullerton's senior backcourt duo of Kwame Vaughn and D.J. Seeley, along with senior Sammy Yeager and sophomore Alex Harris, have had to log a lot of minutes as of late. Vaughn, who has played at least 35 minutes in 15 of the team's 23 games overall (including 10 of the last 13), enters the night ranked atop the league at 34.8 mpg while Seeley, who has 10 games of 35 minutes or more -- and has reached that mark in seven of his last nine -- is third at 33.8 mpg. Yeager, who has played at least 35 minutes in seven of his last 10, is seventh in the conference at 31.9 mpg while Harris enters the week ranked No. 10 in the category at 31.5 mpg.

NEWS AT 10: With his 21 points at UC Riverside last week, D.J. Seeley notched his 10th game of 20-or-more points -- tops in the Big West Conference this season and one more than teammate Kwame Vaughn and UC Davis' Corey Hawkins. Seeley leads all active Big West players with 23 career 20-point games while Vaughn is second with 18 of his own, both standing among a select group of four players in double digits in that career category (Cal State Northridge's Stephan Hicks has 13 while UC Irvine's Daman Starring has 10).

NELSON CLEARED TO RETURN TO PRACTICE: The Cal State Fullerton coaching staff got a bit of good news when sophomore forward Darius Nelson was medically cleared to return to practice after recovering from foot surgery performed prior to the start of the 2012-13 season and continues to rehab his injury with hopes of returning to game shape this season. Nelson would provide much-needed depth to the Titans' frontcourt which lost senior John Underwood to a leave of absence in November and Marquis Horne for the last 17 games due to an injury he suffered in December.