Stretch Run Tips-Off Against Tigers on Thursday
NEXT UP FOR THE TITANS...
Pacific at Cal State Fullerton (Doubleheader)
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 | 8:05 p.m.
Titan Gym (4,000)
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video | CSF Release | Pacific Men's Basketball
Overall: Pacific Leads, 47-37 (Lost 1)
Overtime: 2-4 (Lost 1)
Double Overtime: 1-0 (Won 1)
Titan Gym: 25-14 (Won 2)
at Spanos Center: 19-21 (Lost 1)
at Civic Auditorium: 0-9 (Lost 9)
at Anaheim Conv. Ctr.: 2-1 (Won 2)
at Long Beach Arena: 0-1 (Lost 1)
TIP OFF: Winners of back-to-back games for the first time since early January, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team (14-13 overall, 6-8 in the Big West Conference) heads into the stretch run with its final home games of the 2012-13 season this week, both the second games of doubleheaders with the Titans' women's team. The Fullerton men tip-off the week on Thursday (Feb. 28) at 8:05 p.m., by hosting second-place Pacific after the women's squad battles UC Santa Barbara at 5:30 p.m.
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 as veteran Cal State Fullerton play-by-play man Mike Martinez will have the call from Titan Gym.
CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?: Live streaming video will be available for this week's game will be shown for free via the Big West TV platform at www.BigWest.org/TV and available on the men's basketball schedule page at www.FullertonTitans.com.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific enters the week with a 15-12 overall record and a 9-5 mark in Big West Conference play for second place -- 3 1/2 games back of league-leading Long Beach State (12-3)... the Tigers have lost four of their last six after four-straight wins, falling on the road at UC Irvine (68-59) and at Western Michigan (67-62) in a BracketBuster match-up on Saturday... Pacific is just 2-9 in true road games this season (2-5 in the Big West with three consecutive losses) while posting an 11-2 mark at home... senior guard Lorenzo McCloud (11.6 ppg, 4.0 apg) paces a very balanced scoring offense for Pacific, that has seen 15 different players scored at least two points this year... junior forward Khalil Kelley is the team's leading rebounder (3.7 rpg) and leads the team in blocks (14)... The Tigers rank seventh in the league in scoring offense at 67.8 ppg and fourth in field goal percentage (.453) while holding opponents to just 64.7 ppg (third in the league) and .430 shooting from the floor (sixth in the Big West).
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH PACIFIC: Pacific leads the all-time series, 47-37, snapping a four-game losing streak to Fullerton with a 71-67 win in Stockton earlier this year... the Titans are 25-14 all-time against the Tigers at Titan Gym, having won two-straight at home in the series, and four of the last six... the last seven meetings between the two teams have all been decided by seven points or fewer and a total of 28 points (4.0 ppg).
BACK-TO-BACK: Fullerton's win in Corpus Christi on Feb. 23 gave the Titans back-to-back wins for the first time since early January when they defeated Cal State Northridge, CSU Bakersfield, and UC Riverside from Jan. 5-12. A win Thursday against Pacific would give Fullerton its fourth winning streak of at least three games this season against only two losing skids of similar length.
HELP ME, HELP YOU: Fullerton escaped Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with a six-point victory, but the win was an individual one as the Titans tallied just nine assists on 19 makes -- the first time this season that they have had fewer than 10 assists in a game and the fewest since they had seven helpers at Long Beach State in a 14-point loss to the 49ers on Jan. 28, 2012.
SHARING IS CARING: Seniors D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn each finished the weekend by surpassing the 100-assist mark for the season, marking the second-straight year that the Titans have had two players with at least 100 assists after Vaughn (116) and Perry Webster (100) accomplished the feat in 2011-12. It is a rare sight in Titans men's basketball lore as Cal State Fullerton has had two players with more than 100 assists in the same season only three times dating back to 1972-73, with the only other occurance coming during the 1977-78 season with Mike Linden (204) and Keith Anderson (132) teaming up to share the rock.
LET'S PLAY TWO: Thanks, Ernie Banks, I think we will. For the fourth time this season, and the third time at home, the Titans' men's and women's basketball programs will compete in an event normally reserved for their fellow student-athletes on the baseball and softball teams as Fullerton will host a basketball doubleheader at Titan Gym. Both programs are coming off losses in their last doubleheader (Feb. 16 at UC Irvine) while the men will be looking to snap a two-game doubleheader losing streak after dropping the back end in each of their last two doubleheaders to snap a five-game doubleheader winning streak.
Date -Men - Women
Feb. 16, 2013 - L, 86-66 at UC Irvine - L, 43-39 at UC Irvine
Jan. 17, 2013 - L, 92-65 vs. UC Irvine - W, 65-51 vs. UC Irvine
Dec. 22, 2012 - W, 87-65 vs. HIU - W, 60-59 vs. SJSU
Feb. 4, 2012 - W, 99-86 vs. UCSB - L, 69-64 vs. Pacific
Dec. 12, 2009 - W, 97-59 vs. Occidental - L, 75-72 vs. BYU
Dec. 20, 2006 - W, 85-49 vs. Louisiana - L, 69-61 vs. CSUB
Dec. 13, 2003 - W, 77-70 vs. EWU - L, 71-59 vs. UNLV
Dec. 14, 2002 - L, 79-70 vs. Idaho State - W, 76-74 vs. USD
Dec. 4, 2002 - L, 90-87 vs. Pepperdine - L, 74-69 vs. Air Force
Dec. 15, 2001 - W, 106-97 vs. Sac State - W, 70-67 vs. Southern Utah
YOUR TURN: With teammate D.J. Seeley's milestone out of the way, the spotlight turns to senior Kwame Vaughn, who sits just 34 points away from joining the 1,000-point plateau himself. Vaughn, who finished with game-highs of 23 points on Feb. 20 against Cal Poly and 18 points at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, needs to average just 8.5 ppg over the final four games to reach the mark before the end of the regular season. The senior stands at 966 points in 58 career games, having not missed a start in his two seasons as a Titan.
TWO IN ONE YEAR?: Should Vaughn join his teammate in the 1,000-point club this season, they would become only the fifth pair in school history to accomplish the milestone in the same year and the first in 21 years:
• 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 FIVE: Uncharted territory for the Cal State Fullerton offense this season as the Titans' high-octane attack has fallen below the 80-point-per-game plateau for the first time since the second game of the season, but continues to rank among the top five in the nation. Fullerton comes in to Thursday night's tussle with the Tigers averaging 79.7 ppg to stand fourth in the country, behind only Northwestern State (83.7 ppg), Indiana (82.5 ppg), and Iona (80.9 ppg).
ELSEWHERE IN THE NATION: As of Feb. 25, Fullerton also ranks among the top 25 teams in the NCAA in free throw percentage (7th, .768), three-pointers per game (11th, 8.7 pg), points scored (15th, 2152), turnover margin (15th, +3.7), field goal percentage (16th, .479), and three-point percentage (24th, .386).
THE SEELEY-NAPOLIS "500": Seeley is seven points away from reaching 500 for the second-consecutive season, needing 45 more points to eclipse his 537 points from his junior season in 2011-12 and 54 more to bring him inside the top 10. His 538th point this season would be the most for a Fullerton player since Josh Akognon scored 764 points (23.9 ppg) as a senior in 2008-09.
JUMPING JARED: Freshman Jared Brandon has been a beast on the boards for the Titans as of late, grabbing no fewer than six rebounds in three of his last four contests (averaging 6.8 rpg in that stretch) -- including a career-high 10 boards at Long Beach State on Feb. 13 -- something that had happened only three times in his previous 23 contests.
LESS IS MORE: A season-low 19 made field goals was, apparently, more than enough for the Titans in their win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi -- the fewest for a Fullerton squad since the Titans had the same number in a loss to Cal State Northridge on March 10, 2011, and the fewest in a WIN since Fullerton made 18 shots in a 63-58 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 22, 2011.
SEELEY ONE OF SCHOOL'S TOP THIEVES: Thanks to his two steals on Saturday at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, senior D.J. Seeley became only the 15th player in the history of the program to log 100 steals for a career and the first to break into the top 15 since Frank Robinson (2005-08) finished with 122 (No. 10 overall) in 2008. Seeley's 55 steals this season also has him among the program's top 10 for a single campaign, placing him in a tie with Wayne Williams (1989-90) for eighth, just two back of Chris Dade (1997-98) for seventh and six shy of Leon Wood (1982-83) and Tony Neal (1981-82) for a spot in the top five.
TWENTY-POINT TIDBITS: Seeley ranks second in the Big West with 11 games of 20-points or more while Vaughn is tied for third with 10... Seeley leads all active players with 24 career 20-point games with Vaughn close behind in second with 19 in two seasons... the duo stands among a select group of six active Big West players with 10-or-more 20-point games for their careers (UC Davis' Corey Hawkins, Cal State Northridge's Stephan Hicks, UC Irvine's Daman Starring, and Hawaii's Christian Standhardinger)... 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 8-7 when that occurs in 2012-13. The duo has reached 20 points in the same game 14 times during their Fullerton careers (eight of those coming last season and six times this year), posting an 9-5 mark in those contests (6-1 at home, 3-3 on the road, and 0-1 on a neutral floor).
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?: The 60 points allowed against Cal Poly on Feb. 20 were the fewest surrendered to a Big West Conference opponent this season while the 23 first-half points allowed were the second-fewest given up by the Titans in any game this season, just missing the mark of 20 in the first half against Idaho State on Dec. 13.
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 (2nd, 18.3 ppg), Kwame Vaughn (3rd, 17.9 ppg), and Sammy Yeager (8th, 15.8 ppg) all make the cut while both Seeley (No. 40) and Vaughn (No. 48) 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).
ENOUGH TO GO AROUND: Seeley, Vaughn, and Yeager have all reached double figures in points in the same game 17 times in 26 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 just under 64 percent (1,370 of 2,152) of the team's points this season.
NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH: But there are such things as free points if you're Kwame Vaughn. The Titans' senior finished 10-for-13 at the line on Feb. 20 against Cal Poly -- the fifth time this season he has had double-digit makes from the stripe -- and added five more makes on Feb. 23 in Corpus Christi to increase his league-leading total to 149 free throws made, which stands fourth overall on the school's single-season list. Vaughn ranks fourth in the Big West in free throw percentage at .828, a total that would rank him seventh on the school's single-season list, while his career mark of .836 entering the night would be the fourth-best in school history.
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 16 of the team's 27 games overall (including 11 of the last 17), enters the night ranked atop the league at 34.1 mpg while Seeley, who has 11 games of 35 minutes or more -- and has reached that mark in eight of his last 13 -- is third at 33.2 mpg. Harris, who played in a career-high 38 minutes in Corpus Christi, is ninth in the league at 31.9 mpg while Yeager is 10th in the conference at 31.8 mpg.
HE'S HERE TO HELP: Senior Kwame Vaughn finished with a game-high seven assists in the Titans' win over Cal Poly -- the seventh time that he has finished with six-or-more assists in a game this season -- and his eight helpers during the week helped push Vaughn's career total to 222 assists in almost two full seasons, a mark that ranks third among active Big West players and 15th on the school's all-time list -- just two back of Chris Dade (224 from 1994-98) and three back of Kevin Heenan (225 from 1975-79).
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 6-11 when scoring 79 points or fewer.
...AND NINETY IS NICE...: Fullerton's 95 points in its win at UC Davis on Jan. 24 marked the sixth time in 14 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 86.2 ppg in its 14 victories this season while holding opponents to just 70.2 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).
YEAGER... FOR THREE!: Sammy Yeager is getting closer to etching his name into the Fullerton record books for his three-point shooting prowess as his 66 makes from beyond the arc this season stand just four shy of the top 15 and nine back of Joe Small (1990-91) and Mark Hill (1988-89) for the No. 10 spot. The single-season record is held by Josh Akognon, who made 136 three's in 2008-09 and added 116 more in 2007-08 to rank second. If the season ended today, Yeager's percentage of .446 from beyond the arc would also be a school single-season record (minimum 50 made), breaking the mark set by Don Leary (.443, 89-for-201) in 1992-93.
YEAGER GAME-TO-GAME: Yeager has missed the team's last two contests due to a back injury and did not make the team's recent trip to Corpus Christi, listed as "game-to-game." Yeager ranks third on the team in scoring and rebounding at 15.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg, respectively, and is shooting better than 47 and 44 percent from the floor and three-point range, respectively, in 25 games this season.
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 18 games due to an injury he suffered in December.