FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team couldn't keep pace with league-leading UC Irvine on Thursday night as the Anteaters cruised to a 62-44 victory at Titan Gym, clinching a share of the Big West Tournament title.
The Titans (11-18, 6-9 Big West) have already clinched a spot in the Big West Tournament and are currently tied for sixth in the league standings with Cal Poly. Fullerton will close the regular season at Hawai'i at 9 p.m. PT (7 p.m. HT) on Saturday.
Will Davis II led UC Irvine (21-10, 12-3 Big West) with a 16-point effort as the Anteaters have won eight of their last nine. Alex Young poured in 13 points and dished three assists as Irvine shot 55.1 percent from the floor.
Irvine held a 32-29 rebounding advantage and scored 16 points off Fullerton's 10 turnovers.
Junior Alex Harris led the Titans scoring 17 points and knocking down three 3-pointers, while Fullerton's leading scorer this season, Michael Williams, was held to a season-low tying 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
The Titans started the second half by committing their sixth turnover of the game, and UC Irvine's Chris McNealy quickly punished Fullerton by draining a three-pointer at the top of the arc as UCI led 35-19.
Fullerton's 44-point total was a season low as was the team's .300 field goal percentage. Fullerton also set a season low with just three assists.
Cal State Fullerton was held to a .276 shooting percentage in the first half as Harris led the Titans with eight points in the first period.
UC Irvine shot 52.0 percent from the floor led by 12 points from Davis II.
The Anteaters were able to score 11 points off CSF's turnovers and held a 16-8 edge in the paint.
The Titans close the regular season on the road at Hawai'i on Saturday night. Game time is set for 9 p.m. PT (7 p.m. HT).
Notes: Titan seniors Marquis Horne, James Johnson and Michael Williams were honored prior to the game…Cal State Fullerton used its 11th starting lineup of the year ...the Titans have not led in 10 games this season…Fullerton was swept by a Big West opponent for the first time this year…with 10 points, Michael Williams streak of double-figure scoring games was extended to 29 games…Fullerton set season lows in points scored (44), field goal percentage (.300) and assists (3).