Titans to Play Long Beach State in Big West Quarterfinals

No. 3 Long Beach State (14-16, 10-6) vs. No. 6 Cal State Fullerton (11-19, 6-10)
Big West Tournament • Quarterfinals • Honda Center • Anaheim, Calif.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 | 2:30 PM
 

Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio |CSF Release Adobe PDF icon   Long Beach State Release

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TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket
Play-By-Play:
 Ron Pitts
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Michael Cage 
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Lindsay Thiry 

Webcast: None
Streaming Audio: www.FullertonTitans.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at www.fullertontitans.com

ON  TAP: Cal State Fullerton is playing in its 12th consecutive Big West Tournament as the Titans are the No. 6 seed in the 2014 Big West Tournament quarterfinals. For the second straight year, Fullerton will play Long Beach State in the tournament as Fullerton will play the third-seeded 49ers at 2:30 p.m., Thursday at the Honda Center.

TICKETS: Single session tickets for the 2014 Big West Basketball Tournament are on sale to the general public.  Fans can purchase tickets at the Honda Center Box Office, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, or by calling 800-745-3000. The 2014 Big West Tournament marks the fourth year the event has been hosted at Honda Center. 

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @FullertonHoops for updates during the 2013-14 season.

SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE:  Long Beach State (14-16, 10-6 Big West) snapped a two-game losing streak by ending its season with a 75-67 victory over UC Riverside last Saturday. Mike Caffey leads Long Beach State averaging 16.2 points per game as the 49ers score 69.8 ppg.

HEAD-TO-HEAD VS. LONG BEACH STATE:  Long Beach State leads the all-time series against Fullerton, 64-44. At the Big West Tournament, LBSU holds a 7-1 advantage including six straight dating back to 1979. Last year, the 49ers and Titans met in the first round at the Honda Center with Long Beach State recording a 75-66 victory.

LAST TIME OUT VS. LONG BEACH STATE: Michael Williams started a second-half rally that couldn't be stopped as the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team used constant energy to knock off Long Beach State, 84-76, at Titan Gym on Saturday, March 1 in front of 1,806.

Williams scored a game-high 28 points – 20 in the second half – as the Titans shot 62.1 percent (18-of-29) from the floor in the second period while also knocking down six three-pointers in the game's final 20 minutes.

BIG WEST PLAY: Cal State Fullerton completed the first half of its Big West Conference schedule with a record of 2-6, although the Titans played UC Riverside twice during the first leg, and Fullerton played Hawai'i twice during the second leg. Fullerton finished the second half of conference play with a record of 4-4.

The Titans split season series with UC Davis, UC Riverside, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State, but were swept by UC Irvine and Hawai'i .
Cal State Fullerton won its third straight Big West Conference opener following a 78-73 win over UC Riverside on Jan. 9. Against the Highlanders, five Titans scored in double figures - a first for Fullerton during the 2013-14 season.

ROSTER STATUS: Cal State Fullerton currently has 16 student-athletes listed on its roster, with 12 players having seen game action thus far in 2013-14. Corey Walker and Moses Morgan must redshirt the season due to NCAA transfer rules. Freshman guard Hidde Vos and junior guard James Douglas are expected to redshirt the season. 

EARLY SEASON NOTES: Head coach Dedrique Taylor earned his first win as a head coach after the Titans defeated Montana State, 84-55, in Bozeman, Mont., on Nov. 9...Taylor is the fifth Titan head coach to win his first game at Cal State Fullerton...Cal State Fullerton won its season opener against a Division I opponent for the first time since a 75-67 win at BYU on Nov. 22, 1996 (the 2007-08 season opener was played against CSU Bakersfield as the program was in transition to Div. I status)...Cal State Fullerton's 29-point victory at Montana State was its largest margin of victory on the road since an 81-50 win at Utah on Dec. 7, 2011.

AT THE BIG WEST TOURNAMENT: Cal State Fullerton has an overall record of 22-33 (.400) at the BIg West Tournament, and the Titans enter the tournament having lost four in a row dating back to 2010.

Fullerton's last win at the Big West Tournament came in 2010 when the Titans, the No. 5 seed, opened the tournament with an 84-76 win over eighth-seeded Cal State Northridge on March 10.

Against Long Beach State, the Titans have edged the 49ers just once in eight tries, a 64-53 win in the championship game in 1978 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

BIG WEST ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: Cal State Fullerton senior guard Michael Williams was named Big West Newcomer of the Year and received all-league second team honors, while junior guard Alex Harris was named honorable mention it was announced by the league office on Monday. 

He is the third Titan honoree to be tabbed Newcomer of the Year in the four years the award has existed.  The 6-foot-2 guard started all 30 regular season games and scored at least 10 points in all of them.  

As the team's scoring leader at 17.6 points per game, Williams produced a dozen performances of 20 or more points, including seven times in the last 10 contests.   

In Big West games only, Williams averaged 19.7 points per game – second only to Big West Player of the Year Alan Williams (20.3 ppg).

Harris completed the regular season averaging 15.5 points (9th Big West), 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He led the Titans in scoring on 10 occasions during the season, and also recorded eight 20-point efforts.

THE LAST TIME: The Titans, who suffered a 92-83 overtime loss at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 8, played in their first overtime game since an 83-77 win at UC Riverside on Jan. 8, 2011.

SEASON FIRSTS: With a  pair of wins over Cal State Northridge (82-81, Feb. 27) and Long Beach State (84-76, Mar. 1), the Titans won back-to-back Big West Conference games for the first time this year and clinched Fullerton a spot in the Big West Tournament...in Cal State Fullerton's loss to the Matadors on Feb. 8, for the only time this year, the Titans shot a higher percentage (.421-.410) than their opponent and lost...in the Titans' 82-81 win over the Matadors at Titan Gym on Feb. 27, Cal State Northridge never held a lead in the game. For the first time this season, Cal State Fullerton led from start to finish.

SEASON HIGHS: Fullerton overcame a 14-point deficit in its 84-76 win over Long Beach State on March 1 - the largest deficit the Titans have overcome this year. In addition, the Titans shot a season-best 56.4 percent (31-of-55) from the floor against the 49ers. Conversely, the Titans set season lows in points (44), field goal percentage (.300) and assists (3) in last Thursday's 62-44 loss to UC Irvine.

SEASON BESTS: Alex Harris knocked down seven three-pointers at CSUN on Feb. 8,   setting a career high and Titan season high. As a team, the Titans knocked down 12 three-pointers at CSUN, setting a season high. In addition, Fullerton's 23 made free throws and 37 free-throw attempts set season highs at Northridge. Steve McClellan set career highs scoring 18 points and grabbing 15 rebounds at CSUN. McClellan's 15 rebounds also marked a Titan season high. 

Alex Harris' 29 points vs. Hawai'i on Feb. 15 marked a career best as well as a Titan season high, which was matched by Michael Williams' 29-point effort at UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 22. Williams scored 23 points in the second half at UCSB, also a season best for any Titan in a half this year. In addition, his 12 made field goals last Saturday against LBSU set a Titan season high. Williams' 14 made free throws at Cal Poly on Feb. 20, set a career high and Titan season best.

Marquis Horne's four blocks at Cal Poly set a Titan season best as well as career high for the senior.

The crowd of 3,017 for Homecoming vs. Hawai'i on Feb. 15 was Fullerton's largest home crowd of the year. 

CURRENT NOTES: Cal State Fullerton has used 11 different starting lineups this season...Fullerton has not led in a game 10 times this year...on Feb. 15 vs. Hawai'i, the Titans lost their fourth halftime lead of the year....CSF completed non-conference action with a record of 5-9...the Titans are 7-0 when scoring over 74 points and shooting 50 percent or more from the floor...Fullerton has also come back three times this season from halftime deficits to win: at Pepperdine (Dec. 4), vs. Sacramento State (Dec. 21) and vs. Long Beach State (March 1).

THE LAST EIGHT: Fullerton completed the second half of Big West action with a record of 4-4. During that stretch, the Titans averaged 71.6 points per game and shot 44.7 percent from the floor while knocking 53 three-pointers. Michael Williams led the Titans averaging 20.8 points per game during that stretch followed by Alex Harris (18.0 ppg).

ROAD WOES: The Titans' 67-59 win over Cal Poly on Feb. 20 snapped a seven-game road losing streak as Fullerton won its first Big West road game of the year. The Titans also won in San Luis Obispo for the first time since Feb. 24, 2010 Fullerton. The Titans average 67.1 points per game on the road (3-12, 1-7 Big West) compared to  70.1 ppg at Titan Gym (8-6, 5-3 Big West).

TOP OF THE LEAGUE: In Big West games only entering this week, Michael Williams' 19.7 points per game rank second in the league, while his 2.56 three-pointers per game rank second. He has scored in double figures for 30 straight games, and has reached the 20-point plateau on 12 occasions this year. His eight assists against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 25 set a Titan season high, and on Feb. 20 at Cal Poly his 14 free throws set a Fullerton season high as well as career best. On Feb. 22 at UCSB, Williams scored a season high 29 points while knocking down a season-best five three-pointers. Williams scored 23 points in the second half, also a season best for any Titan in a half this year. Despite only one season with the Titans, his 12 20-point games rank in Fullerton's all-time top 20.

SHARP SHOOTER: In Big West games only, junior Alex Harris is averaging 17.7 points per game, which ranks fifth in the league. In addition, his 2.56 three-pointers per game in league play rank second. He is also one of only five players in the league to knock down at least seven three-pointers in one game this year. 

Harris scored a career-high 29 points on Feb. 15 in a loss to Hawai'i.

IN THE BIG WEST: Entering the week, Michael Williams' average of 17.6 points per game ranks fifth in the league, his 2.27 three-pointers per game rank fourth and his three-point field goal percentage of .360 rates eighth...Alex Harris' 15.5 points per game rank ninth in the Big West and  his 2.00 three-pointers per game rank seventh in the league.

IN THE PAINT: Junior Steve McClellan is averaging 6.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while senior Marquis Horne is scoring 8.1 ppg while also knocking down 23 three-pointers. In Fullerton's last four games, Horne has averaged 13.3 ppg shooting 45.7 percent from the floor and knocking down four three-pointers. 

WIN-LOSS COMPARISONS: In 11 wins, the Titans have shot 50.3 percent from the floor while averaging 77.5 points per game. Also, Fullerton holds opponents to a shooting percentage of .407 and an average of 68.0 points per game.

In 19 losses this season, Fullerton is shooting a field goal percentage of .387 while averaging just 62.3 points per game while opponents average 73.7 ppg and shoot at a clip of .489. In addition, opponents outrebound CSF 35.9-33.2.

AIR TIME: Currently, Cal State Fullerton has had 14 men's basketball games broadcast this year. The Titans post a 2-12 record in games that were broadcast during the 2013-14 season. 

A NEW ERA BEGINS: Former Arizona State associate head men's basketball coach and long-time college assistant Dedrique Taylor was appointed the 11th men's basketball head coach in Cal State Fullerton history, Athletic Director Jim Donovan announced on April 3, 2013.

A NEW LOOK: Of the 16 players on Cal State Fullerton's roster, 10 had not suited up in a Cal State Fullerton uniform before the 2013-14 season.

REPLACING OFFENSE: Cal State Fullerton lost 60 percent of its scoring from last season with the departure of seniors Sammy Yeager (15.8 ppg), Kwame Vaughn (18.4 ppg) and D.J. Seeley (17.9 ppg).

TITANS IN THE NBA: Former Cal State Fullerton men's basketball player Josh Akognon became the 12th former Titan to appear in the NBA on April 10, 2013 playing four minutes and scoring two points to go with an assist for the Dallas Mavericks in their 102-91 loss to the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. Akognon, who played two seasons for Fullerton from 2007-09, became the first Titan to appear in an NBA game since Bobby Brown (2003-07) competed for the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009-10 season.

2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy Attracts Record Crowds: With the attendance for the final four games of the 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy being 6,007 for the competition at Honda Center on Dec. 1, the three-day event over Thanksgiving weekend attracted a record 14,982 fans for the in-season college basketball tournament near Disneyland. The Dec. 1 total of 6,007 was a single-day record The 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy featured a Marquette vs. San Diego State championship game at Honda Center. Other schools in the event were Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, College of Charleston, Creighton, George Washington and Miami. With the first four sessions of the 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy being played November 28 and 29 at Titan Gym on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, the final four games were combined into one session at Honda Center. The two days of action at Titan Gym drew 3,831 on Thanksgiving Day and 5,144 on Nov. 29.The previous tournament attendance record for the three days of competition at the Anaheim Convention was 14,212 set in November 2009.