SEATTLE – Behind a career-high 20-point performance from Malcolm Brooks, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team holds off Seattle, 70-61, as they improve to 6-1 on the year. With the loss, the Redhawks drop to 2-5 overall.
The Titans are off to their best start since a 7-1 beginning to the 1986-87 season. The six-game winning streak is their first since the 2011-12 season.
Brooks, who scored all 20 of his points in the second half, shot 7-for-12 from the field and connected on six three-pointers to mark the most treys by a Titan this season. He paced a pair of his teammates in double-figures as freshman Khalil Ahmad registered 13 points and junior Lionheart Leslie tallied a career-high 12 points.
The contest was full of career-bests for the Titans. In addition to Brooks' and Leslie's career totals in points, junior Sheldon Blackwell pulled down a career-high eight rebounds and Leslie dished out a career-high five assists to go along with four boards to tie his career mark.
Seattle was led by Brendan Westendorf's 13 points and Jack Crook's double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds. Despite the double-figure scoring effort from Westendorf, the junior guard also committed six turnovers, which Cal State Fullerton took full advantage of.
Fullerton grabbed 10 steals on the night, with Leslie and Ahmad contributing two each. The Titans capitalized on the Redhawks' 20 turnovers and outscored the hosts 22-1 in points off of turnovers.
The first half got off to a slow start as the Titans and Redhawks shot under 30-percent from the field and were each able to connect on just one three-pointer.
The defensively charged first half saw Fullerton pick up seven steals to Seattle's four. Additionally, CSF forced Seattle into 12 turnovers and scored 10 points off of turnovers, while the Redhawks were unable to score off of the Titans' seven.
With the game tied at 20-20 at halftime, the Titans came out ready to play in the second half. Brooks opened the frame with a three-point field goal to give Cal State Fullerton a 23-20 lead it would not relinquish.
Fullerton shot 50-percent (16-of-32) from the floor in the second half and 53.3-percent (8-of-15) from long distance. The Titans increased their lead to as many as 15 points (54-39) by the 5:55 mark of the game and went on to win their sixth-straight game by a nine-point margin (70-61).
Cal State Fullerton looks to extend its winning streak to seven games when it plays the University of Washington on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m., at the Alaska Airlines Center. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.