FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team looks to extend its two-game winning streak as it hosts UC Santa Barbara on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT. Fullerton then heads to Cal Poly for a game on Saturday at 7 p.m. as well.
FROM THE TIP
• The Titans swept the second weekend of Big West Conference play with a win at home over UC Riverside and a road victory at Long Beach State for the first time since 2010. Fullerton will look to continue their two-game winning streak against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.
• Senior guard Kyle Allman, Jr., the reigning Big West Player of the Week (Jan. 21), is tops on the team and third in the league in points per game at 18.5. He's third on the squad in assists and tied a career-high against Wake Forest (Nov. 16) with eight helpers. The Brooklyn native has scored has scored 10+ in 36 of his last 38 games. Allman has scored 30+ seven times over the course of this season and last season. He has scored 20+ in each of the last two games.
• Senior guard Khalil Ahmad, the Nov. 19 Big West Player of the Week, is second on the team and fourth in the Big West in scoring at 17.7 points per game. He had a strong showing at the Myrtle Beach Invitational as he earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Over the three-game tournament he averaged 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals, including a 40-point outburst against Monmouth. He's also tied for first in the league in steals per game at 1.83. For the year he's scored 20+ seven times.
• Ahmad became the 24th Titan in program history to score 1,000 points in a career after scoring 31 at UC Davis (Feb. 10, 2018). He has totaled 1,467 points in his career, the seventh-best mark in the program. Allman joined him in the 1K Club on Feb. 28 when he scored 23 points at CSUN (Feb. 16, 2018). He sits 1,416 points for his career, No. 9 all-time.
• Junior forward Jackson Rowe, the Big West Player of the Week on Jan. 7, has been doing a bit of everything on the floor this year for the Titans. He is averaging 10.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 0.94 blocks and 0.71 steals per game. He leads the team in both rebounds and blocks. He's shooting an impressive 56.3% (71-126) from the field this year, the No. 2 mark in the league. He recorded his second double-double of the season at Washington (Jan. 1) to earn weekly conference honors as he posted 22 points and 11 rebounds.
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 24 VS. UC SANTA BARBARA || 7 PM PT
Series Record: 39-47
Home Record: 23-20
Away Record: 15-26
Neutral Record: 1-1
Current Streak: L2
First Meeting: 12/29/76 at UCSB, W, 77-66
Last Meeting: 1/25/18 vs. UCSB, L, 70-65
UCSB STATE NOTES
UCSB enters Thursday's with an overall record of 14-3 and a Big West Conference mark of 3-0. The Gauchos have won six consecutive games and seven of their last nine. The current winning streak is their second five-game streak of the season. The other wins came over Cal Poly, San Francisco, Idaho State and Bethesda. In 2017-18, one season after setting a school record for losses and finishing 6-22, UCSB had an overall record of 23-9 and a Big West Conference mark of 11-5. The 23 wins equaled the most in school history and the 11-5 league record was good for second-place.
The Gauchos are off to a perfect 3-0 start to the 2019 Big West Conference season. The last time a UCSB team began the Big West portion of the season with a 3-0 record was in 2001-02 when it defeated UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton and Idaho.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 AT CAL POLY || 7 PM PT
Series Record: 31-37
Home Record: 13-18
Away Record: 16-18
Neutral Record: 2-1
Current Streak: W5
First Meeting: 01/21/61 vs. Cal Poly, W, 80-78
Last Meeting: 02/08/18 vs. Cal Poly, W, 75-59
CAL POLY NOTES
One of Cal Poly's top two scorers during each of his three seasons as a Mustang, senior guard Donovan Fields enters Wednesday's matchup versus UC Riverside ranked sixth among Big West players with a team leading 16.8 points per game. Topped by career high 30-point efforts versus Menlo College (Nov. 7) and CSUN (Jan. 12), a 28-point showing against Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 8) and a 26-point performance at California (Dec. 15), Fields has scored 20-plus points six times this year and chalked up 12 double-digit scoring games
Now ranked second among NCAA Division I players with a 50.0 (38-for-76) percent three-point mark after knocking down 16 of his last 27 attempts, sophomore wing Mark Crowe has emerged as Cal Poly's second leading scorer at 11.2 points per game. Also second among Mustangs with 11 double-digit scoring games, Crowe scored a career best 22 points at Fresno State (Dec. 1) while notching 18 versus UTA (Dec. 21) and 16 at UC Davis (Jan. 19). Crowe, who has knocked down multiple three-pointers in 11 of 16 games, also ranks fifth among Big West players with a 53.8 (63-for-117) percent field goal mark and 17th in scoring.
Per KenPom, the Titans have the No. 8 ranked non-conference schedule in the country and the No. 33 overall strength of schedule. The squad played just four non-conference home games.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
For CSF, junior guard Austen Awosika is fourth on the team in scoring (8.8 points per game), first in assists (3.78 per game), second in blocks (11 total), second in steals (1.39 per game) and second in rebounding (5.5 per game). He led the team in the category last year and is tops on the team again this year in assist percentage (an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals assisted while on the floor) at 22.8%. He has the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 1.74. In conference play he's averaging 13.0 points per game (No. 3 on the team) on 53% shooting from the field.
UPDATING THE RECORD BOOKS
In addition to Khalil Ahmad and Kyle Allman, Jr. climbing the rankings of all-time points as a Titan, the duo added their names to the list of individual scoring performances in a single game this season. Ahmad scored 40 points against Monmouth (Nov. 18) and had a historic day, setting career highs in points (40), field goals made (13, on just 22 shots) and three-point field goals made (8). He is just the fifth Titan to ever score 40 points or more in a game, joining Bobby Brown, Tre' Coggins, Josh Akognon and Kyle Allman, Jr. Ahmad's 40 points was the highest point total ever in a men's basketball game at the HTC Center, breaking the previous record of 36 set by Quinton Wood on Dec. 13, 2013.
Allman scored 38 points at Hofstra (Nov. 21), tied for the seventh-best scoring performance in a single game in program history and just two points off his career-high. He knocked down a career-high eight three-point field goals, improving on his previous best of five.
Allman now has four of the top 30 scoring performances in CSF history while Ahmad has two.
ONLY TWO NEW FACES
The Titans just two newcomers to the squad this season in freshman guard Wayne Arnold and forward Amel Kuljuhovic. Arnold prepped at Dominguez High School in Compton while Kuljuhovic is a transfer from Lake Land College. Arnold is a high-level shooter he showed against West Coast Baptist when he scored 23 points to lead all scorers, including four three-point field goals. He is averaging 3.3 points and 11.8 minutes per game. Kuljuhovic has the size to work down low but can also stretch the defense with his jump shot. He is averaging 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game. He scored 7 points and hauled in 7 rebounds at San Francisco (Dec. 16).