FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's basketball upped their winning streak to three games with a commanding 81-60 win over UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night. The Gauchos entered the contest at 3-0 in league play but the Titans came to play. Senior guard Kyle Allman, Jr. scored a game-high 21 points and dished out four assists while three other Titans scored in double figures.
Cal State Fullerton (7-12, 3-2 Big West) led for 30 minutes and took a 21-point lead in the locker room at halftime. Junior guard Austen Awosika made a three-point field at the shot clock was expiring from distance to put the Titans up 46-31 with 27 seconds left in the opening period. After a defensive stop, Awosika pushed the ball up the court and found Allman who buried a jumper at the buzzer to give Fullerton a 48-31 lead and they would not relinquish it. UC Santa Barbara (14-4, 3-1) cut the lead to seven with 6:54 left in the game and that was the closest it got.
The Titans shot the lights out in the first half, going 18-29 (61.2%) from the field and only turned the ball over 3 times. The Gauchos struggled in the first 20 minutes, shooting just 11-33 (33.3%) from the field and 6-19 (31.6%) from beyond the arc. CSF cooled only slightly in the second half as it finished the game shooting 32-58 (55.2%) from the field and 13-14 (92.9%) from the free-throw line while UCSB ended up at 20-60 (33.3%) overall, 8-28 (28.6%) from distance and 12-22 (54.5%) at the charity stripe.
Allman posted his third straight game scoring 20+ points as he tallied 21 (7-13 FGA). Junior guard Austen Awosika scored 12 points, dished out five assists with just one turnover, hauled in four rebounds and had a game-high three steals. He has reached double figures in scoring in four of the last five games. Junior forward Jackson Rowe tallied his third double-double of the season with 12 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. Senior guard Khalil Ahmad poured in 19 points (8-15 FGA) with four rebounds.
CSF recorded a season-low five turnovers and tied the Gauchos in rebounding at 36-36. UCSB averaged a rebounding margin of +9.0.
Fullerton hits the road to play at Cal Poly on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT.
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