Jan. 10, 2009
Goleta, Calif. - Josh Akognon scored 20 of his game-high 29 points in the second half Saturday night as Cal State Fullerton rallied for a 62-58 Big West Conference victory at UC Santa Barbara.
The win improved the Titans' record to 8-8 overall and 2-2 in the Big West and swept the Central Coast trip for only the second time in 13 attempts. James Powell scored 19 points to lead the Gauchos, who fell to 7-9 and 1-3.
The win improved CSF Coach Bob Burton's sixth-year record to 100-68.
Fullerton trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half and by 7 at the half and didn't lead until Akognon's 3-pointer made it 46-44 with about 13 minutes to play. Akognon overcame the last UCSB lead with another trey to put Fullerton ahead 53-52 and he hit another to put CSF ahead to stay at 58-55 with 4:32 left. He scored again for a 60-57 lead with 2:29 left and Marcio Lassiter iced the game by converting both ends of a one-and-one with 4.6 seconds left.
Akognon made 10 of 22 shots overall and 5 of 11 from the arc. Lassiter finished with 9 plus 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Gerard Anderson had a team-high 8 rebounds before fouling out with 3:39 to play.
Chris Devine had 13 points and 9 rebounds for UCSB but committed 6 turnovers and made only 3 of 7 free throws. UCSB committed 24 turnovers to offset its 38-27 edge on the backboards.
"This was a great trip for us," said Burton. "The way this league is, it's kind of like this every night... down to the wire.
"We're still trying to figure our team out. We go home now and we will see how we respond."
For the second game in a row, the Titans fell behind, 9-0, to open the game. This time they couldn't fully recover and trailed by as many as 13 points at 31-18 before going into the second half with a 7-point deficit at 37-30. UCSB shot 54 percent from the floor and outrebounded Fullerton, 17-11, but committed 10 turnovers to 8 for the Titans.
Akognon made 3 of 9 shots and 1 of 4 from 3-point range on his way to a team-high 9 points. Marcio Lassiter came off the bench to hit 3 of 4 shots for 7 points.
Fullerton is home next week, hosting UC Davis on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. and Pacific on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. on ESPN2.