Jan. 17, 2008
Stockton, Calif. - Guards Chad Troyer and Steffan Johnson combined for 44 points including 11 of 17 shooting from 3-point range Thursday night to lead Pacific to an 89-82 Big West Conference victory over visiting Cal State Fullerton.
Anthony Brown added 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Tigers, who matched last year's victory total while improving to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in the Big West. Troyer, a transfer from Miami of Ohio, matched his career high with 24 points.
Pacific finished with 14 3-pointers in 22 tries for 64 percent and was 50 percent overall. Fullerton had to shoot 52 percent from the floor in the second half to get to 42 percent after a 31 percent first half.
Pacific broke away from a 19-19 tie to outscore the Titans 18-8 over the final 8 minutes of the first half. Tbe Tigers stretched the lead to double digits for most of the second half, leading by as many as 19 points at 71-52 with 10:59 to play.
But Fullerton made a run behind Akognon, who made 5 of 9 treys in the second half. The Titans got within 6 points at 76-70 with 4:18 remaining on an Akognon trey and got within 5 at 80-75 when Junior Russell scored after a steal with 1:44 to play. But Russell missed an ensuing free throw and Johnson made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 32 seconds to hold off Fullerton.
"I thought our defense was outstanding but our offense was the problem," said CSF Head Coach Bob Burton. "In the first half we weren't sharing the ball. In the second half we started playing together and hit some tough shots to come back.
"I thought their guards both played terrific. The presence of an inside game with Brown and us backing off the pressure was key for them.
"We are making too many turnovers and the wrong guys are making them."
Pacific hit its first nine 3-pointers of the second half before Troyer finally missed the tenth and final attempt.
Fullerton got only 10 points from its bench with Marcus Crenshaw (9.9 ppg average) going scoreless in 14 minutes with only 2 shots.
Fullerton made 21 of 23 free throws (91 percent) but Pacific's 14 treys tied for the fifth most by a CSF opponent.
Fullerton travels to UC Davis on Saturday night while Pacific hosts UC Irvine, which lost at Davis on Thursday night.