Jan. 30, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. -
Sophomore Orane Chin scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed a career-high 8 rebounds and juniors Jer'Vaughn Johnson and Devon Peltier added 15 points each to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 74-68 Big West Conference victory over Orange County rival UC Irvine.
Fullerton evened its season's record at 10-10 and its Big West record at 4-4, snapping a 3-game conference losing streak.
Michael Hunter scored 16 points, all in the second half, and Eric Wise had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Anteaters (9-13, 3-7) who have lost three in a row and six of their last seven.
Their were 10 lead changes in the game and 7 ties, the last at 61-61 on a Hunter layup with 5:05 to play. Chin then hit a jumper to put Fullerton ahead to stay and he scored Fullerton's next 5 points as well including a free throw at 1:42 for a 68-66 lead. Jacques Streeter, who finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 assists, made a layup to make it 70-66 before the Titans hit 4 of 6 free throws in the final 39 seconds to counter two free throws by Hunter with 20 seconds left.
"We were fortunate tonight," said Fullerton Coach Bob Burton. "Hunter had a tough first half and we went into the game thinking we might not have our two starting big men (Johnson, shoulder injury in practice Friday; and Bryce Webster, food poisoning) but they played. Bryce gave us 14 minutes and Jer'Vaughn was the key -- with 15 points and 8 rebounds and he took on Wise the whole game. Without him, we don't win the game.
"And, of course, Chin was the difference at the end offensively. We just tried to get him the ball at the high post and let him make plays.
"Offensive rebounding kept UCI (21 offensive boards, 42-32 overall advantage) in the game. That's the first time that's happened to us all year I think."
Fullerton's biggest lead in its Homecoming game was 9 points at 14-5, 8 minutes into the game and 38-29 a minute into the second half. UCI responded in the first half with a 12-2 run to take a 1-point lead but Fullerton finished with a 33-29 halftime advantage. In the second half, UCI used a 24-12 run to take its biggest lead of the second half at 53-50 with 11:16 to play.
The Titans travel down the 22 freeway Thursday to play against rival Long Beach State at 8:00 p.m. In an ESPNU televised game.
Irvine plays a non-conference home-and-home series next week against Cal State Bakersfield, Wednesday on the road and Saturday at home.