Jan. 31, 2008
Long Beach, Calif. - Frank Robinson and Josh Akognon each scored 18 points and Marcus Morgan added 8 points and 10 rebounds Thursday night to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 91-75 Big West Conference victory at Long Beach State.
The win snapped a 6-game losing streak to the 49ers and gave the Titans a 13-6 record and a 6-2 mark to move into second place. Donovan Morris scored 31 points for Long Beach State, which fell to 4-15, 1-6.
Junior Russell's 40-foot shot put for 3 points at the buzzer gave the Titans a 49-43 halftime lead and they gradually pulled away in the second period, leading by as many as 23 points at 91-68 with 5 minutes remaining.
Marcus Crenshaw provided his usual offensive spark off the bench with 17 points, hitting 5 of 6 3-pointers. Akognon made 4 of 9 despite being the focal point of a box-and-one defense for much of the contest.
"It took us a while to adjust to their defense," said Head Coach Bob Burton. "It had a different feel for us. "I thought the difference in the second half was we played much better defense. We backed the pressure off, particularly the point guard. Morris got 31 but I thought Frank did a good job on him. He made some tough shots in the second half. In the first half, he kept them in the game.
"Both of our point guards played as well as they have all year. Junior hit some big shots in the first half and Marcus hit some threes. When he was in there, I think their plan was to get out of the box and one."
Both teams shot well, both overall and from the 3-point line. Fullerton made 12 of 24 treys and the 49ers made 10 of 21. Fullerton had a slight edge in rebounding and a bigger margin in turnovers, committing only 9 to 17 by the 49ers.
The first half was a game of streaks. Long Beach led, 6-2, but the Titans went on an 11-0 run. Long Beach responded with a 16-5 surge for a 22-18 lead. Long Beach broke the game's last tie (22-22) with a 9-2 surge only to see Fullerton outscore it, 20-8, over the final 5:27 of the half.
In the second half, the 49ers were outscored 12-1 to fall hopelessly behind, 84-62, with only 7:33 to play.
Fullerton visits first-place Cal State Northridge on Saturday night. The Matadors beat UC Irvine on Thursday night by 5 points to go to 7-0. The Titans have a 4-game winning streak at the Matadome.