Cal Poly Rallies, Then Holds Off Titan Men

Feb. 7, 2009

 

Box Score

 

Fullerton, Calif. - Lorenzo Keeler scored a career-high 29 points and Cal Poly came from behind and then held off Cal State Fullerton Saturday night for a 75-72 Big West Conference victory.

The Mustangs improved to 6-14 overall and 3-7 in the Big West. Fullerton got 29 points from Josh Akognon but saw its 4-game winning streak stopped and its record fall to 12-11 and 6-5. Akognon came up short on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer after Keeler had made one of two free throws with 7.4 seconds left.

Titus Shelton had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Mustangs and Shawn Lewis added 15 points. Ray Miller was the only other Titan in double figures with 12 to match his career high.

The biggest statistical difference came at the 3-point line where Cal Poly made 10 of 23 and Fullerton made only 5 of 21. Fullerton is now 2-4 at home in Big West play while all three of Cal Poly's conference wins have come on the road.

Aaron Thompson's 3-pointer gave Fullerton its biggest lead at 53-43 with 12:38 to play and the Titans forced a loose ball. But Cal Poly got a favorable carom that led to a Justin Brown layup which triggered a 6-0 run that got Cal Poly back into the game. Keeler's long 3-pointer tied the score at 57-57 at the 9-minute mark. Akognon answered with a trey but Shelton and Keeler scored to put Cal Poly back ahead to stay at 61-60.

The lead grew to 6 points on three occasions, the last at 72-66.

Marcio Lassiter followed with a jumper to make it a 73-72 Cal Poly lead at 1:56. The Mustangs had a shot clock violation and Akognon missed a 3-point try at the 1-minute mark. Shawn Lewis went to the foul line with 24 seconds left and made only his second try. Akognon missed a 3-pointer that Gerard Anderson rebounded for Fullerton but traveled.

Cal Poly used an early 10-0 run to take an 11-2 lead and extended it to 21-9 at the mid-point of the first half. Fullerton missed its first seven 3-point tries in a 4-for-17 shooting start and didn't make a shot beyond 2 feet until Akognon hit a fallaway jumper at the foul line at 9:25. Akognon made Fullerton's first 3-pointer at 4:30.

Fullerton had the last possession of the half but missed two shots to maintain its streak of trailing at the half in all six of its home conference games, this time at 33-32.

Keeler made 3 of 4 treys as Cal Poly hit 6 of 12 tries from behind the arc in the first half.

Akognon picked up his second foul 2:34 into the game and played only 13 minutes in the first half but still led his team with 10 points. He scored more than 24 points for the eleventh time this season but the first time in a losing cause.

Fullerton travels north next week to play Pacific and UC Davis. Cal Poly is off until a Saturday game at UC Santa Barbara.