Feb. 10, 2007
Northridge, Calif. - Bobby Brown scored 22 points and Marcus Crenshaw hit two huge 3-point field goals Saturday night as Cal State Fullerton survived a second-half rally by Cal State Northridge for a 75-73 Big West Conference victory.
The win improves the Titans' record to 18-5 overall and 8-3 in the Big West, matching their best 11-game conference record ever.
Thomas Shewmake had a career-high 24 points and added 15 rebounds for the Matadors, who fell to 11-13 and 4-7. Jonathan Heard came off the bench for 14 points and 8 boards.
Fullerton is in second place in the Big West, half a game behind Long Beach State, which plays in Titan Gym on Wednesday night.
Brown converted a pair of one-and-ones at the 1:42 and 0:27 marks and then hit a pair at 0:11, each time giving Fullerton a 3-point lead over the Matadors, who once trailed 50-35 but fought back mainly on the strength of a 50-33 edge in rebounding.
After Brown's final score, the Titans' Ray Reed held CSUN's Rob Haynes for a foul just before Haynes went up to hit what appeared to the crowd to be a game-tying 3-pointer and maybe a chance for a 4-point play with 1.1 seconds remaining. But veteran referee Bill Vinovich ruled that the foul came before the shot. Haynes missed the first free throw and inadvertently made the second. Fullerton successfully inbounded the ball and the horn scored.
Northridge used a 23-7 run to take its first lead of the second half at 58-57 at 4:15 on a Heard layup. Frank Robinson dunked a follow shot for Fullerton but Haynes made a layup to put CSUN back ahead, 60-59. Crenshaw then hit back-to-back treys resulting in a 65-62 Fullerton lead which it never lost again.
Cutley offset a Shewmake bucket and then Brown scored the last 8 Titan points with a jumper with 44 seconds remaining to go with the six free throws.
"Bobby's free throw shooting was the game," said Head Coach Bob Burton. "That's the guy we want on the line with the game on the line.
"On the last possession we had decided to try to guard them but at the last second (assistant coach) Andy Newman said 'I like fouling him.' The team went out there thinking we were going to play defense but we told Bobby to foul their point guard. Ray just happened to hear us tell him. Bobby thought he fouled him but they didn't call it and he passed off to Haynes. Fortunately, Ray grabbed him just in time. Of course, you don't know if he's going to make it if Ray is runnning at him with a hand up instead of reaching out to grab him.
"We are going to have to do a better job of defending and rebounding if we want to go very far."
Northridge did not make a 3-point field goal in the game, going 0-for-6, while the Titans were 9 of 23. The Titans made 16 of 21 free throws for their best showing in weeks. Northridge made only 11 of 19.