March 1, 2008
Fullerton, Calif. -
Scott Cutley posted season highs of 25 points and a game-high 13 rebounds Saturday night to lead Cal State Fullerton to an 85-51 Big West Conference men's basketball victory over Long Beach State in its final home game of the season.
The win improved the Titans' record to 19-8 overall and 11-4 to hold onto second place. Donovan Morris scored 25 points but no one else was in double figures for the 49ers, who lost their fifth consecutive game to fall to 6-22, 3-11. Arturas Lazdauskas had 8 points and a team-high 9 rebounds.
Josh Akognon added 19 points and Ray Reed had 13 points and 9 assists for the Titans, who took advantage of 30 Long Beach State turnovers and committed only nine.
The 34-point margin of victory was the largest for Fullerton in the 95-game series with Long Beach, which still holds a 57-38 edge.
Long Beach led from the opening tip and built a 15-8 lead on Cornel Williams' 3-point basket six minutes into the game. But the Titans turned up the defensive intensity and went on a 15-0 run over 8 minutes capped by a Cutley free throw for a 23-15 lead. The 49ers clawed back to within a single point at 27-26 but trailed by six at the half, 34-28.
Fullerton erupted out of the locker room, scoring the first 15 points to take control of the game at 49-28 with 16:11 remaining. The 49ers never got closer than 17 points again.
Fullerton was able to empty its bench and all 10 players made field goals including center Eddie Lima, who had not scored since November. Backup center Kenneth Alexander, one of six CSF seniors, scored the Titans' final points on the first 3-point basket of his two-year career.
Fullerton plays a non-conference game at Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night before wrapping up the regular season Saturday night at UC Irvine. Long Beach State hosts Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara next week.
The Big West Conference Tournament in Anaheim begins on March 12.