Nov. 27, 2006
Cheney, WA - Rodney Stuckey scored 27 points and five teammates also were in double figures Monday night as Eastern Washington outgunned Cal State Fullerton, 110-100, in a non-conference men's basketball game.
The loss was the first of the year for the Titans (4-1), who set a school record for most points in a defeat. The Eagles evened their record at 3-3 in winning their third home game of the year but first over a Div. I opponent.
Bobby Brown and Ray Reed each scored 20 points for Fullerton, which had five players in double figures. Scott Cutley scored 19 points, Frank Robinson had 16 for the second game in a row and Marcus Crenshaw came off the bench for 11.
Paul Butorac had 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Eagles, who shot 61 percent from the floor and outrebounded the smaller Titans, 37-28.
Fullerton still made a game of it but appeared to tire in the waning minutes of the third game of a week-long road trip. EWU had a 1-point lead at 88-87 with 6:37 to play before going on a 10-0 run over a span of 2:12. A banked 3-pointer by the 6-foot-10 Butorac was the key play of a run that saw the Titans either turn the ball over or get only one shot at the offensive end.
Justin Burns hit two free throws to stop the streak and Cutley's bucket at 2:17 made it a 6-point game at 102-96. But the Eagles got two offensive rebounds to set up two Stuckey free throws and the Titans never got closer than 7 points again.
"The fatigue from the trip caught up with us," said Head Coach Bob Burton. "I could see it in the first half. We were just hoping we could keep it close and maybe pull it out at the end. We couldn't guard anybody."
This game was a "payback" for last year's eBay Bracket Buster game that brought EWU to Titan Gym where the Titans beat a road-weary Eagles team, 89-63. Fullerton lost for the first time in four contests with the Eagles despite building a 15-point lead in the first half.
Fullerton used an 18-3 run to break away from a 20-20 tie for a 38-23 lead with 8:22 to go in the half. But EWU outscored Fullerton 24-7 over the next 6 minutes for a 47-45 lead.
Fullerton led at the half, 56-54, despite allowing the Eagles to shoot 68 percent from the floor. The Titans shot 61 percent including 47 percent from the 3-point line. Brown had 15 to match Stuckey's output in a display of possibly the best player in each team's respective conference.
Fullerton scored the first six points of the second half but then gave up the next 12. There were 14 lead changes and 8 ties. After the teams exchanged the early second-half runs, neither team led by more than 5 points until EWU's decisive surge.
The old CSF mark for points in defeat was 96 points, twice back in the early 1960s. The Eagles' point total was the most allowed by Fullerton since a 120-91 loss at UCLA on Dec. 13, 1997. Monday's combined total of 210 points was the most since the Bruins and Titans combined for 211.
Fullerton plays at home on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. against Texas-San Antonio, in a rematch of last week's Fullerton win in Texas.