January 5, 2010

49ers, Titans Early Crucial

Jan. 5, 2010

Fullerton, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Thur., Jan. 7 - Long Beach State, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 9 -- at UC Riverside, Student Recreation Center (3,168), 4 p.m. (FSN Net TV)
Thur., Jan. 14 -- Cal Poly SLO, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (5-7, 0-1) and 49ers (6-8, 0-1) are both looking for their first Big West Conference wins after dismal performances at the free-throw line cost them narrow opening night losses. Fullerton made only 13-of-28 free throw tries in a 67-63 loss at UC Davis Saturday while the 49ers made only 17-of-35 in an overtime loss at UC Riverside, 69-67. Last season the teams traded 1-point road victories. The teams have split the last six meetings but Long Beach leads the all-time series, the most prevalent in Fullerton's past, 58-39. Long Beach is only 16-21 in Titan Gym.

AUDIO: Most games can be heard live on the internet on computers with sound cards. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. Erik Pessolano will handle the play-by-play vs. Long Beach State.

VIDEO: All Titan home games and road Big West Conference games are available via videostreaming, normally on a subscription basis. Details are available on the Big West website at www.bigwest.org.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg r/apg Quick Notes
G 11 Jacques Streeter* 6-0 So. 10.8 4.2a Has 1.72 assist-to-turnover ratio, second in Big West
G 0 Aaron Thompson* 6-4 Sr. 10.8 3.9r Shooting .677 from 3-point line (21-of-31) including 7-for-7 last 2 games
C 13 Bryce Webster 6-10 Jr. 8.1 5.4r Had first double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds vs. CSU Bakersfield
F 5 Gerard Anderson* 6-6 Jr. 7.0 5.0r Just missed double-double at Davis with team highs of 13 points, 9 rebounds
F 12 Jer'Vaughn Johnson 6-6 Jr. 10.3 6.1r Scored career-high 19 points against his former SDSU team

OFF THE BENCH:
G 3 Devon Peltier 5-11 Jr. 8.9 0.5a Has led team in scoring three times
G 14 Jamel McGuire 6-5 Jr. 1.7 1.4a Extremely fast guard from San Diego City College
F 15 Orane Chin 6-7 So. 8.0 3.9r Led team with 15 points in first Titan start at Utah State
G 21 Robbie Robinson 6-5 Jr. 2.2 1.2r Key member of Riverside City College's state championship team in `08-09
G 22 Frank Granados 5-8 Sr. 1.0 0.0a Walk-on practiced against women's team last three years
G 24 Eric Williams 6-3 Jr. 3.5 1.1a Had 10 points, 2 assists in 12 minutes at Utah State
F 33 Ray Miller* 6-8 Sr. 3.2 1.5r Led team last season with .631 field-goal percentage
F 42 Papa Guisse* 6-8 Sr. 1.1 1.8r Started 21 of team's 32 games last year
*letters earned

SERIES HISTORY: Long Beach State leads the most often played rivalry in Fullerton's 50-year history, 58-39, but is only 16-21 in Titan Gym. Last year the teams split with the road team scoring a 1-point victory. At Long Beach, Josh Akognon hit a fallaway jumper with 3.9 seconds left for a 61-60 Titan win on Jan. 29. On Feb. 18, the Titans were denied a last shot when Aaron Thompson lost the ball and Larry Anderson swatted it into the backcourt as the clock expired on a 75-74 49ers' win that stopped Fullerton's 3-game win streak against Long Beach.

ABOUT THE 49ers: The pre-season Big West favorites played a powerful non-conference schedule and came out 6-7 with losses at the likes of Notre Dame, Texas, Kentucky and Duke. The 49ers routed UCLA and beat Utah State at home but lost overtime games at LMU and Saturday night at UC Riverside, 69-67. T. J. Robinson has eclipsed Larry Anderson as the statistical star, averaging 16.1 points and 10.9 rebounds while Anderson is at 12.7 and 4.1. Point guard Casper Ware averages 11.7 ppg and 5.7 assists.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is in his seventh year at Cal State Fullerton with a campus and career record of 112-84 (.571). The Titans' 5-7 record has dropped his winning percentage below Bobby Dye's .583 (109-78), the school record from the 1970s. The late Alex Omalev has the most total victories (139-176) followed by George McQuarn (122-117) and then Burton. Burton is 6-7 vs. the 49ers, 3-3 in Titan Gym.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Coach Bob Burton, the Titans are 58-24 (.707) in Titan Gym but they went only 2-6 in Big West Conference play last season. They have won their last nine home non-conference games since a loss to Wright State on Dec. 22, 2007.

ROAD WORRIERS: The Titans have lost their last seven games away from home this season (0-4 road, 0-3 neutral). Under Coach Bob Burton, the Titans had made dramatic strides as a road team. In the past five seasons plus the game at UCLA this year they were 51-42 (.548) away from Titan Gym (including 11-10 on neutral floors). For the previous 10 seasons (1994-95 thru 2003-04), the combined road record was 30-115 (.207). With a 3-11 mark in his first season (2003-04), Burton's total CSF road record is 54-60 (.474).

WINLESS TRIP AGAIN: Not since a trip to Utah State and Idaho on Jan. 20 & 22, 2005, had the Titans failed to fly home with at least one victory from a multi-game road trip -- a span of 16 road trips -- before it occurred in Texas on Dec. 4-5 and again in Utah on Dec. 21-23. They had two 2-0 trips, one 2-1 trip and 13 1-1 adventures between the 0-2s.

CONFERENCE HOME OPENERS: Fullerton is 3-3 in its first Big West Conference home games in the Bob Burton Era. Last year the Titans lost to Cal State Northridge, 90-64. The year before they opened at home with a win over UC Irvine, 93-83.

STREAKY TEAM: The Titans have had extended stretches of brilliance and ineptitude this season. The most dramatic was the New Mexico State game, when they fell behind, 25-3; went on an extended 57-17 run to go up by 18 points only to give up an 18-6 surge to make it close. Other bad starts have been 7-30 at Utah State and 2-13 at Stephen F. Austin. Good starts have been 27-8 vs. Occidental and 17-6 vs. Cal State Bakersfield. In-game runs have included 12-0 at Utah State, 20-3 vs. Weber State, 10-0 late at UC Davis 13-0, 11-0 and 14-0 all in the first half vs. Occidental and 11-0 and 12-0 in the New Mexico State rally. Conversely, 0-20 vs. NMSU, 0-11 vs. Bakersfield and Utah State and 0-10 vs. Morehead State and Central Arkansas.

MULTI-LEADERS: In 12 games, the Titans have had seven different scoring leaders or co-leaders with reserve Devon Peltier taking honors three times to lead the list (Peltier, 3; Chin, Thompson, Streeter and Johnson 2 each; and Anderson and Webster, 1 each).

THOMPSON NATIONAL LEADER? The NCAA requires 2.5 made 3-pt. field goals per game for its national rankings by percentage. Noruwa Agho of Columbia is the leader (thru Jan. 3) at .612 (30-of-49) and is the only player above .510. Thompson (21-for-31) needed 9 more makes to qualify thru games of Jan. 3.

FAST START: Fullerton was 3-0 out of the gate for the fourth time in the Burton Era. But only in 2006-07 did the Titans made it to 4-0.

OVERTIME SUCCESS: Fullerton has won five of its last six overtime games, which covers this season and the previous three.

LOSING STREAKS: Fullerton avoided the worst slump in the Bob Burton Era with its win over Cal State Bakersfield last Monday night. The Titans had lost three in a row for the second time this season and the eighth time in the Bob Burton Era. Only once (in 2003-04) has the losing skein reached four in a row.

NO DOUBLE FIGURES: When Bryce Webster and Devon Peltier led the Titans with only 8 points vs. Central Arkansas on Dec. 4, it was the lowest point total for a Titan scoring leader in the program's 36-year Div. I history. In only three other games did no Titan score in double figures -- 9 by Pape Sow vs. USF, Nov. 19, 2005; 9 by Babacar Camara at Valparaiso on Dec. 22, 2000; and 9 by both Ike Harmon and Chris Dade at Utah State on Feb. 7, 1998.

ANOTHER LOW: Fullerton's 49 points vs. Central Arkansa were its lowest output since a 77-44 loss at UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 31, 2004. The only other sub-50-point game in the Bob Burton Era was a 57-49 loss at Utah State on Jan. 22, 2004.

SHORT-TERM EXPERIENCE: Despite five returning lettermen, the Titans have no players remaining on the roster who suited up during the 2007-08 Big West Conference championship and NCAA Tournament season. Jacques Streeter (32), Gerard Anderson (29), Papa Guisse (21), Aaron Thompson (16) and Ray Miller (12) did combine for 110 starts last season.

DIV. I TRANSFERS: The Titans have two new Div. I transfers eligible this season in Orane Chin (South Florida) and Jer'Vaughn Johnson (San Diego State) plus two players who began at 4-year schools but came to Fullerton via the community college route (Bryce Webster from Minnesota via Irvine Valley and Eric Williams from Metro State in Colorado via Orange Coast). The Titans have two more Div. I transfers redshirting in Sean Williams from Syracuse and Andre Hardy from Oral Roberts. They bring the total of Div. I transfers to CSF to 13 in the Bob Burton Era and 36 in the program's now 35-year Div. I history.

FALL SIGNEES: Cal State Fullerton received two national letters of intent in the November signing period:
&\#149; De'Andre Haskins is attending Citrus College in Azusa after playing his freshman year at Valparaiso University in Indiana. The 6-foot-4 wing player out of Long Beach Jordan HS averaged 6.2 points and 2.6 rebounds for the Crusaders and, as a lefthander, will draw comparisons to recent Titan Frank Robinson.

&\#149; Isiah Umipig is a senior at Federal Way High School and lives in Seattle, Washington. The 6-1 point guard led his team to the Class 4A state championship in 2008-09 and was his team's leading scorer in the championship game win over Garfield, 62-54, in the Tacoma Dome with 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He played only 13 games his junior season due to an ankle injury. The title was the first in school history.

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