Titans Tackle Highlanders

Jan. 7, 2011

Riverside, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Sat., Jan. 8 -- at UC Riverside, Student Recreation Center (2,753), 7 p.m., Prime Ticket TV
Thur., Jan. 13 -- at Cal Poly, Mott Gym (3,032), 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 15 -- at Cal State Northridge, The Matadome (1,600), 7:05 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (5-10, 1-2) are coming off two diametrically opposed ball-handling efforts as they travel to UC Riverside (6-7, 1-0) for a PrimeTicket television game. Fullerton committed a possible school record low of 3 turnovers in a win over Pacific on Dec. 30 but then matched that in their first three possessions -- on the way to five in a row and a total of 24 -- in Wednesday's loss at UC Irvine. The only obvious differences: the venues, the aggressiveness of UCI's defense and the presence/absence of forward Andre Hardy.

AUDIO: Most Titan games can be heard live on the internet. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. Mike Martinez is the usual play-by-play announcer.

VIDEO: Saturday's game at UC Riverside will be televised by Prime Ticket. Ron Pitts (play-by-play), Michael Cage (analyst) and Crystina Poncher (sideline) are the talent. ALL Big West Conference home games can be viewed on computers via BigWest subscription TV.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg a/rpg Quick Notes
G 21 Perry Webster 6-1 Jr. 8.3 5.6a Leads Big West in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.65 to 1; was third in nation
G 3 Devon Peltier* 5-11 Sr. 13.3 1.9r Career-high 24 points at USD; beats Pacific with trey at 00.4; 23 pts at UCI
G 15 Orane Chin* 6-7 Jr. 15.0 6.0r Scored career-high 32 points on 13-of-22 shooting at Portland State
F 0 Andre Hardy 6-6 Jr. 15.7 9.7r Twice a rebound shy of double-double in back-to-back starts vs. Davis, UoP
C 12 Jer'Vaughn Johnson* 6-6 Sr. 14.6 5.5r Mr. Consistent: exactly 50 percent from the floor each of last 4 games
OFF THE BENCH:
G 11 Roger Guardia 6-4 Sr. 2.5 2.3r Season-high 14 pts. vs. USD, made all four 3-point attempts; started at UofA
G 13 Isiah Umipig 6-1 Fr. 6.8 1.4r Scored 16 of season-high 19 points in second half at UCI on Wednesday
G 14 Orlando Brown 6-1 Jr. 4.2 3.7r Playing time increased last two games to 18 and 24 minutes
G 32 Eric Williams* 6-3 Sr. 0.9 1.3r Walk-on played career-high 22 minutes at USD in first Div. I start
C 33 Sedric Martin 6-6 Jr. 3.5 1.8r Scored 13 points in first start of season at USC
F 45 Steve Jurich 6-7 Jr. 3.1 2.1r Got third start of season vs. Occidental
*letters earned

HOW YOU SAY IT: dee-VAHN pehl-tee-AY &\#149; Steve JUHR-itch &\#149; OHR-uhn Chin &\#149; Roger GWAHR-dee-uh &\#149; igh-ZAY-uh YOO-muh-pig

LAST GAME: The Titans turned the ball over on their first five possessions and six of the first seven on their way to a season high total of 24 Wednesday night at UC Irvine and lost, 85-78. Andre Hardy had to sit out due to his "fighting" call vs. Pacific and UCI played an aggressive defense with 15 steals. Devon Peltier kept the Titans in the game with 19 first-half points and freshman Isiah Umipig did the same with 16 second-half points.

NO EXPERIENCE: With no two-years or more lettermen, the Titans field a roster that has a total of only nine seasons of Div. I experience (Johnson 3, Hardy 2, Chin 2, Williams 1 and Peltier 1) and only four of those are at Fullerton (Johnson, Chin, Williams and Peltier, 1 each). With Johnson and Hardy sidelined, the Titans took only eight healthy scholarship players to Oahu with a total of four seasons of Div. I experience.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 128-102 in his eighth season at Cal State Fullerton and career. He has the most victories at the Div. I level and trails only Alex Omalev (139-176 in 12 years) all-time. Burton's winning percentage of .557 trails only Bobby Dye (.583, 109-78). He is 11-5 vs. UC Riverside including 4-3 at UCR.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Bob Burton, the Titans are 66-31 (.680) in Titan Gym including 35-4 (.897) in non-conference games. Fullerton had won its last 13 and 32 of the last 33 home non-conference games prior to the Dec. 22 loss to Montana. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 291-165 (.638). Fullerton also is 1-8 in regular season home games at the Anaheim Convention Center. ROAD STRUGGLES: Under Bob Burton, the Titans had made dramatic strides as a road team. Despite a 1-8 record this season, they are 59-60 (.496) away from Titan Gym (includes 11-15 on neutral floors) from 2004-05 through the present. 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 62-71 (.466).

SECOND-HALF DEFENSIVE WOES: Titan opponents are averaging 33+ points in the first half and 40+ in the second half. At USC (49), at Montana (52), at Portland State (51) and vs. UC Davis (52) have been the biggest explosions. Only twice (CSU Bakersfield - 46 and 29 on Nov. 27; USD - 39 and 37 on Dec. 4) has an opponent scored fewer points in the second half than the first. On Dec. 30, Pacific managed a Fullerton-opponent season's low of 19 points in the first half (with a 2-0 headstart before the tip) but erupted for 32 in the second half.

ABOUT THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside is 6-7 overall and 1-0 in the Big West with a win at UC Irvine last week. The Highlanders have won three out of four and are 4-0 at home this season. They have a home win over Montana State, which beat the Titans in Hawaii, and a loss at Cal State Bakersfield, which lost at Fullerton. Javon Borum, who erupted for 30 points at UCI, is the leading scorer at 13.8 ppg followed closely by Phil Martin at 13.3 pg and Kareem Nitoto at 11.1.

SERIES HISTORY: Fullerton leads it, 21-16, and is 5-5 in the Student Recreationn Center.

KEY STATISTIC: Fullerton has outrebounded its opponent only six times this year and the first four occurrences coincided with a victory. The edge in boards was 39-34 in a 3-point win at San Diego, 43-20 in a 10-point home win over Cal State Bakersfield, 27-24 in a 90-76 win over USD and 24-21 in a 76-48 home win on Dec. 18 vs. Occidental. Fullerton outrebounded the much taller UC Davis Aggies on Dec. 28, 36-33, but lost to superior 3-point shooting, and outrebounded UC Irvine on Wednesday, 36-33, but coughed up 24 turnovers to lose.

GO FIGURE: Fullerton committed only 3 turnovers in the win over Pacific, the lowest number in the Bob Burton Era and possibly a school record. The previous low for a Burton team was 7 (on 8 occasions). In records dating back to the 1982-83 season, the previous low was 4 vs. UC Irvine in 1988-89 and vs. San Jose State in 1987-88. But on Wednesday at UCI, Fullerton committed 24 including five on the first six trips down the floor.

LINEUP DIVERSITY: In 15 games, the Titans have utilized 10 different starting lineups, due in great part to the delayed arrivals of Jer'Vaughn Johnson and Andre Hardy, not to mention the absence of any returning starters other than Johnson from 2009-10.

TITAN PLAYER THUMBNAILS:

Orlando Brown - playing time had diminished with the arrivals of first Jer'Vaughn Johnson and now Andre Hardy... but has played 42 minutes in last two games... did not start for first time at Arizona... averaged 29 minutes over first six games vs. 13 minutes over last nine games with TOTAL of 16 points and 20 rebounds... twice has grabbed 9 boards in a game... usually guards opponents' top scoring threat... scored season-high 11 points vs. Cal State Bakersfield.

Orane Chin - scored career-high 32 points at Portland State on 13-of-22 shooting (4 of 7 treys)... made the Rainbow Classic all-tournament team, averaging 22.7 points and 6.0 rebounds over 3 games... had 12 rebounds vs. Central Michigan... has struggled against "twin towers," averaging 5 points (5-for-26 shooting) at USC (6-10 and 6-10) and vs. Montana (7-0 and 6-11) while averaging 18 points against everyone else... played small forward last year and started there for first time this year vs. Oxy.

Roger Guardia - after averaging 19 minutes over five games between Nov. 30 to Dec. 18, has played a total of only 32 minutes in last four games... grabbed 9 rebounds at Montana and against USD had 14 points including 4-for-4 from 3-point line... had 2 points in first start at Arizona.

Andre Hardy - in first three games since returning from ankle surgery is averaging almost a double-double at 15.7 ppg and 9.7 rpg... after a rusty first half vs. Montana on Dec. 22 (in first game action since March, 2009, in the NCAA Tournament for Oral Roberts), had 11 points and 8 rebounds after intermission to post only the third double-double (11 pts., 11 rebs.) by a Titan this season... almost did it again vs. UC Davis with team-high 19 points and 9 rebounds in a starting role and had 17 points and 9 boards vs. Pacific before being ejected for "fighting" with 2:57 to play.

Jer'Vaughn Johnson - only returning starter from last year... strained knee ligament in early practice session; released to practice again on Nov. 18 and played 13 minutes off the bench at USC on Nov. 24... has been most consistent Titan player... in last four games has shot exactly 50 percent (6-of-12 three in a row and then 5-of-10) from the floor each night for 15, 15, 12 and 14 points... made all 7 shots and all 5 free throws in 19-point game at Portland State before fouling out with 1:16 to play... shot only .405 (17 for 42) vs. USC and Montana but is at .672 (45 for 67) against all others... will challenge for lead of the Big West in field-goal percentage (.569) but needs to play one more game to qualify.

Steve Jurich - averaged 8 points and 2.5 rebounds in two starts in Hawai'i before back problem sidelined him... came off the bench at San Diego and played 21 minutes with 5 points and 5 rebounds... had season-high 7 rebounds at Montana... started again vs. Occidental.

Sedric Martin - had season-high 5 rebounds in 11 minutes at UCI after not playing at all in two previous games... got first start at USC and made 6-of-9 shots against the Trojans' twin 6-10 towers and scored 13 points... played about 12 minutes per game in Hawai'i, averaging 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds... hit two free throws at 3:39 to tie Hawai'i game at 70-70.

Devon Peltier - emerged from shooting slump in first half at UCI... in first half was 6-for-9 including 4-of-7 treys on way to 19 points... finished 7/14 and 4/10 with 23 points... had averaged only 6.6 points (11-for-35 FGs, 7-for-22 treys) over previous five games after averaging 16 points over first 9 games... hit game-winning trey in final second to beat Pacific on Dec. 30... led the Titans with 15 points at USC and 20 at Montana and in between was most of the Titans' offense in the second half at San Diego, scoring 14 of his career and game-high 24 points... had 19 points in second USD win... led team with 19 at Arizona, making 4 of 6 treys.

Isiah Umipig - had a break-out second half at UCI with 16 of his season-high 19 points on 5-of-5 FGs and 5-of-5 FTs... freshman "saved the game" for the Titans per Coach Burton vs. Occidental... came off the bench to score 13 of his then season-high 15 points before intermission including team's final seven of the period... hit game-tying trey vs. Central Michigan with 1:01 to play... averaged 10 points and 2.0 rebounds in Hawai'i... back-up point guard ended up at starting small forward vs. Montana State... started again at point vs. UC Davis but picked up two quick fouls and ended up scoreless.

Perry Webster - coming off worst statistical game of the season with 4 turnovers and 3 assists at UCI... still leads Big West in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.65 to 1.0 (84 to 23)... began week third in the nation (leader is Tyler Newbold of Utah State at 4.70 to 1)... after scoreless game at USC came back for season-high 17 points vs. Cal State Bakersfield and matched that vs. Occidental... has had zero turnovers in five of the 15 games including second USD win when he had 10 assists... also had 10 assists in double-double with 10 points at Portland State... scored only 5 points at San Diego but they turned a 58-55 deficit into a 60-58 lead on back-to-back possessions (2 free throws and a trey around his steal)... had 4 steals at USC.

Eric Williams - walk-on averaged 9 minutes per game in Hawai'i... got first career start at San Diego as Titans went "big," starting him (6-3) in place of 6-1 Umipig, who had started against Montana State... hit first trey of season vs. Occidental... started again on Dec. 28 vs. UC Davis.