January 16, 2009

Titans Try to Regain Shooting Touch at Home

Jan. 16, 2009

Fullerton, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Sat., Jan. 17 -- Pacific, Titan Gym (4,000), 8:05 p.m. -- ESPN2 TV & ESPN360
Wed., Jan. 21 -- at Cal State Northridge, The Matadome (1,600), 7:05 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (8-9, 2-3) try to stop a 2-game losing streak in Titan Gym when they host Pacific in a nationally televised game, their eighth regional or national exposure this season. The Titans have shot only .362 (50-of-138) from the floor and only .228 (13-for-57) from behind the 3-point line in Big West home losses to Cal State Northridge and UC Davis. In between, they shot a combined .464 overall and .388 from the arc in 3 road games, winning twice.

PRE-GAME CHALK TALK: Associate Head Coach Andy Newman will conduct his monthly "Chalk Talk" for the Titan Athletic Club prior to the Pacific game. The program begins at 6 p.m. in the University Village Cafeteria and the public is invited. There is no admission charge and refreshments will be provided.

AUDIO: All Titan 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. Mike Martinez will call the Pacific game.

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

ADDITIONAL VIDEO: The following link to ESPN360: http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/index?id=290172239
will allow anyone on a computer network to view the Pacific game live online, and will allow anybody in the community that has their highspeed Internet connection through one of ESPN's affiliates to access it as well. ESPN360.com is a 24/7 broadband sports network, delivering more than 3,000 live global sports events annually. ESPN360.com is available at no charge to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. It is available free to approximately 18 million students and military personnel via any computer on a U.S. campus or military base computer network. Additionally, it has tripled its residential distribution in the past 20 months, and is available in 24 million households nationwide via more than 20 Internet service providers around the country including AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg r/apg Quick Notes
G 1 Josh Akognon* 6-1 Sr. 23.8 3.4r Averaged 27.5 points last week to earn third Big West Player of Week Award
G 22 Jacques Streeter 6-0 Fr. 11.2 4.1a Last 5 games averaging 17.2 points, making 18 of 33 3-pointers
F 42 Papa Guisse 6-8 Jr. 4.5 5.1r Leads Big West with 1.82 blocked shots per game
F 24 Gerard Anderson 6-6 Jr. 9.8 6.1r Missed almost two full games with ankle injury in first minute vs. CMU
G 0 Aaron Thompson 6-4 Jr. 8.4 4.0r Averaging 9.2 points in Big West games, the last three as a starter
OFF THE BENCH:
G 11 Marcio Lassiter* 6-2 Sr. 9.2 2.7r Nice road trip off bench with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers
F 43 Ray Miller 6-8 Jr. 4.6 3.4r Leads team with .627 field-goal percentage; blocked 3 shots vs. UCI
F 21 Chris Rhymes 6-4 Jr. 4.5 2.0r Scored 10 pts. in first half vs. Charlotte on 4-for-4 shooting; 2 of 2 3's at SLO
G 14 Ameer Shamsud-din 6-2 Fr. 0.8 1.1a Scored first points on Mainland with deuce vs. CSU Bakersfield
C 55 Adam Thomas 7-2 Jr. 1.0 0.8r 4 points on 2-for-2 shooting at Montana State
F 5 Regan Andersen 6-7 Jr. 1.3 1.5r Well-traveled Milwaukee native; walk-on transfer from Oxnard College
G 44 Kwasi Mensah 6-3 Fr. 0.0 0.0a Walk-on from Rancho Cucamonga HS
*letters earned

EASY FOR ME TO SAY: Josh ah-KOY-uhn &\#149; POP gee-SAY &\#149; Ameer shahm-suh-DEEN &\#149; zyah-KEESE Streeter &\#149; KWAH-zee Mensah &\#149; REE-guhn Andersen

SERIES HISTORY: The Tigers lead the all-time series, 42-33, but Fullerton has won four of the last five meetings and two in a row in Titan Gym. From 1998-99 through 2005-06, UoP won 14 of 15 meetings. The teams split last year with the home team winning, 89-82 in Stockton and 92-78 in Fullerton.

ABOUT THE TIGERS: Pacific lost at UC Irvine Thursday night, 52-51, to go to 9-6 overall and 2-2 in the Big West. The Tigers trailed at the half, 30-15. Forward Bryan LeDuc is averaging 11.5 points off the bench to lead the team in scoring despite playing only 22 minutes per game. Guard Chad Troyer averages 10.4 while forward Anthony Brown is at 9.4. Sam Willard tops the rebounders at 6.9 per game. Bob Thomason is the dean of Big West Conference coaches with a 352-255 record in his 21st season at his alma mater.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 100-69 in his sixth year at Cal State Fullerton and career. At .592, Burton is the winningest coach in Titan history. Alex Omalev, who passed away on Nov. 10 at the age of 88, has the most total victories (139-176) followed by George McQuarn (122-117). Bobby Dye is second in winning percentage at .583 (109-78). Burton is 4-7 vs. Pacific and Bob Thomason, 2-3 in Titan Gym.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Bob Burton, the Titans are 52-20 (.722) in Historic Titan Gym including 4-2 this season. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 277-154 (.643). Fullerton also is 1-8 in regular season home games at the Anaheim Convention Center.

NERVOUS TIME: Three of Fullerton's Big West games have gone down to the last possession of regulation. The Titans missed a couple of shots at the regulation buzzer at UC Irvine, survived two misses in the final nine seconds at Cal Poly and created a turnover with nine seconds left at UCSB. Marcio Lassiter clinched each win with a pair of free throws -- with 0.2 seconds at Cal Poly and 4.1 seconds at UCSB.

SLOW STARTS: After a series of non-conference games with very poor starts to the second half, the Titans are now struggling after the opening tip-off in Big West play... At both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, the Titans fell behind, 9-0, to start the game... And at home vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 29, they found themselves in a 10-0 hole... At UCI they got off to an early 6-2 lead but then fell behind, 15-10... Thursday night vs. UC Davis they saw an 8-8 tie turn into a 23-12 deficit.

NOTEWORTHY TRIP: Fullerton's sweep of the Central Coast trip to SLO and Santa Barbara was only its second in the 13 years Cal Poly has been in the Big West. There also have been eight splits and three 0-2's. And the 62-58 win at UCSB was noteworthy since it was the lowest scoring victory in the Bob Burton Era as well as Fullerton's first this season after trailing at the half (now 1-6).

LOSING BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Not surprisingly, given the heights on the roster and the quality of the competition, rebounding has been a problem for the Titans in 2008-09, particularly at the defensive end... Although outrebounded by only about 4.7 per game, the Titans have had some glaring disparities and have given up 15 offensive rebounds per game... Three of the four worst rebounding disparities of the Bob Burton Era have occurred this season -- minus 29 (56 vs. 27) at LSU, minus 22 (54 vs. 32) vs. Saint Mary's and minus 18 (37 vs. 19) in a win at home over Montana State... the other game in that neighborhood was minus 23 (50 vs. 27) vs. Wisconsin in last year's NCAA Tournament... Saint Mary's grabbed 26 offensive rebounds and both LSU and Central Michigan got 20... only one other team (Cal State Northridge with 21 on Feb. 10, 2007) has collected 20 or more offensive rebounds against a Burton team at CSF.

BIG WEST LEADERS: At the midway points of the regular season, the Titans are a team hard to pigeonhole, at least statistically. They are in the middle of the pack in most Big West Conference team categories. They lead only in scoring (75.8 ppg), 3-point field goals made (7.88 per game) and blocked shots (3.94) while being last only in scoring defense (75.6 ppg) and next-to-last in rebound margin (minus 4.8). Individually, Josh Akognon leads the Big West in scoring (23.8 ppg), free-throw percentage (.903) and 3-pointers made per game (3.88)... Papa Guisse is No. 1 in blocked shots at 1.82 and Jacques Streeter is No. 1 in 3-point field goal percentage at .518.