February 4, 2011

UCR Is Homecoming Foe

Feb. 4, 2011

Fullerton, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Sat., Feb. 5 -- UC Riverside, Titan Gym (4,000), 6:05 p.m., Homecoming Game
Thurs., Feb. 10 -- Cal State Northridge, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 16 -- at UC Santa Barbara, The Thunderdome (6,000), 7:05 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (9-14, 5-5) put their 4-game home-court winning streak on the line in a rematch with UC Riverside (8-12, 3-5), which won at home Thursday night over Cal State Northridge. The first CSF-UCR meeting on Jan. 8 produced an 83-77 overtime win for the Titans in a game that saw the Highlanders score 5 points in the final 3 seconds of regulation to force overtime.

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: ALL non-televised Big West Conference home games can be viewed on computers via BigWest subscription TV. Fullerton's Feb. 26 home game vs. Cal Poly SLO has been moved to 8 p.m. to accommodate an ESPNU national telecast.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg a/rpg Quick Notes
G 21 Perry Webster 6-1 Jr. 8.5 5.3a Leads BWC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.85:1); began week 10th in nation
G 3 Devon Peltier 5-11 Sr. 13.4 1.9r Leads BWC in free-throw percentage at .899; tops team in minutes
F 15 Orane Chin 6-7 Jr. 13.0 6.3r Double-double including late pivotal 3-point play in Thursday night win
F 0 Andre Hardy 6-6 Jr. 12.2 9.3r Leads team with 3 double-doubles and a rebound shy of three others
C 12 Jer'Vaughn Johnson 6-6 Sr. 14.6 6.5r Had best game of career with 22 points, 13 rebounds vs. Long Beach on 1/19
OFF THE BENCH:
G 11 Roger Guardia 6-4 Sr. 2.3 2.1r Season-high 14 pts. vs. USD, made all four 3-point attempts; started at UofA
G 13 Isiah Umipig 6-1 Fr. 7.4 1.3r Led team in scoring Thursday with third 19-point game of season
G 14 Orlando Brown 6-1 Jr. 3.4 2.9r Played 28 minutes at Bakersfield with 10 points and 4 rebounds
G 32 Eric Williams 6-3 Sr. 1.3 1.3r Walk-on played solid 19 minutes including all of overtime in win at UCR
C 33 Sedric Martin 6-6 Jr. 3.0 1.7r Scored 13 points in first start of season at USC
F 45 Steve Jurich 6-7 Jr. 2.8 1.9r Got third start of season vs. Occidental

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

LAST GAME: The Titans led virtually the entire game on Thursday, an 80-74 win over UC Irvine, but it took a 3-point play by Orane Chin with 35 seconds remaining to clinch it. Chin had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds while Isiah Umipig hit 5-of-9 treys on his way to 19 points, matching his season high. Fullerton shot well -- 53 percent from the floor, 44 percent from the arc and 82 percent at the line.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 132-106 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 .555 trails only Bobby Dye (.583, 109-78). He is 12-5 vs. UC Riverside including 5-2 in Titan Gym.

ABOUT THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside (8-12, 3-5) bounced back from two lopsided road losses at UC Davis and Pacific and snapped a 4-game losing streak Thursday night with a 73-70 win at home over red-hot Cal State Northridge. Phil Martin scored 23 points to boost his season's average to 12.9 ppg, second only to guard Javon Borum, who averages 14.2 and has been in double figures 17 games in a row, a UCR Div. I record.

SERIES HISTORY: Fullerton leads it, 22-16, and is 7-4 in Titan Gym since the 1984-85 season. Fullerton has swept a season series only three times -- in 1960-61 (2-0), 2003-04 (2-0) and 2007-08 (3-0). UCR won last year in Titan Gym, 76-59, led by Kyle Austin's 35-point effort.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Bob Burton, the Titans are 69-31 (.690) 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 294-165 (.641). 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 before this year's 2-12 effort. They are 60-64 (.484) 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 63-75 (.457).

HOME (7-2) VS. AWAY (2-12): The record discrepancy shows up primarily in loose ball situations -- rebounding and turnovers. At home Fullerton is plus 3.2 in rebounding and 2.67 to the good in turnovers. On the road the Titans are -3.4 in rebounding and 2.8 to the bad in turnovers. The shooting percentages are slightly better across the board at home -- .476 to .431 overall; .351 to .336 at the arc; and .766 to .691 at the line. But, interestingly, opponents shoot about the same at home as in Titan Gym: .440 at Fullerton vs. .444 overall; .354 at Fullerton vs. .353 at the arc; and .791 at Fullerton vs. .700 at the line.

BIG WEST COIN DRIVE: The fourth annual Big West Coin Drive has returned to the nine conference campuses throughout the month of February as each school's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) collects coins and donates the funds to charity. Each school will donate three-fourths of its collection to its designated charity and the other 25 percent to the winning institution's charity. Cal Poly was the top fundraising institution in 2010, while Pacific (2009) and UC Davis (2008) raised the most money the previous two years. The nine Big West schools raised more than \$11,000 in 2010.

SECOND-HALF TENSION: The Titans are only 7-4 when leading at the half. In three of those wins it took a last-second reprieve to salvage a win after blowing a significant lead; vs. UCSB it took a late 19-5 surge to overcome blowing a 14-point advantage and vs. UCI on Thursday night it took a 17-11 finish for the 6-point win after a 10-point lead at intermission. At USD on Nov. 1, the lead was 55-48 with about 7 minutes to play before USD had a 10-0 run only to eventually miss three shots in the paint to take a lead in the final five seconds and then miss a trey at the buzzer to tie. Vs. Pacific on Dec. 30, the Titans led, 51-39 at 5:16 only to go scoreless until Devon Peltier's tie-breaking, lucky bounce 3-pointer with 00.4 on the clock. At Riverside on Jan. 8, the lead was 73-68 with six seconds to go but UCR tied it on a 3-pointer and two foul shots stemming from a technical foul for a "sixth" timeout. Fullerton also saw all but 2 points of a 10-point lead disappear in the final 44 seconds vs. Long Beach State on Jan. 19. Fullerton is 2-10 when trailing at the half, rallying only vs. Cal State Bakersfield and at UC Riverside.

LINEUP DIVERSITY: Thanks primarily to healing joints, the Titans have been able to settle on a regular starting lineup. Through the first 14 games, the Titans utilized 10 different starting combinations, 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. But the combo of Webster, Peltier, Chin, Hardy and Johnson has started eight times including the last seven games.

TITAN PLAYER THUMBNAILS:
Orlando Brown - had his best game in 3 weeks with 10-point, 4-rebound effort in 28 minutes at Bakersfield on Jan. 25... playing time has diminished with the arrivals of first Jer'Vaughn Johnson and later Andre Hardy... he played total of 42 minutes in back-to-back games vs. UoP and at UCI but only 25 minutes total over the next 4 games... started first 8 games of the season... twice has grabbed 9 boards in a game... usually guards opponents' top scoring threat... scored season-high 11 points vs. Cal State Bakersfield on Nov. 27... hit a big trey in the second half vs. Long Beach on Jan. 19.

Orane Chin - team's fortunes have ridden on his shoulders the last five games... Big West Player of the Week (Jan. 17-23) for his efforts in wins vs. Long Beach State and UCSB but struggled last week on the road, averaging 3.5 points on 3-for-17 (.176) shooting in losses at Bakersfield and Long Beach... bounced back last night with double-double and pivotal 3-point play with 33 seconds to go... was one rebound shy of a double-double in the win over the 49ers on Jan. 19 with 12 points and 9 rebounds... on Jan. 22 he led team with 18 points vs. UCSB, scoring 11 unanswered points late in the first half to erase an early UCSB advantage and his free throws at 3:15 put the Titans ahead to stay, 51-50... 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 ppg and 6.0 rpg... had 12 rebounds vs. Central Michigan.

Roger Guardia - has played only 7 minutes in last five games, all at Long Beach... after 6 scoreless games, scored 6 first-half points at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 15... he averaged 19 minutes over five games between Nov. 30 to Dec. 18 but has played a total of only 83 minutes in last 10 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 11 games since returning from ankle surgery is averaging just under a double-double at 12.2 ppg and 9.3 rpg... scored what proved to be the winning bucket vs. Long Beach State on Jan. 19 with layup for 88-82 lead with 13 seconds remaining... 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... missed game at UCI but came back with second double-double (14 pts., 10 rebs.) at UCR on Jan. 8 and had a third with 12 points and 10 boards at Cal Poly on Jan. 13... just missed again with 12 points, 9 rebounds Thursday vs. UC Irvine.

Jer'Vaughn Johnson - only returning starter from last year...strained knee ligament in early practice session; released to practice again on Nov. 18 and debuted with 13 minutes off the bench at USC on Nov. 24... has been most consistent Titan player... ranks close second in Big West to CSUN's Lenny Daniel (.579) in field-goal percentage at .575... went 6-for-7 at Bakersfield on Jan. 25... was 6-for-8 Thursday nigh vs. UCI... had arguably best game of Titan career on Jan. 19 vs. Long Beach, one point and one rebound shy of his career highs with 22 points and 13 rebounds in 34 minutes against the athletic 49ers... made all 7 shots and all 5 free throws in 19-point game at Portland State before fouling out with 1:16 to play... has shot only .400 (18 for 45) vs. twin-towered USC, Montana and UCSB but is at .632 (86 for 136) against all others.

Steve Jurich - has not played in past five games and has played total of only 35 minutes vs. Big West competition... 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 8 points in 7 minutes of play at Long Beach State last Saturday... had season-high 5 rebounds in 11 minutes at UC Irvine on Jan. 5 after not playing at all in two previous games... got 5 more boards at Cal Poly on Jan. 13... got first start at USC and made 6-of-9 shots against the Trojans' twin 6-10 towers and scored 13 points... hit two free throws at 3:39 to tie Hawai'i game at 70-70.

Devon Peltier - led team with 23 points at Bakersfield on Jan. 25, hitting 4-of-7 treys and 9-of-17 overall... but was only 3-for-6 for 7 points at Long Beach last Saturday and was only starter not in double figures vs. UCI (2-for-5, 5 pts.)... leads team in minutes played at 744 (32.3 mpg average)... emerged from shooting slump three weeks ago (44 pts. on 15-of-28 FGs, 9-of-19 3's) at UCI and UCR... had 23 pts. at UCI and 21 at UCR with 6 points in OT... 30-for-32 (.938) at the line in Big West play... 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... leads Big West in free-throw percentage at .899 (62 of 69).

Isiah Umipig - after five relatively quiet games (18 total pts. on 7-of-22 FGs) after the first UCR game he had 12 points at Long Beach State, leading second-half rally, and 19 to lead the team Thursday night vs. UCI... had back-to-back breakout performances four weeks ago... led desperate rally at UCI on Jan. 5 by scoring 16 points in final 6 minutes for season-high 19 points (5-of-5 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs)....started for injured Perry Webster at UCR on Jan. 8 and scored 19 again including 7 in first 4 minutes of second half to almost erase 8-point deficit and then back-to-back buckets in final five minutes when UCR had pulled within a point... "saved the game" for the Titans per Coach Burton vs. Occidental... came off bench to score 13 of his then season-high 15 points before intermission including team's final seven of the period.

Perry Webster - leads Big West in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.85 to 1.0 (117 to 41) despite 12 assists vs. 10 turnovers over last 3 games... began this week tenth in the nation (leader was Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin at 3.91-to-1)... clutch down stretch at home vs. Long Beach and UCSB, scoring 7 points in 9-4 CSF run that produced 83-74 lead at 0:55 vs. the 49ers and hitting trey to beat the shot clock for 58-50 lead over UCSB at 0:35... after scoreless game at USC came back for season-high 17 points vs. Cal State Bakersfield and matched that vs. Occidental... matched it again -- all in the second half -- at CSUN on Jan. 15... 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).

Eric Williams - walk-on played solid 19 minutes on Jan. 8 in win at UC Riverside and made big trey in second half vs. Long Beach State... got season-high 5 points at CSUN on Jan. 15... 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.