Trip to Stockton, Davis Challenging for Titan Men

Feb. 10, 2009

Fullerton, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Thur., Feb. 12 -- at Pacific, Spanos Center (6,150), 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 14 -- at UC Davis, The Pavilion (7,600), 7 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 18 -- Long Beach State, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (12-11, 6-5) make their final multi-game road trip of the season this week when they travel to Stockton and Davis. Fullerton must bounce back from a come-from-ahead 3-point home loss to Cal Poly that ended its 4-game winning streak and prevented it from staying a half-game out of first place. The Titans are 5-4 in true road games this year, winning their last four, but are facing two teams that it lost to decisively in Titan Gym.

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. Mel Franks will call the Pacific and UC Davis games. 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.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg r/apg Quick Notes
G 1 Josh Akognon 6-1 Sr. 23.5 3.4r Nation's No. 8 scorer twice tallied 29 points last week
G 22 Jacques Streeter 6-0 Fr. 10.8 4.0a Only 4-for-18 from 3-point line in last four games
G 21 Chris Rhymes 6-4 Jr. 5.5 2.5r Averaging 7.8 points over last six games, five as a starter
F 43 Ray Miller 6-8 Jr. 5.0 3.3r Matched career high with 12 points vs. Cal Poly; leads team with .632 FG%
F 24 Gerard Anderson 6-6 Jr. 9.5 6.1r Scored in double figures in four of last six games
OFF THE BENCH:
G 11 Marcio Lassiter 6-2 Sr. 8.9 2.8r Averaging 3.8 assists over last 6 games
F 42 Papa Guisse 6-8 Jr. 3.9 4.5r Second in Big West with 1.52 blocked shots per game
G 0 Aaron Thompson 6-4 Jr. 7.0 3.4r Against UCSB, hit first 3-pointer (and then another one) since Jan. 3
G 14 Ameer Shamsud-din 6-2 Fr. 0.7 1.0a Scored first points on Mainland with deuce vs. CSU Bakersfield
C 55 Adam Thomas 7-2 Jr. 0.8 0.8r 4 points on 2-for-2 shooting at Montana State
F 5 Regan Andersen 6-7 Jr. 1.6 1.4r 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

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 HISTORIES: The Titans are 8-2 all-time vs. Davis but lost an 85-74 decision in Titan Gym on Jan. 15. Fullerton's other loss in the series came on Mar. 3, 2007, 77-68, at Davis, where the Titans are 3-1. Fullerton trails Pacific in their series, 43-33, including a 77-62 Tigers' win on Jan. 17 in Titan Gym. Fullerton is 8-19 in the Spanos Center, winning there only twice (2003 and 2007) in the last 19 years.

ABOUT THE TIGERS: Pacific (12-9, 5-5) is coming off an 0-2 road trip to Riverside and Long Beach. The Tigers are 6-4 at home. Fullerton College transfer Bryan LeDuc averages 11.2 ppg usually off the bench and Chad Troyer adds 10.5 ppg. Anthony Brown is the leading rebounder at 5.0 rpg and the No. 3 scorer at 9.6 ppg.

ABOUT THE AGGIES: UC Davis (10-13, 5-5) got a split on its trip south, winning at Long Beach before losing at Riverside on Saturday night. The Aggies lost their last two home games to Cal Poly and Pacific and are 4-5 at home. Vince Oliver has emerged as one of the top scorers in the Big West at 15.4 ppg. Joe Harden averages 14.0, Mark Payne is at 11.4 and Dominic Calegari is at 10.7. Payne leads the Big West with a .672 field-goal percentage. The team shoots .796 at the foul line but went only 11-for-19 at UCR after a 28-for-37 effort at Long Beach.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 104-71 in his sixth year at Cal State Fullerton and career. At .594, 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 4-8 vs. Pacific and Bob Thomason, 1-4 in Spanos, and 7-2 vs. UC Davis and Gary Stewart, 3-1 in The Pavilion.

ROAD WARRIORS: Under Bob Burton, the Titans have made dramatic strides as a road team. In the past four seasons plus this year (6-7) , they are 47-38 (.553) away from Titan Gym (includes 10-9 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 50-49 (.505). Fullerton's current 4-game ROAD winning streak (last loss in OT at UCI on Jan. 3) equals the longest of the Bob Burton Era (at UCSB, at Cal Poly, at Oregon State and at USF in February and March of 2005).

NERVOUS TIME: Fullerton's five Big West road games have all gone down to the last seconds 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, created a turnover with nine seconds left at UCSB, needed a Chris Rhymes free throw with 1.2 seconds left to clinch a 4-point win at Cal State Northridge and got a Josh Akognon jumper with 3.9 seconds left to beat Long Beach. Marcio Lassiter clinched the Cal Poly and UCSB wins with a pair of free throws -- with 0.2 seconds at Cal Poly and 4.1 seconds at UCSB.

CLOSE TO YOU: In 12 non-conference games, Fullerton had only two games decided by 6 or fewer points -- a 1-point loss at Portland State and a 6-point loss to Wake Forest. In 11 conference games, the margin of victory has been by 7 points or less on eight occasions -- a 1-point win at Long Beach; 4-point wins at Cal Poly, at UCSB and at CSUN; a 6-point win vs. UC Riverside; a 7-point win vs. UCSB, a 4-point loss in OT at UC Irvine and a 3-point loss vs. Cal Poly.

SECOND-HALF TEAM: Early in the season, the Titans had a problem coming out slowly to begin the second half. Since the beginning of Big West Conference play, that trend has changed. Now they are starting the game slowly and have trailed at the half (by an average of 10 points) in nine of the 11 games including all six home games by an average of 10.8 points. They have come back to win four times (at UCSB, at Long Beach, vs. UCR and vs. UCSB). The season's record when trailing at the half is 4-9 (7-1 when leading at half, 1-1 when tied). Last year's team was 0-6 when trailing at the half but 24-2 when leading and 0-1 when tied. See chart on later page.

MISSING TREYS: Fullerton has tumbled to next-to-last in the Big West Conference in 3-point field goal percentage at .331. Jacques Streeter was leading the Big West earlier but has been in a 4-game slump to fall to .446, still ahead of the school record. Josh Akognon (.348) and Chris Rhymes (.333) are next in line with Marcio Lassiter (.290) and Aaron Thompson (.234) struggling.

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 (at the time but since twice beaten) the lowest scoring victory in the Bob Burton Era as well as Fullerton's first this season after trailing at the half (by 7). The Titans did better at Long Beach, winning 61-60 after trailing by 8 at the half and then beat UCR, 58-52, after being down 5 at intermission.

LOSING BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Not surprisingly, given the heights on the roster, rebounding has been a problem for the Titans in 2008-09, particularly at the defensive end... Although outrebounded by only about 4.9 per game, the Titans have had some glaring disparities and have given up 14.8 offensive rebounds per game... Four of the six 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, minus 18 (37 vs. 19) in a win at home over Montana State and minus 17 (49 vs. 32) in Thursday's win over UCSB... The only 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; UCSB had 22 and LSU, Central Michigan and UCR each 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.

BACK TO LAS CRUCES: Cal State Fullerton will face former conference foe New Mexico State in the ESPNU Bracket Buster series on Feb. 21 in Las Cruces. The Aggies were in the PCAA/Big West from the 1983-84 through 1999-2000 seasons and hold a 23-7 lead in the series. Fullerton last played in the Pan American Center on Jan. 8, 1998, losing in double overtime, 89-87. The Titans are 2-12 in the13,000-seat Pan Am Center.