First Place on Line at 4 p.m. Saturday in Titan Gym

Feb. 15, 2008

Fullerton, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Sat., Feb. 16 -- Pacific, Titan Gym (4,000), 4:05 p.m. -- Homecoming Game and FSN TV
Sat., Feb. 23 -- ESPNU Bracket Buster, vs. Portland State, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 28 -- Cal State Northridge, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m. - KVMD-TV

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (16-7, 9-3) host Pacific (17-7, 8-3) in a televised battle for first place in the Big West Conference. The Titans are 9-3 in conference play for only the second time (1982-83 team went 10-3 on way to 12-4). The Titans have reached 16 victories for the fourth year in a row. They failed to reach 16 wins in any of the previous 15 seasons (last time: 16-13 in 1988-89).

HOMECOMING: The inaugural Basketball Homecoming activities begin with a chalk talk at 1 p.m. in Golleher House by Associate Head Coach Andy Newman in conjunction with the annual meeting of the CSF Alumni Association. A tailgate party and Bar-B-Q follow at 2 p.m. in the courtyard outside the west entrance to Titan Gym. The 8-time national champion dance team, cheer squad and Tuffy Titan will make appearances and there will be a "garage sale" of game-worn athletic equipment to benefit student-athlete academic services. At halftime, many members of the 1977-78 Titan basketball team including Coach Bobby Dye will be introduced to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

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. Patrick O'Neal and Michael Cage are the FSN announcers on Saturday.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg r/apg Quick Notes
F 2 Scott Cutley* 6-5 Sr. 14.1 7.8r In Big West Top Ten in scoring, rebounding, assists, FG pct., and minutes
F 34 Marcus Morgan* 6-5 Jr. 5.7 6.1r Career highs of 13 points at Arizona, 11 rebounds at Saint Mary's
G 1 Josh Akognon 6-1 Jr. 19.8 3.5r Nearing CSF single-season record for 3-pt. field goals; but 5-for-last 34
G 22 Ray Reed* 5-11 Sr. 4.7 1.7a Averaging 8.3 pts., 5.7 assists in Russell's absence; made 17 of last 28 FGAs
F 5 Frank Robinson** 6-4 Sr. 16.4 6.8r Only 18th Titan to score 1,000 points; tied for 17th at 1,014
OFF THE BENCH:
G 54 Marcus Crenshaw* 5-10 Jr. 10.1 2.3a Suffered broken nose at Cal Poly; made 3 of 6 treys with mask against Davis
C 21 Kenneth Alexander* 6-6 Sr. 3.5 2.4r Career-high 17 pts. off the bench at Southern Utah; solid 15 minutes at CSUN
C 42 Andrew Green* 6-6 Sr. 3.2 2.7r Grabbed 7 rebounds in 20 minutes at UC Riverside
G 11 Marcio Lassiter 6-2 Jr. 3.2 0.5a Career-high 17 points in career-high 25 minutes vs. UCR
C 13 Eddie Lima 6-9 Jr. 1.7 1.3r Has played only 10 minutes over last 18 games
SUSPENDED: G 15 Junior Russell 5-6 Jr. 6.1 2.6a
*letters earned

SERIES HISTORY: The Titans trail in the UoP series, 42-32, after an 89-82 loss in Stockton on Jan. 17. The Titans swept three games last season. Fullerton has a 22-12 advantage in Titan Gym after stopping a 7-year losing streak at home with a 76-70 victory on Jan. 6, 2007.

ABOUT THE TIGERS: The Tigers (17-7, 8-3) had a 3-game winning streak snapped at UC Irvine on Thursday night, 74-59. They committed 7 more turnovers than UCI and were outrebounded by 5 to offset similar shooting percentages. Steffan Johnson (15.4 ppg) had 17 points and Chad Troyer (12.9 ppg) scored 14. Anthony Brown leads the rebounders at 7.3 rpg. UoP shoots 49 percent from the floor and holds opponents to 42.5 percent.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 84-58 in his fifth year at Cal State Fullerton and career. At .592, Burton has again edged ahead of Bobby Dye (109-78, .583) as the winningest coach in Titan history. He is the only Fullerton coach with a winning conference record, currently at 42-34 (.553). Dye was 37-37. Burton is 3-7 vs. Pacific and Bob Thomasson, 1-3 in Titan Gym.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Bob Burton, the Titans are 45-17 (.726) in Titan Gym including 8-2 this season.

THESE 30 ROAD WINS MUCH QUICKER: Under Bob Burton, the Titans have made dramatic strides as a road team. In the past three seasons plus this season to date, they are 36-30 (.545) away from Titan Gym. 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 39-41 (.488).

NO LONGER LIVE AND DIE BY THE THREE: Of late, the Titans have NOT been living or dying by the 3-point field goal as they had earlier in the season. In the last four games, they LOST on their best perimeter shooting night -- .435 (10 of 23 at UCSB) -- and won despite shooting .281 (9 of 32) vs. Davis, .350 (7 of 20 at Cal Poly) and .167 (4 of 24 at CSUN). In the last seven games (six wins), the Titans are shooting .359 (60 of 167) from the arc whhile opponents are at .353 (48 of 136). On the season, the Titans have fallen below .400 for the first time at .399 while their opponents are at .400.

IRON MAN CUTLEY: The Titans' returning first-team All-Big West Conference senior forward Scott Cutley returned to the practice floor during Thanksgiving weekend, came off the bench at Arizona and started at Montana, six weeks after suffering a fractured right ankle. Last season he missed only one game despite a broken thumb. At Northridge on Feb. 2 he had to be helped from the floor after being knocked into the basketball support late in the first half. During the second half he had to leave the gym a couple of times due to stomach flu and scored only 5 points and had only 2 rebounds. But 4 of the points and one offensive rebound came in the final 2:45, when he also battled a leg cramp. He currently is ranked No. 2 in the Big West in rebounding at 7.8 rpg per game, No. 9 in scoring at 14.1 points per game, No. 7 in assists at 2.70 per game, No. 5 in field goal percentage at .502 and No. 3 in minutes played at 32.65 per game. He posted three consecutive double-doubles vs. Central Michigan, Southern Utah and Montana and just missed a triple-double vs. the Thunderbirds. He has scored in double figures in every start except at Saint Mary's (8 points) and vs. UC Riverside (6 points). He is 28-for-38 (.737) at the foul line over the last 8 games. Prior to that he was 26-for-53 (.491).

AKOGNON LIKES THE TEMPO: Josh Akognon is moving in -- more slowly of late -- on Cal State Fullerton's single-season record for 3-point field goals (89 by Don Leary in 1992-93) with 80 in his 22 games (3.64 per game to lead the Big West). At his current pace he would hit No. 90 in game No. 26 on Feb. 28 vs. Cal State Northridge. He is 32 attempts shy of Bobby Brown's CSF mark of 244 in 2004-05. Akognon has made four or more in a game 12 times with a best of seven on three occasions. The Washington State transfer led the Cougars in scoring in 2005-06 and made just under two treys per game while averaging 10.3 points. He is the Big West leader in free-throw percentage (.934 on 71 of 76) and he is the No. 3 scorer at 19.8 ppg. At Saint Mary's he grabbed a career-high 9 rebounds and he had 7 at Northridge on Feb. 2 and at Cal Poly on Feb. 9. He had a season high of 6 steals vs. UC Davis on Thursday night. Over his last 4 games he has made only 5 of 34 treys. He had a similar slump (final 35 minutes of Cal Poly game and vs. UCSB on Jan. 10 & 12) where he made only 2 of 20. But in between he made 14 of 30 in his next 3 games. He has scored 30 points or more four times.

ROBINSON HITS 1,000: Frank Robinson became the 18th Titan to score 1,000 career points late in the first half vs. UC Davis and now has 1,014. Next ahead are Agee Ward at 1,017 and Mark Hill at 1,040. Robinson regained his 3-point shooting touch about the time Akognon lost his. Frank is 13-for-31 (.419) over the last five games and he was selected Big West player of the week on Feb. 4. With 129 3-pointers he is No. 10 on the Titans' career list. Tied for No. 8 are Joe Small and Jermaine Harper at 130 and Mark Murphy is No. 7 at 133. Since sitting out the Dec. 17 Southern Utah game with an ankle injury, Robinson has played consistently well. He ranks No. 4 in scoring (16.4 ppg) and No. 4 in rebounding (6.8) in the Big West Conference. He's had three double-doubles -- at Central Michigan with 15 points and 10 rebounds; vs. UCI with 17 points and 10 rebounds and at CSUN with 14 points and 10 boards -- and been one rebound shy of three more.

MORGAN SHINES IN TOUGHEST SPOTS: Marcus Morgan has had his best statistical games against the tougher opponents this season. At Arizona he scored 13 points and grabbed 9 rebounds while playing solid defense. At Saint Mary's he had another strong defensive game and had 7 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. His biggest play of the year was blocking the potential game-winning layup by Montana's Andrew Strait with one second left in regulation on Dec. 20. He has made 13 of 17 (.765) free throws since going 0-for-5 vs. UC Irvine on Jan. 4. He has had double-digit rebound totals 3 times.

CRENSHAW's ROLE CHANGING DAILY: Junior guard Marcus Crenshaw, the Big West Conference's Sixth Man of the Year in 2006-07, continued to provide an offensive spark off the bench before being thrust into the starting lineup on Feb. 7 due to the suspension of Junior Russell. At UCSB on Feb. 7 he matched his career high with 23 points -- 21 in the second half -- and had 9 early in the second half at Cal Poly when he was hit in the nose and suffered a concussion which sidelined him for the balance of the game. He came off the bench again vs. UC Davis and scored 9 points on Thursday night while wearing a protective mask. He ranks as the Titans' No. 4 scorer at 10.0 points per game. He earlier started at Montana and Central Michigan after 31 consecutive appearances off the bench. He also started his first three games as a Titan in November of 2006 when the roster was short three suspended players. With 141 3-point baskets as a Titan, he has moved into the No. 5 spot on the Titans' career list. At No. 4 is Mark Hill (1988-90) with 145. In Big West games, Crenshaw is 12-for-22 (.545) at home and 18-for-44 (.409) on the road.

RUSSELL SUSPENDED: Point guard Junior Russell was suspended indefinitely on Feb. 6 for a violation of team rules. He has been a Jekyl-Hyde scorer this season. He has scored 9 or more points 6 times and had 3 or less on 10 occasions. Three times he scored 16 points -- at Central Michigan, vs. Cal Poly and vs. UC Riverside on Jan. 23 when he scored 13 of them in the final five minutes. He had a season-high 5 steals vs. UCSB. He has the best 3-point field goal percentage on the team at .531 (17 of 32). In conference games he is 11-for-18 (.611).

REED STEPS UP: Senior guard Ray Reed has stepped up his play of late. He had a season's second-best of 10 points at Cal Poly to go with season's highs of 7 assists and 25 minutes. As a starter against UC Davis on Thursday he had 10 more points and 6 assists and fueled a 10-0 run which put Fullerton ahead by 12 midway through the second half. His 6-for-7 effort at the line at Cal Poly was a Titan career best. He is averaging 7.7 points over the last six games while shooting .607 (17-for-28) from the floor.

MARCIO = OFFENSE: Like Marcus Crenshaw, Marcio Lassiter has provided an offensive spark off the bench. The transfer from San Francisco City College scored 9 points in 11 minutes at Montana, 8 points in 19 minutes vs. Montana and 11 points in 10 minutes vs. Furman. He got a season-high 17 points in a season-high 25 minutes vs. UCR in the absence of Josh Akognon, making 5-of-9 shots, 3-of-6 from the arc.

TITANS LEAD IN BIG WEST ROAD WINS: CSF has 5 -- at Davis, UCR, Long Beach, CSUN and Cal Poly; CSUN has 4 -- at UCSB, Cal Poly, UCR and Davis; UCSB has 3 -- at CSF, Cal Poly and UCR; UoP has 3 -- at Long Beach, UCSB and Davis; UCI has 2 -- at Long Beach and UCSB; Long Beach has 1 -- at Davis; and Cal Poly has 1 - at UoP. The visiting teams are 19-30 this season.

IN BIG WEST CONFERENCE GAMES ONLY: The diminutive Titans are second to Pacific (+6.5) in rebounding margin (+3.5)... second in steals (8.83)... third in turnover margin (+2.25) and have improved to sixth in field goal percentage defense (.453) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.384).

TOUGH FIELD: Cal State Fullerton will represent the Big West Conference in the 2008 Anaheim Classic on Thanksgiving Weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. The ESPN-televised tourney will feature an even stronger field than the inaugural event of 2007 with Wake Forest, Arkansas, Providence, Arizona State, UTEP, Baylor and UNC-Charlotte signed to join the Titans.

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30-POINT VICTORIES: The Titans have won three games by 30 or more points (Southern Utah, Furman and at UC Riverside) this season and nine (one on the road) in Coach Bob Burton's four-plus year tenure. By comparison, predecessors Donny Daniels had one 30-or-more-point win in three seasons, Bob Hawking had four (one on the road) in six seasons, Brad Holland had none in two seasons, John Sneed had one in four seasons, George McQuarn had 10 (one on the road) in eight seasons and Bobby Dye had seven (two on the road) in six seasons. The list of road Div. I era 30-point wins: 101-69 at Cal State Bakersfield on 1/3/76; 87-56 at Cal State Northridge on 11/27/76; 90-60 at Hawaii on 11/27/83; 89-57 at UC Irvine on 1/25/97; and 77-47 at UC Riverside on 1/7/08.

FALL SIGNEES: The Titans signed two incoming players during the November signing period -- Aaron Thompson, a 6-4, 205-pound junior wing from Cerritos College and previously of Washington High School in L.A.; and Jacques Streeter, a 6-foot, 175-pound point guard at Finley Prep School in Las Vegas and previously at Fremont High School in L.A.