FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team returns home for a single game against the Portland Pilots on Saturday at 6 p.m. PT, the second leg of a doubleheader in Titan Gym as the women's team plays at 2 p.m.
FROM THE TIP
• Cal State Fullerton is squaring off against the Pilots for the fourth straight year after winning both at Portland in 2017 and at Titan Gym in 2016.
• Senior guard Kyle Allman, Jr., Allman is tops on the team and second in the league in points per game at 18.1. He's fourth on the squad in assists and tied a career-high against Wake Forest (Nov. 16) with eight helpers. The Brooklyn native has scored has scored 10+ in 31 of his last 32 games. Allman has scored 30+ six times over the course of this season and last season.
• Senior guard Khalil Ahmad, the Nov. 19 Big West Player of the Week, is second on the team and fourth in the Big West in scoring at 17.2 points per game. He had a strong showing at the Myrtle Beach Invitational as he earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Over the three-game tournament he averaged 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals, including a 40-point outburst against Monmouth. He's also third in the league in steals per game at 1.75.
• Ahmad became the 24th Titan in program history to score 1,000 points in a career after scoring 31 at UC Davis (Feb. 10, 2018). He has totaled 1,355 points in his career, the eighth-best mark in the program. Allman joined him in the 1K Club on Feb. 28 when he scored 23 points at CSUN (Feb. 16, 2018). He sits 1,301 points for his career, No. 11 all-time.
• Junior forward Jackson Rowe has been doing a bit of everything on the floor. He is averaging 9.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.83 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. He leads the team in both rebounds and blocks, and had a career-high four rejections against Monmouth (Nov. 18). He's shooting an impressive 57.0% (45-79) from the field this year, the No. 2 mark in the league. Rowe has played 294 minutes for the Titans this year and the team has out-scored the opponent by 39 points (+5.31 per 40 minutes) in that timeframe, the best mark on the team of those who play regularly.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29 VS. PORTLAND || 6 AM PT
Series Record: 9-7
Home Record: 5-2
Away Record: 3-2
Neutral Record: 1-3
Current Streak: W2
First Meeting: 12/29/78 vs. Portland (Billings, Montana), L, 105-85
Last Meeting: 12/06/17 at Portland, W, 76-66
Head coach Terry Porter and his Portland Pilots are 7-7 on the year.
Marcus Shaver Jr. leads the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game followed by Josh McSwiggan at 14.1 and JoJo Walker at 13.5.
The Pilots are 17th in the country in total free throw attempts this season at 317 (22.6 per game).
Per KenPom, the Titans have the No. 4 ranked strength of schedule in the country. The squad has played just three non-conference home games and Portland is the final home non-conference matchup before the team plays at Washington on Jan. 1.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
For CSF, junior guard Austen Awosika is fourth on the team in scoring (7.7 points per game), first in assists (3.5 per game), tied for first in blocks (10 total, 0.83 per game), third in steals (1.0 per game) and second in rebounding (5.2 per game). He led the team in the category last year and is tops on the team again this year in assist percentage (an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals assisted while on the floor) at 20.8%.
PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER
The Titans are still early in the season and have dealt with key players missing some games early on but the Titans have found success with the quintet of Kyle Allman, Jr., Austen Awosika, Khalil Ahmad, Jamal Smith and Jackson Rowe. In 33:26 on the floor together, that group has a plus/minus of +27, scoring 75 points and allowing 48. Allman, Awosika, Ahmad, Rowe and sophomore forward Johnny Wang are +22 in 35:34 on the floor.
UPDATING THE RECORD BOOKS
In addition to Khalil Ahmad and Kyle Allman, Jr. climbing the rankings of all-time points as a Titan, the duo added their names to the list of individual scoring performances in a single game this season. Ahmad scored 40 points against Monmouth (Nov. 18) and had a historic day, setting career highs in points (40), field goals made (13, on just 22 shots) and three-point field goals made (8). He is just the fifth Titan to ever score 40 points or more in a game, joining Bobby Brown, Tre' Coggins, Josh Akognon and Kyle Allman, Jr. Ahmad's 40 points was the highest point total ever in a men's basketball game at the HTC Center, breaking the previous record of 36 set by Quinton Wood on Dec. 13, 2013.
Allman scored 38 points at Hofstra (Nov. 21), tied for the seventh-best scoring performance in a single game in program history and just two points off his career-high. He knocked down a career-high eight three-point field goals, improving on his previous best of five.
Allman now has four of the top 30 scoring performances in CSF history while Ahmad has two.
ONLY TWO NEW FACES
The Titans just two newcomers to the squad this season in freshman guard Wayne Arnold and forward Amel Kuljuhovic. Arnold prepped at Dominguez High School in Compton while Kuljuhovic is a transfer from Lake Land College. Arnold is a high-level shooter he showed against West Coast Baptist when he scored 23 points to lead all scorers, including four three-point field goals. He is averaging 4.3 points and 12.7 minutes per game. Kuljuhovic has the size to work down low but can also stretch the defense with his jump shot. He is averaging 3.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game. He scored 7 points and hauled in 7 rebounds at San Francisco (Dec. 16).
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