FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team looks to extend its four-game winning streak as it hosts CSUN on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
FROM THE TIP
• For the second straight year the Titans have posted four-game winning streaks in league play. After dropping the first two matchups, Fullerton has reeled off four straight wins and will try to make it five on Wednesday night against the CSUN Matadors on ESPN3.
• Senior guard Kyle Allman, Jr., the Big West Player of the Week on Jan. 21, is tops on the team and third in the league in points per game at 18.4. He's third 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 38 of his last 40 games. Allman has scored 30+ seven times over the course of this season and last season. He has scored 20+ in three of the last four games.
• 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 17.8 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 1.70. For the year he's scored 20+ seven times and he's scored 10+ in eight of the last nine.
• 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 1,504 points in his career, the fifth-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 1,451 points for his career, No. 8 all-time.
• Junior forward Jackson Rowe, the two-time Big West Player of the Week this season (Jan. 7, 28), has been doing a bit of everything on the floor this year for the Titans. He is averaging 10.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 0.89 blocks and 0.63 steals per game. He leads the team in both rebounds and blocks. He's shooting an impressive 58.2% (82-141) from the field this year, the top mark in the league. The Canada native has posted three double-doubles on the year and just missed his fourth at Cal Poly on Jan. 26 when he had 15 points and nine rebounds.
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26 VS. CSUN || 7 PM PT
Series Record: 43-35
Home Record: 23-14
Away Record: 18-15
Neutral Record: 4-5
Current Streak: W4
First Meeting: 12/13/60 at CSUN, W, 68-64
Last Meeting: 02/28/18 at CSUN, W, 102-76
CSUN has the top two scorers in the Big West in freshman Lamine Diane (23.5 ppg) and sophomore Terrell Gomez (20.1 ppg). The Matadors score 105.2 points per 100 possessions and average 71.2 possession per 40 minutes, the No. 61 ranked tempo in the nation. On the flip side, they have the No. 337 ranked defense as they allow 113.7 points per 100 possessions.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
For CSF, junior guard Austen Awosika is fourth on the team in scoring (9.1 points per game), first in assists (3.85 per game), second in blocks (11 total), second in steals (1.40 per game) and second in rebounding (5.3 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 23.5%. He has the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 1.88. In conference play he's averaging 12.5 points per game (No. 3 on the team) on 54% shooting from the field and has scored 10+ in five of the last six games.
Per KenPom, the Titans have the No. 7 ranked non-conference schedule in the country and the No. 66 overall strength of schedule. The squad played just four non-conference home games.
A NEW SEASON
The Titans have been a different team thus far in Big West Conference play. On this current four-game winning streak the squad has averaged shooting 53.3% from the field, shooting better than 50% in each of those four, while holding the opponents to a collective 41.9% shooting.
Fullerton has averaged 18.8 made free throws over the last four games while the opponents have made just 10.3 per game.
50 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
Dating back to last season, the Titans are undefeated when shooting 50% or better from the field. In a sense, that isn't all that surprising since teams usually win when they shoot the ball well. However, the Titans are 6-0 this year and were 14-0 last year when eclipsing the 50% mark, and that feels impressive.
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 as he showed against West Coast Baptist when he scored 23 points to lead all scorers, including four three-point field goals. He is averaging 3.2 points and 12.0 minutes per game. Kuljuhovic has the size to work down low but can also stretch the defense with his jump shot. He is averaging 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game. He scored 7 points and hauled in 7 rebounds at San Francisco (Dec. 16).
BIG WEST FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR HISTORY
Senior guard Khalil Ahmad and junior forward Jackson Rowe are two of the last three Big West Freshman of the Year honorees. Ahmad put together one of the best freshman campaigns in program history during the 2015-16 season. He holds the freshman school records in points (429), scoring average (14.3), field goals made (138) and free throws made, attempted and percentage (112-144, .778).
Rowe claimed the award in 2016-17 by scoring 10.4 points per game (No. 4 in CSF freshman history) and 7.2 rebounds per game (No. 2 in CSF freshman history). Rowe also shot 55.2 percent from the field on the year, the second-best mark in school history for freshmen.
AROUND THE WORLD
The Titans have four student-athletes on the team from outside the United States. Junior Jackson Rowe is a native of Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Senior Dominik Heinzl is from Uzov, Czech Republic, redshirt freshman Gaber Ozegovic hails from Kranj, Slovenia and sophomore Johnny Wang is a native of Beijing, China. Not only international but the Titans are spread out among the country, with student-athletes from Iowa, New York, Texas and Minnesota.