Basketball Preview: Fullerton vs. CSULB

The Long Beach State 49ers and the Cal State Fullerton Titans meet tonight in a Big West Conference showdown at Titan Gym in Fullerton, California.

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 18th, 7:05 p.m. (pt)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (3,500) -- Fullerton, California. Television: none. Home Record: Long Beach State 6-2, Cal State Fullerton 4-2. Away Record: Long Beach State 3-4, Cal State Fullerton 2-8. Neutral Record: Long Beach State 2-2, Cal State Fullerton 0-2. Conference Record: Long Beach State 6-0, Cal State Fullerton 2-4. Series Record: Long Beach State leads, 58-41.

GAME NOTES: Long Beach State has effectively turned its season around. Sitting at 5-8 heading into Big West play, the 49ers have ripped off six straight victories to climb to 11-8 on the year. Their 6-0 Big West start is the team's best league start since the 1999-00 campaign, which saw Long Beach State begin the conference season with nine straight wins.

The Titans return home after a 1-3 road swing that saw them fall to 2-4 in-conference. Most recently, the Titans fell to Cal State Northridge, 89-65, in what was their second consecutive loss.

With regard to the all-time series, tonight's matchups marks the centennial, with Long Beach State leading 58-41. The Titans though, swept last year's season series.

Last time out, Long Beach State proved it can win the close ones, downing Pacific, 70-69. The 49ers trailed at the half, but outscored Pacific 34-29 after the break to earn their sixth straight win. They held their opponent to just 38.5 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from beyond the arc in the second half, while converting 13-of-23 field goal attempts themselves. Casper Ware led four starters in double figures with 18 points. Greg Plater added 16 points, while Larry Anderson notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. T.J. Robinson rounded out the double digit scoring with 11 points. Anderson and Ware combined for 10 of the team's 13 assists. Ware and Robinson lead a recent offensive surge which is now averaging 72.3 ppg. Ware paces the team with 14.8 ppg, while Robinson averages 14 ppg. Ware has also doled out a team-high 109 assists. The 49ers allow opponents to score 73 ppg, but have held teams to less than 60 points in three of their previous six wins.

The Titans failed to compete at the defensive end in their loss to Cal State Northridge. They allowed CS Northridge to shoot 55.6 percent from the field, including 50 percent from three-point range. They also surrendered a whopping 48 second half points. The offense was not up to snuff either, as Cal State Fullerton fell out of contention early behind just 25 first half points. Perry Webster had a solid game in defeat. He tallied a team-high 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting and handed out four assists. Jer'Vaugh Johnson added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and pulled down five rebounds, while Andre Hardy ripped down 14 boards, although he did go just 1-of-7 from the floor. As evident in their previous contest, it is the Titans' defense which causes them to lose games. They allow opponents to score 74.1 ppg and hit 7.4 three-pointers per game. Johnson leads four players in double figures with 14.4 ppg for an offense which scores a solid 70.1 ppg.

Not only are the 49ers playing red-hot basketball, but tonight they encounter a struggling Cal State Fullerton squad. The result should be an easy victory for Long Beach State.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Long Beach State 75, Cal State Fullerton 65

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