DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 22nd, 7:05 p.m. (pt)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (4,000) -- Fullerton, California. Television: None. Home Record: PSU 4-0, Fullerton 3-1. Away Record: PSU 0-5, Fullerton 3-1. Neutral Record: PSU 2-0, Fullerton 1-1. Conference Record: PSU 0-0, Fullerton 0-0. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 4-3.
GAME NOTES: The Titans are off to a good start to the 2011-12 campaign, entering tonight's meeting with a 7-3 overall ledger. The squad is in the midst of a five-game homestand, and has notched victories in four consecutive outings. The last time CSF notched wins in five straight dates back to a run during the 2007-08 NCAA Tournament. The Titans most recently earned an 86-44 decision over La Verne on Saturday night.
As for Portland State, the Vikings have struggled of late after opening the season with a 5-2 mark, and most recently suffered a rather embarrassing 101-68 final against Oregon State on Saturday. The loss dropped the Vikings to 6-5 overall on the year, and marked the third loss in four games for PSU.
The Titans own a 4-3 edge over the Vikings in terms of the all-time series between the two programs.
The Vikings allowed Oregon State to shoot at a 59.7 percent clip that included a 13-of-21 mark from long range during Saturday's 33-point loss, and shot just 43.9 percent from the field themselves. The Vikings were also guilty of a game-high 18 turnovers, and were dominated on the glass to the tune of 27-18. Lateef McMullan scored 19 points to lead the way for Portland State, while Chehales Tapscott and Michael Harthun tallied 18 and 10 points, respectively, in a losing effort. Odum has paced the Vikings thus far, posting a team- leading 16.5 points per game and passing out a club-best 28 assists. He is joined in double figures by Tapscott (14.1 ppg), who also leads the squad on the glass with 8.9 rebounds per contest. Nate Lozeau rounds out the trio with an 11.6 points to go with 6.7 rebounds per game. The Vikings average a healthy 76.5 ppg, but have done little to stop their opponents, who average 71.5 ppg. PSU has, however, forced 161 turnovers compared to 122 giveaways itself, and does average a very solid 38.2 rpg.
The Titans took things to a whole new level at the defensive end of the court during the second half against La Verne, as the squad held the Leopards to a woeful 3-of-33 mark from the field. Fullerton outscored La Verne 51-12 during the stanza, breaking open what was a relatively close game (35-32) at the break. Orane Chin and Kwame Vaughn scored 18 points apiece, with the former grabbing eight rebounds as well to lead CSF in the win, while Isiah Umipig netted 17 points. Omondi Amoke got into the mix as well, finishing with 12 points to go with five boards. With a 50.2 team shooting percentage, the Titans are averaging a whopping 80.6 ppg this season, and boast five players with double-digit scoring averages. The Titans have limited the opposition to just 65.7 ppg as well, and have dominated the glass to the tune of 41.2-29.7 rpg. D.J. Seeley has paced the squad with his 14.8 ppg, followed closely by Umipig (14.5 ppg) and Vaughn (13.3 ppg). Amoke leads the team in rebounding with 8.5 rpg to go with a 13.3 ppg tally, while Chin checks in with 10.1 ppg.
This could very easily be a win for Portland State, as the Vikings are a much better club than they have demonstrated as of late. Both squads can put points on the board, but the Titans have been playing exceptionally well, and should be able to pull out a satisfying home victory with the advantage of their sound defensive play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 78, Portland State 71