FACTS & STATS: Site: Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000) -- Seattle, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Cal State Fullerton 1-0, Washington 2-2. Away Record: Cal State Fullerton 0-3, Washington 0-0. Neutral Record: Cal State Fullerton 2-0, Washington 1-1. Conference Record: Cal State Fullerton 0-0, Washington 0-0. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Titans had won three straight games before taking a 79-75 loss on the road to Eastern Washington in their last outing. Cal State Fullerton has not fared well away from home with all three of its losses coming in away contests. Luckily the Titans return home in four of their next five games beginning against CSU Bakersfield.
Washington put an end to a two-game slide with a 66-61 win over Saint Louis last time out. That game was also played at Alaska Airlines Arena where the Huskies have split their four contests this year. Washington will remain at home in its next matchup against Nevada.
In the only other meeting between these programs Cal State Fullerton came away with a 75-55 win at home during the 1986-87 season.
CSF got out to a 46-29 lead at halftime against Eastern Washington but crumbled in the final 20 minutes. In the second half the Titans hit on only 7- of-25 field goal attempts including a 1-of-10 showing from beyond the arc to surrender the lead and eventually the game. Kwame Vaughn poured in 22 points and hit 11-of-13 shots from the free throw line.
Struggling on offense is not something Cal State Fullerton has had to deal with this season. The Titans are currently the second-highest scoring team in the nation (88.5 ppg), while shooting at the 10th best rate (.510). By running scores up, the Titans have allowed 75.2. Vaughn (19.0, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 apg) and D.J. Seeley (18.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.3 apg) provide the offense with a ton of firepower out of the backcourt, while filling up the stat sheet in other areas as well. Sammy Yeager (15.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is the top option on the interior, while Alex Harris (9.2 ppg) provides a spark off the bench.
A 10-0 run midway through the second half pushed Cal State Fullerton out ahead of Saint Louis for good on Wednesday. In the game the Huskies shot at a strong 51.1 percent clip including a 63.6 percent success rate in the final 20 minutes. The Huskies relied heavily on their starters who scored all 66 of the team's points while only two reserves saw time on the court. C.J. Wilcox was stellar hitting 11-of-13 shots for a game-high 27 points.
The Huskies are not a very deep team with the bulk of its production coming from the starting five. Wilcox (19.5 ppg) has been a very effective scorer out of the backcourt and connects on 52.3 percent of his shots from the field. Abdul Gaddy (14.8 ppg) is Wilcox's running mate in the backcourt and has also been scoring well. On the inside Aziz N'diaye (11.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg) is just about as close to a lock for a double-double on any given night as any player in the country. The team is still trying to find offense from other players after Scott Suggs (10.2 ppg) hurt his right foot at the end of November. He is currently listed as questionable. Overall Washington has shot well (48.3 FG percentage) but still only boasts a scoring differential of +1.4.
Although Washington has not been dominant at home, the Huskies have an edge since Cal State Fullerton has been a different team when it takes to the road. Expect Wilcox and company to win in a shootout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington 84, Cal State Fullerton 74