DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23rd, 7:05 p.m. (pt)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (3,500) -- Fullerton, California. Television: None. Home Record: UCR 4-3, CSF 6-2. Away Record: UCR 0-9, CSF 4-4. Neutral Record: UCR 0-0, CSF 1-0. Conference Record: UCR 1-4, CSF 4-2. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 16-14.
GAME NOTES: The Cal State Fullerton Titans will try to sweep the regular season series from the UC Riverside Highlanders, as the two teams meet in Big West Conference play tonight. The Titans are coming off an impressive victory, as they exploited UC Davis in an 88-66 trouncing on Saturday. The win put the breaks on a short two-game slide and improved the club to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play. CSF now returns home, where it has posted a 6-2 ledger thus far. As for UCR, it notched its first win in over a month on Saturday, outlasting Long Beach State, 70-66. The victory is the team's first in five league games, and it put an end to a six-game slide. Now at 4-12 overall, the Highlanders hit the road, where they have yet to win, going 0-9. As for the all-time series, CSF owns a 16-14 edge over UCR and that includes a 77-47 romp in an earlier meeting this month.
The Highlanders sank 48.9 percent of their field goal tries and they went 21- of-29 at the foul line in a four-point win over Long Beach State this past weekend. The team also won the battle on the boards by a 32-25 count. Larry Cunningham led the charge with 20 points, while Aaron Scott notched a double- double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. For the season, Cunningham is the only player on the roster averaging in double figures, with 14.6 ppg. As a whole, UCR has struggled at the offensive end of the court, averaging a mere 57.6 ppg and shooting a poor 28.8 percent from beyond the arc. Hanging onto the ball has also been a bit of a problem for the Highlanders, who are committing 16.7 turnovers per game.
The Titans shot 45.6 percent from the field, including a 12-of-26 effort from long range, as they ran away from UC Davis over the weekend. The team also forced 15 turnovers, while committing just seven itself. Josh Akognon nailed 4-of-8 long-range attempts and finished with 22 points for CSF. Frank Robinson turned in 21 points and nine rebounds, and Scott Cutley had 17 points and seven boards. For the season, Akognon ranks among the top scorers in the BWC with an average of 21.2 ppg. He has done most of his damage from three-point range, hitting on 42.0 percent of his tries. Robinson ranks second on the squad in scoring (15.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg), while Cutley contributes 13.9 ppg and a team-best 7.1 rpg. Overall, the Titans are one of the elite scoring teams in the league, as they are averaging a healthy 82.8 ppg on the strength of 42.0 percent shooting from three-point land.
CSF easily defeated UCR in an earlier meeting this month and the same kind of result should be expected tonight, as the Titans are the far more talented team here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 84, UC Riverside 60