FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (4,000) -- Fullerton, California. Television: None. Home Record: PSU 10-1, Fullerton 9-2. Away Record: PSU 6-6, Fullerton 7-5. Neutral Record: PSU 2-1, Fullerton 1-0. Conference Record: PSU 11-2, Fullerton 10-3. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: Winners of nine straight games and sitting atop the Big Sky Conference standings entering the weekend, the Portland State Vikings hit the road for a non-conference bout against the Cal State Fullerton Titans. PSU has fallen just once during the new calendar year and defeated Northern Colorado for the second time in just over a month with an 88-79 triumph on Wednesday night on the road. As for the Titans, who enter the weekend a half game out of first place in the Big West Conference, they've won three straight games and seven of the last eight overall. The team has been out of action now for a week since setting down the Pacific Tigers in a 92-78 decision. With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Titans have won three of the previous four meetings.
Except for Jeremiah Dominguez who finished with nine points on a mere 3-of-14 shooting from the field, every starter hit for double digits in the win over Northern Colorado at Butler-Hancock Arena on Wednesday night. The trio of Kyle Coston, Scott Morrison and Deonte Huff all tallied 19 points and combined for 20 rebounds, while Andre Murray tacked on 11 points and four assists as he made all six of his chances at the free-throw line. In addition to knocking down an impressive 12-of-19 behind the three-point line, PSU also outscored the Bears at the free-throw line, 28-14. Strangely enough, the top scorer for the team so far this season has been Dominguez with his 14.0 ppg. Each of the baskets he made earlier this week came from behind the three-point line where he has been 41.6 percent successful this season. Of the team's 1,435 field goal attempts in 2007-08, nearly 600 have been from out on the perimeter, which is why the squad is generating an average of 72.7 ppg.
The Titans got just 10 points from the reserves earlier this week versus Pacific, but the team really didn't need the support with the starters combining for an incredible 82 points. Scott Cutley and Josh Akognon shot 10- of-13 and 9-of-13 from the field, respectively, to each come up with 24 points for Fullerton, while Marcus Morgan and Frank Robinson checked in with 13 points apiece as well. What made the game so remarkable was that the Titans shot a sizzling 61 percent from the field, which was better than the team's 52.6 percent effort at the charity stripe. Since Akognon led the team in scoring in nine straight outings, the team has seen someone different step up almost every game since to provide an offensive spark, although Akognon is still one of the top scorers for the unit and in the league at 20.0 ppg. Robinson is now up to 16.2 ppg and is second on the team both on the glass with 6.8 rpg and 54 assists in order to show how well-rounded his play can be. Once again the Titans are one of the top scoring teams in the nation with their 83.2 ppg.
PSU has been on a roll the last couple of months, but the team that lives by the three-pointer can easily die by it as well, which is why the frenetic style of the Titans may better suit the home team in this situation.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 85, Portland State 75