Cold Night in Montana

Bozeman, MT (via BigSkyTV.org) - Cal State Fullerton flew up North to play Montana State where they lost 74-60 in a non-conference match up. The Titans led at the half by nine points but were outscored 40-17 in the final 30 minutes.

Here are some quick notes from watching the game streamed over the internet:

Despite lots of relatively open looks, Josh Akognon simply could not find his stroke. Compared to most other games, Akognon was able to break free whenever he wished but the shots did not fall. He probably should have looked more for his teammates after awhile but they didn't take the open shot -- or were cold themselves -- so not sure if that would have helped.

Aaron Thompson appeared to be the only Titan who was feeling it last night which he is why he is TitanCentral.com's Player of the Game. Thompson also played his best defense of the season with an impressive six steals. Surprised he had only one rebound.

I sensed some frustration between Akognon and Marcio Lassiter on the floor. There were at least three times -- when the game was close -- where Josh was wide open and Lassiter didn't get him the ball. Each time you could tell it irked Akognon. I'll give Lassiter the benefit of the doubt that he simply didn't see him but he needs to know where our best scoring threat is at all times.

Not convinced the Titans would have won this game even with Gerard Anderson but the most telling stat for the Titans was points in the paint. The Titans were outscored 30-16 which happens to be the same difference as the final score. A lot of the rebounding differential (18) had a lot to do with the fact the Titans were throwing up bricks but we could have used a few more second chance opportunities and the game would have been closer.

Another problem was the need to play zone for much of this game. Gerard would have helped here as well but with Papa Guisse, Chris Rhymes and Raymond Miller in foul trouble there weren't a whole lot of options. Have to give MSU some credit as they hit the open three and they came into the game hitting only 30% from that distance. Some times you gamble based on the percentages and it doesn't pay off. Can't fault coach Bob Burton for going this route.

Adam Thomas actually looked good on his two shots. Not sure if these two shots are an indication of things to come but he didn't fumble the passes and he converted. However, getting no rebounds in 14 minutes when there were plenty to grab is the next step in his development. Still not giving up on the Big Fella but then again I was the last one to leave the Babacar Camara train so this doesn't hold much weight.

Sidebar: There is perhaps some redemption. Babacar is playing basketball in Japan and doing pretty well (15.6 points and 9.1 rebounds). Not many former Titans from his team can still say they are earning money playing ball)