You knew things weren't going to go well when you took a look around Historic Titan Gym and barely noticed the new NCAA Tournament banner. The idea was good but, like everything else at Cal State Fullerton, they just can't seem to get it right. The small banner makes the high school gymnasium look even more like a high school gym, if that's possible.
But it gets worse folks and we're not even talking about the game yet. The Scott Cutley banner is finally up! Nothing wrong with that, right? The problem was that Scott Cutley was actually in the house and no one had the foresight to tie a string on the banner an unveil it during halftime to acknowledge the big fella? Are you freaking kidding me?! And yes, everyone knew there was a very good possibility Bobby Brown and Cutley were going to be at this game.
At Cal State Fullerton, we strive for competence.
Onto the game. Granted Cal State Fullerton didn't play their best game of the year -- perhaps it was their worst -- but Northridge is simply a bigger, stronger and quicker team. Throw in some good three-point shooting and Cal State never had a chance. How CSUN lost to Bakersfield is beyond comprehension but apparently the Titans ran into a buzz saw last night.
It started out poorly and ended poorly. The Titans didn't take a good shot in the first five possessions of the game and CSUN was able to take nothing but layups or wide-open threes as Fullerton fell behind 13-2. Looking back, this game was decided in the first five minutes. Not just the score but the looks on their faces. While CSUN looked fresh, the Titans looked beat. The Titans did have one run in the second half and cut the lead down to nine but CSUN rattled off a few threes and that was a close as Fullerton would get.
Aaron Thompson was the lone Titan who had a decent game. Aaron couldn't hit a three but he was one of the few who could keep up and didn't look out of place against the better Northridge team. He hustled, played good defense, drove to the basket and rebounded with authority. Papa Guisse's numbers looked poor in the boxscore but he just gives you 100% effort no matter what the score. Everyone else was beaten down and it looked as if they were clearing mine fields.
Gerard Anderson had some moments but got into early foul trouble once again. Marcio Lassiter tried but was clearly overmatched on the defensive side and on offense he made way too many poor decisions. Jacques Streeter hit some threes but he too had lapses on the defensive side of the ball. Josh Akognon was guarded tight all night and never had a chance and defensively, well, let's just say he was pulled more than once for his inadequate play. CSUN could drive at will and had lots and lots of easy baskets.
Ameer Shamsud-din didn't look too bad and was in the game when the Titans made their lone run. Raymond Miller is officially in the doghouse as he didn't play a minute in the second half. Regan Anderson came in when Guisse needed a blow. Chris Rhymes still has no legs and really looks to have digressed. One of the few highlights of the game was when reserve 7-2 center Adam Thomas hustled and dove for a loose ball and called a timeout. Thomas can look good running up and down the floor but when it's time to rebound he just can't seem to figure it out.
It's now time to regroup and somehow get ready to play UC-Irvine. Hopefully the midnight practice last night (this morning) will make a difference. If Northridge plays like they did yesterday in the rest of their Big West games than they will win the conference going away. The problem is that they are Northridge and you just can't help but think they will blow this opportunity.