DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 29th, 10:05 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Walter Pyramid (5,000) -- Long Beach, California. Television: None. Home Record: Fullerton 4-3, LBSU 7-2. Away Record: Fullerton 4-4, LBSU 3-6. Neutral Record: Fullerton 1-3, LBSU 0-0. Conference Record: Fullerton 3-4, LBSU 5-1. Series Record: Long Beach State leads, 57-38.
GAME NOTES: The Long Beach State 49ers try to bounce back from their first Big West Conference loss of the season as they welcome the Cal State Fullerton Titans to the Walter Pyramid. After opening conference play with five straight wins, the 49ers underestimated the UC Riverside Highlanders in a 64-55 setback over the weekend. The loss dropped the team to 7-2 at home and leaves the group now just two games over .500 entering the week. As for the Titans, they managed to halt a two-game slide back on January 21st with a 91-87 victory versus Cal State Northridge on the road and the team has been waiting patiently ever since to get back out on the floor. With the decision, Fullerton is now 3-4 in conference and an even 4-4 on the road. The Beach leads the all-time series between these two programs, 57-38, although Fullerton has taken two in a row, including an 85-51 decision in the most recent affair on March 1st of last year.
Josh Akognon, one of the top scorers in the nation, was kept in check by Cal State Northridge last week, posting only 16 points, but that allowed Jacques Streeter to expand his output with a team-best 27 points, adding seven assists and five boards. Marcio Lassiter checked in with 17 points off the bench on 4- of-9 shooting behind the three-point line, followed by Gerard Anderson and his 14 points and eight boards. Clearly Akognon is always the first option on offense for the Titans with his 23.0 ppg, but with the gunner converting a mere 38.5 percent from the field and letting fly with more than 200 three- point tries already, Streeter's 11.7 ppg on 51 percent from the floor is a welcomed change. Anderson chips in with 10.1 ppg for a team that is again posting significant points with 75.9 ppg, but also allowing a hefty 76.3 ppg as well.
Long Beach State failed to have a single starter score in double figures during the team's meeting with UC Riverside on Saturday. While reserve Larry Anderson was coming up with a team-best 13 points on 4-of-6 from the floor, the starting five for the group combined to make a mere seven field goals. Donovan Morris ended up with seven points, but only after he shot 3-of-16 from the field and 1-of-10 behind the three-point line for a squad that converted a meager 8-of-31 out on the perimeter overall. Morris continues to lead the team in scoring after 18 games with his 16.4 ppg, but at some point someone on the team is going to have to tell him that his 28.2 percent shooting beyond the arc is not helping matters. Stephan Gilling is the only other double-digit scorer for the group with his 10.3 ppg, but that comes by way of just 34.9 percent from the field. It also doesn't help much that the 49ers are knocking down only 64.9 percent at the free-throw line these days either.
Now that someone has shown the rest of the Big West how to get after the 49ers, expect Cal State Fullerton to follow suit as Akognon and Streeter combine for significant points tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 88, Long Beach State 80