FACTS & STATS: Site: Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150) -- Stockton, California. Television: Big West TV. Home Record: Fullerton 6-2, Pacific 7-1. Away Record: Fullerton 2-5, Pacific 3-5. Neutral Record: Fullerton 0-1, Pacific 0-0. Conference Record: Fullerton 3-2, Pacific 3-1. Series Record: Pacific leads, 44-33.
GAME NOTES: Last Saturday, the Tigers won for the third time in the last four games, all of them against Big West foes, as they posted a 64-51 victory over UC Irvine at home. At 3-1 Pacific, which is an impressive 7-1 at home in 2009-10, stands alone at the top of the league standings.
The Titans also have three conference wins to this point, but unlike the Tigers they also have one more setback. Last Saturday, the team suffered a 78-72 defeat at the hands of Cal State Northridge at home, pushing Fullerton a little further down in the standings as a result. The loss snapped a three- game win streak, the second such run of the season for the Titans.
Pacific owns a 44-33 advantage in the all-time series with the Titans, posting a 70-51 win in the most recent meeting last season.
Devon Peltier had a huge game off the bench for the Titans last Saturday, converting 7-of-13 shots behind the three-point line for his 23 points, but it didn't matter because Fullerton still fell into the loss column. Aaron Thompson and Bryce Webster, both of whom fouled out, tallied 14 and 11 points, respectively, while Jacques Streeter ended with nine points and seven assists as he converted a mere 2-of-12 shots from the floor. After 16 games the Titans show four players scoring in double figures, but not one of them is over the 11.0 ppg mark. Thompson (10.6 ppg) has done his damage out on the perimeter where he has converted a sizzling 55.6 percent of his chances, while Streeter (10.4 ppg) is dealing with the reality of hitting on a mere 36.2 percent of his shot attempts from the floor overall. If not for blowout wins over Hope International and Occidental this year the Titans would not still be outscoring opponents by almost three points per game on average.
In the first half against UC Irvine last Saturday, the Tigers shot a sizzling 59.1 percent from the field, including 6-of-11 behind the three-point line, all while limiting the visitors to just six total field goals in the frame, en route to the double-digit win. Sam Willard responded with a double-double, putting up 12 points and clearing 11 rebounds for Pacific, while Pat Eveland and Demetrece Young accounted for 14 and 10 points, respectively. Like the Titans, Pacific brings a balanced scoring attack to every game, so much so that the Tigers have been able to generate 63.8 ppg while having just a single double-digit scorer in Willard (10.2 ppg). Only one player is averaging more than 30 minutes per game, which means the bench is more than doing its part to keep this squad moving in the right direction. Defensively the Tigers have held foes to just 60.4 ppg, based on 40.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Expect a low-scoring game between these two squads, which means even the slightest mistake at either end could determine the outcome.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pacific 63, Cal State Fullerton 60
TitanCentral.com Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 70 Pacific 65