Men's basketball sweeps The Beach

Senior guard Aaron Thompson has a knack for stepping up in big games. His 10 points in overtime was the reason why the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team swept the season series against Long Beach State with an 81-75 victory at Walter Pyramid in front of a raucous crowd of 4,806.

“We showed a lot of resiliency to lose the lead the way we did and then come back and play so well in overtime,” Burton said. “Both teams played hard and both were exhausted at the end. It was a great win for us.” 

In overtime, Thompson put on a show, as he carried the Titans’ on his back by knocking down two three-pointers and four free throws. 

“We’ve been in two overtime games this year already and we won both, it’s just something we’re used to, we’ve been here before,” Aaron Thompson said. “We played Long Beach already and we knew we could win, we just had to stick to our defense.” 

Aaron Thompson tries to score over LBSU senior guard Stephan Gilling. Photo by Chad Uemera.

He ended the game with 23 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. 

Thompson was a perfect 8-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-3 from behind the arc, which bumped up his three-point shooting to 52.3 percent for the season – good for sixth in the nation. 

Redshirt center Bryce Webster asserted himself in the paint with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Bryce Webster goes up for a dunk. Photo by
Chad Uemera/For the Daily Titan.

Despite committing seven turnovers, senior forward Gerard Anderson stayed aggressive and scored all 12 of his points after halftime.

The Titans overcame 25 turnovers by shooting 50 percent from the field. 

“We never had anything like that (turnovers), the way we play is so fast, and with this tempo you’re going to have turnovers,” Burton said. “I was worried about the turnovers at the end of the game, which let them back into it.” 

CSUF committed the first seven turnovers of the game but ended the first half on a 14-1 run courtesy of back-to-back three-pointers by junior guard Devon Peltier and sophomore guard Jacques Streeter

They were able to have their way with LBSU at the end of the first half because of key defensive plays as they held the 49ers to 32.3 percent shooting.  

The Titans led 36-24 at the half but the 49ers came out of the locker room looking like a completely different team and clawed their way back with a run of their own.

A 49er layup with 8:02 left tied the game at 50-50. 

Jacques Streeter scores over LBSU sophomore
forward Eugene Phelps. Photo by
Chad Uemera/For the Daily Titan.

The seesaw battle between the two teams momentarily stopped when the Titans scored five unanswered points with 2:50 left to play. 

However, missed free throws and turnovers at the end of regulation led to a 7-0 run by LBSU to tie the game at 64-64. 

LBSU sophomore guard Casper Ware’s jump shot with two seconds remaining was off the mark. 

Ware – who led the 49ers with 20 points and gave the Titans’ trouble all game – was wincing in pain after regulation and was out for the first two minutes of the extra period, which allowed CSUF to take advantage. 

“We really had control of the game at the end and let them right back in it with the turnovers and I thought in overtime our guys really stepped up,” Burton said. 

In overtime, a three-pointer by Thompson with 1:11 left put the game out of reach with the Titans up 76-69. 

“(This is a) big confidence booster for us, we got a couple of confidence boosters this season, we just have to keep it going throughout the rest of the season,” Thompson said.