GAME NOTES: The Cal State Fullerton Titans look to bounce back as they host the UC Davis Aggies at Titan Gym for a Big West Conference tussle.
When these schools met on Jan. 24 in Davis, D.J. Seeley poured in 32 points to lead Fullerton to a 95-88 victory in what turned out to be a shootout. UC Davis got 22 points apiece from J.T. Adenrele and Corey Hawkins as it shot 50.9 percent from the field and converted 24-of-29 at the free-throw line. The Titans managed to come out on top and improve to 11-9 versus UCD in history by hitting on 12-of-23 from 3-point range.
UC Davis improved to 13-14 on the season on Thursday as it held off UC Riverside for a 59-52 road decision. The victory was the fourth in five games and lifted the team to one game above the .500 mark in conference play.J.T. Adenrele recorded his fourth career double-double by finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Ryan Sypkens led all scorers with 16 points. Hawkins, who leads the Big West in scoring with 20.2 ppg, did not play for unspecified reasons.
Although Hawkins was not present, UC Davis managed to pull out the win by limiting the Highlanders to 37.9 percent efficiency from the floor and outscore the, 24-15, from 3-point range. The Aggies are netting 71.7 ppg as a unit this season, which is the fourth highest scoring offense mark in the Big West. They are also the third-worst scoring defense at 71.9 points allowed per tilt.
Fullerton dropped back to the .500 mark on Thursday with a 64-55 loss to Pacific at home. The Titans were led by a 16-point and seven-rebound performance by Kwame Vaughn. The team's loss snapped a two-game winning streak and lowered it to 6-9 in the Big West standings. Vaughn is the second leading scorer for Fullerton despite netting a respectable average of 17.8 ppg on 45.1 percent shooting from the field. D.J. Seeley is just ahead of him in the scoring column with 17.9 ppg, but they both deal out 3.9 assists per tilt.
The Titans went into halftime of their bout with the Tigers trailing by 16 points after a 4-of-25 display from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Vaughn and Seeley combined to go 2-of-11 from the field in the first half while the rest of the squad made just 2-of-14 from the floor. Fullerton heated up after the break and outscored Pacific, 39-32, in the second half, but it was too little too late. They finished trailing, 36-29, in the rebounding battle and with six less makes from the field. Sammy Yeager (15.8 ppg) and Alex Harris (9.5 ppg, 1.7 spg) have both made solid contributions on the offensive end to help the Titans net a Big West leading average of 78.7 ppg, which is also the seventh highest mark nationally. Fullerton is nowhere near as adept on the defensive end, where it allows 75.7 ppg, which is the most among Big West schools.
Neither of these teams has shown any interest in playing defense this season, which makes their head-to-head bouts exciting shootouts. Fullerton has a deeper array of scorers which will be hard for UC Davis to overcome, especially if Hawkins is absent once again.
Sports Network Projected Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 83, UC Davis 80
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