Men’s basketball winless after Texas road trip

In Fall Sports, Sports, Spring Sports

By Cesar Gonzalez
Daily Titan Staff Writer

The Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball team traveled to Nacogdoches, Texas on Friday to play two games in the Etech Lumberjack Classic.

The Titans opened the weekend against the Bears of Central Arkansas and lost 69 – 49.

“We had an 11-day layoff, and we were rusty; poor scheduling was a factor in tonight’s game,” said Titan Head Coach Bob Burton.

Central Arkansas junior guard Jared Rehmel led all scorers in the game with 18 points on 5 of 7 shooting and junior guard Chris Poellnitz contributed with 16 points.

Redshirt junior center Bryce Webster and junior guard Devon Peltier led the Titans with eight points each, but they shot poorly from the field.

“(We had) no energy coming into the game, or in warm ups, which was a factor in this game,” said Peltier.

“Jacques Streeter had the flu and wasn’t able to play and Gerard Anderson had the hand injury,” Burton said. “That hurt us not having them in the game because they are our team leaders.”

The Titans struggled to score in the first half, as they had a cold shooting night from the field and tried for a lot of three pointers that didn’t go in. 

The Bears took advantage of this and went on an 11 – 0 run to take a double-digit lead.

Peltier ended the run by hitting a three-pointer with three minutes left in the half.

In the first half the Titans shot 25 percent from the field with a score of 23 points, while the Bears shot 48 percent, scoring 38 points.

Webster led the Titans in scoring with seven points, with most of his points coming from the free throw line.

Peltier added five points and redshirt sophomore forward Orane Chin contributed four points in the half.

In the second half, the Titans tried to find a way to get back into the game with senior guard Aaron Thompson leading a 6 – 0 run with a jump shot. 

A layup by redshirt junior forward Jer’Vaughn Johnson and a jumper by junior guard Eric Williams cut the lead to 46 – 31.

That was as close as the Titans got to try to come back from a large deficit like they did in their previous game against New Mexico State.

“A factor of tonight’s game was having a layoff and the loss of our mental leaders out on the court,” Thompson said.

“One thing we didn’t do tonight was play hard and we didn’t play together,” Burton said.

After a tough loss the night before, the Titans tipped off Saturday against Stephen F. Austin and lost 62 – 61 on a last-second foul call.

“We played a good game tonight, it was a dogfight from the start,” Peltier said. “Unfortunately, the referee made a bad call to cost us the game.”

The Titans came out slow in the beginning of the game and the Lumberjacks took advantage and went on a 9 – 0 run to take an early 11 – 2 lead.

The Titans did not give up and they retaliated by going on a 7 – 0 run led by Streeter’s three-pointer and a layup by Webster.

CSUF took its first lead of the game on a three-pointer by Peltier, with about eight minutes left in the first half.

“All I wanted to do tonight is provide a spark off the bench and get some attention to help the team win the game,” Peltier said. 

The Titans trailed 30 – 25 at halftime, as they were able to get themselves back into the game with great leadership from Streeter and Thompson.

Thompson led the Titans in the first half with six points.

In the second half both teams came out strong and were trading baskets, as the Titans kept the game close throughout.

The game came down to the final seconds when Streeter drove to the basket and was fouled with four seconds to play and then headed to the free throw line for a chance to put the Titans in the lead.

Streeter calmly knocked down both free throws to give the Titans a one-point lead.

The Lumberjacks took a timeout and put the ball in the hands of junior guard Denzel Barnes, who took the ball the length of the court and drew a blocking foul on Johnson when they collided.

Barnes then stepped to the line and knocked down two free throws.

“In my 40 years of coaching, that was the most unbelievable call I have ever seen,” Burton said. “We deserved the win tonight after Streeter hit the two free throws; we thought we had the game wrapped up.” 

Senior guard Will Harris led the Lumberjacks with 20 points on 6 of 13 shooting.

Johnson led the Titans with 13 points and was perfect from the line.

Streeter, Thompson and Peltier all had 11 points each.

“We played a good game overall,” Thompson said. “With a few mistakes, the game was there for the taking.”

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