Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball started a winning streak on Thursday night, with Kyle Allman’s game-winning layup sealing a 56-55 win over UC Riverside. The team’s second-straight victory moved the Titans to 6-5 in the Big West, the first time they’ve had a winning record in conference play since winning their first conference game of the season against Hawai’i.
Allman was red-hot in the first half, knocking down four of his six shots for a team-high nine points in the first 20 minutes. The sophomore guard’s impact allowed the Titans to build a 30-22 lead at halftime despite the team turning the ball over nine times while shooting just 38.7 percent from the field as a whole.
Those errors came back to bite CSUF in the second half when they allowed a 13-0 run that got UC Riverside right back into the game. The Titans would then be forced to battle the Highlanders down the stretch, with senior guard Lionheart Leslie (13 points, three steals) utilizing his quickness to score 12 of his 13 points in the second half.
Allman had a tougher time during the second half (making one of his six shots in the final frame), but he came through when it mattered most on a night when the team’s usual offensive fulcrums (Jackson Rowe, Tre Coggins, and Khalil Ahmand) shot a combined 8-35 from the field. The athletic wing slid around a pick-and-roll from the top of the key before using his burst to get to the basket and finish off his shot to defeat UCR.
FINAL: Kyle Allman (11p-4a) lay-in wins it for @FullertonHoops, 56-55 at UCR!
Leslie adds 13, Rowe 16rb.
— Big West MBB (@BigWestMBB) February 17, 2017
The win moved the Titans into sole possession of fifth place in the conference heading into their next game Saturday night at home against UC Davis.