The Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball team dropped its second straight game at Long Beach State by a final score of 81-73.
On the first possession of the game, Jackson Rowe was fouled and converted both free throws. The 2-0 lead Fullerton took would be its only lead of the game.
“If we want to win at the end of the year, we’ve got to find a way to win on the road,” said Titans Head Coach Dedrique Taylor. “Right now, we’ve just lost our identity. It’s just not our ball club. We’re in a funk.”
The Titans struggled to create clean looks for themselves during the first half, leaving them with only 13 points midway through the half.
The Long Beach State 49ers, however, continuously found open shots on the perimeter. They finished 7-13 from behind the arc on their way to a 46-29 first-half lead.
CSUF had no answer for its opponent on the defensive end. The Titans never gave up more than seven unanswered points, but their inability to construct runs of their own left them fighting an uphill battle all game long. Communication errors freed Long Beach State players up under the basket and behind the arc.
“The Big West conference is really tough to win on the road,” Taylor said. “We ran into two teams that play well. They have a great identity offensively and great identity defensively and we’ve lost ours. We’ve got to get back in the lab to find our rhythm and find our identity on both ends of the floor and get ourselves going.”
— Titans Basketball (@FullertonHoops) January 21, 2018
Although the final score looked close, the game never felt competitive in the second half. Fullerton trailed by 15 or more for the first 18 minutes, only cutting the lead to single digits with 11 seconds left in the game.
A loss as one-sided as this might cause a young coach to question everything the team has worked on up to that point. However, Taylor’s years of experience have helped him refrain from making impulsive decisions.
“I’ve got a 24-hour rule: try not to make any decisions, good or bad, within 24 hours of a loss,” Taylor said.
The only solution on his mind is working out the team’s current issues in practice.
“We have to have a good day on Monday. Not a good day but a great day,” Taylor said. “We’ve got to fight to have a great day on Monday and then we’ll see where Tuesday takes us.”
The Titans look to solve their problems on the court as they return home on Thursday, Jan. 25 in a rematch against UC Santa Barbara.