CSUF men’s basketball suffered its first home defeat of the season Wednesday night, losing to Loyola Marymount University 59-49.
Since the start of the 2017 season, the Titans have failed to score 50 points on only two other occasions: last season’s road opener against USC and the NCAA Tournament first-round game against Purdue.
“(Loyola Marymount) played a different brand of team basketball. The shots that they took were the shots that they wanted to get. The shots that we took were non-aggressive … versus working to get the kind of shots that we know we can take and make,” head coach Dedrique Taylor said.
CSUF shot 34.8 percent from the field and hit only two of its 19 3-point attempts. Guard Kyle Allman led the Titans with 14 points, sinking only four of his 16 attempts.
Following their most recent victory against Cal Lutheran, the Titans were very vocal about the preparation necessary to compete with Loyola Marymount. Taylor said the Lions would present “a different challenge” for CSUF and guard Khalil Ahmad said the team would have to “grind it out” to win the game.
Taylor pulled no punches to defend his team’s performance, saying that the Lions “had their way” with the Titans.
“They did absolutely nothing that we didn’t prepare for. The physicality was a little different, you cannot mimic that. But this group was prepared,” Taylor said.
No Fullerton player was made available to the media despite requests from more than one reporter.
The officiating created animosity for both teams. Throughout the game, Taylor yelled at the referees for calls to no avail.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Lions guard Joe Quintana received a technical foul for allegedly saying something distasteful to a referee, which led to head coach Mike Dunlap questioning the call.
“You can say what you want about the officials but they’re a part of the game. You have to be willing to make adjustments and I don’t think our group made those adjustments tonight,” Taylor said. “That’s about as safe as I can say.”
Last season, CSUF took down Loyola Marymount, 88-80, on the road. The Titans barely reached half of that point total on Wednesday.
Taylor emphasized that the Lions have grown as a team, and he said the Titans are “not even close” to playing the level of team basketball that he saw from the Lions.
“You have to credit their staff … I think you can see the difference in terms of their team,” Taylor said. “It’s not an individual deal. Their team is just different; they’re better because they’re bought into each other and they’re playing for each other.”
The Titans will again leave Fullerton for half of the month for a three-game road trip starting Dec. 10. Taylor said he believes that they will have to fix their problems because Saint Mary’s and University of San Francisco “do not beat themselves.”
Last season, Saint Mary’s beat CSUF 76-57.
“Right now, it’s incumbent for our ball club to fight for who we want to beat. We have to stop beating ourselves. We turned the ball over 16 times and they scored 20 points off of it. That’s beating yourself,” Taylor said.