CSUF men’s basketball looks to defend four-game win streak

In Men's Basketball, Sports
CSUF men's basketball defense kept the No. 2 best offense in the Big West, Long Beach State, at bay.
(Eliza Green / Daily Titan)

With both teams on winning streaks, only one team will be able to keep their streak intact when Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball plays UC Davis on Thursday night.

This will mark the first time these teams will meet since the Titans eliminated the Aggies in the 2018 Big West Tournament semifinals.

After opening in February with a 60-53 loss to UC Irvine, the Titans have won three straight games and sit in second place in the Big West Conference.

CSUF’s offense has been proficient this season, leading the conference with a 46.3 field goal percentage.

The Titans are 9-0 when making 50 percent or more of their shots from the field.

In CSUF’s most recent game, guard Kyle Allman Jr. scored 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field leading the Titans to a 78-71 win against Cal State Northridge.

While  Allman and guard Khalil Ahmad are the top two scorers on the team, Ahmad hopes to have a bigger impact after scoring a season-low four points against the Matadors, where he was unable to convert a field goal on eight shot attempts.

Forward Jackson Rowe has been a complementary player to the Titan backcourt duo on the offensive end.

He reached double figures in scoring in seven of the last eight contests and has made a 3-pointer for the fourth consecutive game.

Rowe’s effectiveness in rebounding could change the pace of the game as he averages a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game.

UC Davis averages 30.2 rebounds per game, currently the lowest mark in the Big West in comparison to CSUF’s 37.2 rebounds.

Cal State Fullerton will have to be wary of protecting its passing lanes as the Aggies’ defense racks up 6.4 steals per game, which ranked third in the Big West.

The Aggies, meanwhile, have won five consecutive games while limiting opponents to 60 points or less in three of those contests.

UC Davis is led by fourth-year guard TJ Shorts II, who leads the team with an average of 14.2 points per game. He embraces his role as a playmaker, as evidenced by his team-high 4.2 assists.

Despite being the shortest player on the team, Shorts II’s knack for rebounds reminds people why he is the reigning Big West Player of the Year. He leads the Aggies with an average of five rebounds per game.  

The game will follow women’s basketball in a doubleheader, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 pm at Titan Gym.

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