Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball picked up their first win of the season in their home opener on Nov. 16, as they defeated the George Washington University Colonials 74-59.
The Colonials had no answer for Titans senior forward E.J. Anosike, who dominated with a game-high 28 points and shot an efficient 12-16 from the field. The 28 points for Anosike are the most points scored by a Titan through three games.
Anosike was also a force inside as he led both teams with 11 rebounds. Seven of those rebounds were offensive as Anosike cleaned up missed shots and converted them into points for the Titans.
The first half was close as the Titans had the slight edge over the Colonials, 34-30. The lead in the first half was largely due to Fullerton’s ability to get to the free throw line. The Titans scored 10 points from the stripe compared to one made free throw for the Colonials in the first half.
With just under seven minutes in the second half, CSUF ran away with the game, 63-40.
Just when it looked like the Titans were coasting toward a win, the Colonials began to put pressure on the hosts.
The Colonials went on a 16-0 run, and shrank the Titans’ 23-point lead to just seven. The Colonials forced turnover after turnover on the Titans, converted them into easy baskets, and brought the score to 63-56 with over three minutes left to play.
After a timeout, Anosike hit a much needed jumper as the shot clock expired and scored the Titans’ first basket in over four minutes, 65-56.
With less than two minutes remaining, fans in Titan Gym were brought to their feet as junior guard Tory San Antonio got a steal and finished the play with an emphatic dunk, which gace Fullerton a 12-point lead.
After their late surge, the Titans never looked back as they hung on to get their first win of the season, and brought their overall record to 1-2.
Fullerton controlled the boards, and rebounded better than the Colonials 40 to 28. The rebounding advantage showed on the scoreboard as the Titans scored 14 points from second chance opportunities.
CSUF was a more physical team, as they were aggressive and attacked the basket throughout the game. Fullerton put pressure on George Washington’s defense and drew fouls which sent them to the free-throw line often.
The Titans took full advantage of their trips to the stripe as they knocked down 18 out of 20 free throws. The Titans also did a better job of not committing as many fouls, only allowing the Colonials to get to the free-throw line 12 times.
The Titans picked up the win without much scoring contribution from junior Vincent Lee, who was tied with Anosike for team’s leading scorer coming into Tuesday's game at 15 points per game each. Lee struggled from the field and only made three of 12 shots from the field for six points.
As Lee struggled to score, Fullerton’s bench provided a much needed offensive lift. Tray Maddox Jr. led the bench with nine points, and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. was not very far behind with eight. Together, the two outscored the Colonials’ bench 17 to six.
The Titans will return to the court on Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m, against UC San Diego at Recreation, IntraMural and Athletic Complex Arena.