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Men's Basketball

Lower Seeds Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis Move On To Quarterfinals

Files associated with this release:
UCD-UCI Box Score.pdf
UCD-UCI Quotes
CSF-UCR Box Score
CSF-UCR Quotes


No. 7 seed Cal State Fullerton used a Big West Tournament record 37 points from Josh Akognon to topple UC Riverside and No. 8 UC Davis outlasted UC Irvine in men's basketball first round action from the Anaheim Convention Center Wednesday.  The Titans and Aggies battle No. 3 Pacific and No. 4 UC Santa Barbara, respectively, when quarterfinal action commences Thursday.

No. 8 UC Davis Advances to Quarterfinals With 69-68 Win

UC Davis sophomore guard Mark Payne sunk a pair of free throws with eight seconds remaining and a jumper from UC Irvine junior guard Michael Hunter as time expired bounced off the back of the rim as the eighth-seeded Aggies – contesting the first Big West Conference Tournament game in program history – upended the No. 5 Anteaters, 69-68, during opening round action Wednesday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.

During a game that featured 14 lead changes, UC Irvine sophomore guard Patrick Rembert sunk a layup with 35 seconds remaining to provide the Anteaters a 68-67 advantage. Rembert, however, fouled Payne in the low post moments later to set up the final sequence.

UC Irvine (12-19) led by as much as 53-44 with nine-and-a-half minutes to play before a 16-7 run by the Aggies (13-18) during the ensuing six minutes provided UC Davis a 62-60 lead. The Aggies trailed just twice the remainder of the game, but never by more than a single basket.

UC Davis, which advanced to meet No. 3 Pacific at 6 p.m. during Thursday’s quarterfinal phase, received a game-high 20 points from senior guard Vince Oliver. Sophomore forward Joe Harden added 14 while junior forward Dominic Calegari scored 10.

UC Irvine, which reached the 2008 Big West Tournament final as the field’s fifth seed, enjoyed 16 points from Hunter and 15 from senior forward Kevin Bland.

Akognon Sends Cal State Fullerton into Quarterfinals

Including nine three-pointers, Cal State Fullerton senior guard Josh Akognon sunk 14 of 22 field goal attempts to establish a new Big West Conference Tournament scoring record of 37 points as the seventh-seeded Titans strolled into the quarterfinal stage with a 59-46 victory against No. 6 UC Riverside Thursday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Big West Player of the Year honoree, Akognon’s nine three-pointers ranked as the second-highest total during the 35-year history of the tournament while his 37 points were the fifth-highest single-game scoring total in Cal State Fullerton history. Akognon also established a new single-season scoring record of 741 points for Cal State Fullerton, which advanced to face No. 4 UC Santa Barbara at approximately 8:15 p.m. Thursday evening.

Despite 17 first-half points from Akognon, Cal State Fullerton (15-16) led UC Riverside (17-13) entering intermission, 28-26. Akognon, however, nailed two three-pointers during the opening five minutes of the second half to spur a 15-4 run. UC Riverside failed to cut the Titan lead to fewer than double digits the remainder of the night.

UC Riverside received a team-best 17 points from guard Brandon Dowdy.