No. 5 Cal State Fullerton and No. 6 Cal Poly advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big West Men's Basketball Tournament as the Titans defeated No. 8 Cal State Northridge and the Mustangs toppled No. 7 UC Irvine at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday.
NO. 5 CAL STATE FULLERTON 84, NO. 8 CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 76
Peltier's Three-Point Prowess Propels Cal State Fullerton Into Quarterfinals
Cal State Fullerton defeated Cal State Northridge, 84-76, Wednesday night in first-round action at the Big West Men’s Basketball Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Jer’Vaughn Johnson led the No. 5 Titans with 20 points and 12 rebounds while Devon Peltier added 19. Mark Hill led the No. 8 Matadors with 15 points.
Cal State Fullerton (16-14) built a 10-point halftime lead and led by as many as 15 in the second half in advancing to Thursday’s quarterfinal round to meet No. 4 UC Davis.
The Titans shot 46 percent from the field and held the Matadors to 39 percent. Johnson was an efficient 8-for-9 from the field, and Peltier made five of Fullerton’s eight three-pointers.
Cal State Northridge (11-21) opened the game with a 7-2 lead and continued to lead past the 13-minute mark. The Titans took their first lead with 6:49 left in the half on a layup by Gerard Anderson to make it 26-25. That started a 7-0 burst to push the advantage to 31-25.
The Titans led 35-31 before closing the half on a 10-2 run. Five different players scored in the run as Cal State Fullerton held CSUN without a field goal in the final 4:53 of the period. The Titans led 45-35 at the half.
A layup by Johnson made it 50-36 with 16:45 remaining, but the Matadors chipped away and eventually pulled within 57-52 with nine minutes left after a pair of free throws by Vincent Cordell.
It didn’t take long for the Titans to regain a double-digit lead as a 13-3 run over the next three minutes gave them a 70-55 cushion with just under six minutes left. The Matadors would get no closer than the final margin.
Two other Titans scored 14 or more in the game with Anderson finishing with 15 and Jacques Streeter finishing with 14. Anderson also dished out a game-high seven assists.
CSUN outrebounded Cal State Northridge, 41-40. Cordell led all rebounders with 13 boards to go along with 12 points. A total of five Matadors scored in double-figures. Willie Galick and Kenny Daniels finished with 13, and Vinnie McGhee added 11.
NO. 6 CAL POLY 73, NO. 7 UC IRVINE 69
Keeler's Second Half Surge Leads Cal Poly Comeback
Cal Poly overcame a 14-point second-half deficit to defeat UC Irvine, 73-69, Wednesday in the first round of the Big West Men’s Basketball Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Lorenzo Keeler scored 19 of his game-high 27 points in the second half. David Hanson added 15 points and nine rebounds for the No. 6 Mustangs. Darren Moore led No. 7 UCI with 19 points.
Cal Poly (12-18) trailed 45-31 early in the second half but used a 24-9 run to take a 55-54 lead with 8:29 to play. The lead changed hands four more times before Cal Poly seized it for good with five minutes to play.
UC Irvine (14-18) had the ball in the closing seconds trailing 71-69, but Keeler drew a charge on Eric Wise to turn the ball back over to the Mustangs. Wise finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Keeler finished the night just 5-for-15 from the field but shot 16-for-18 from the line. He also dished out a game-high six assists. He scored the first 10 points of the second half for the Mustangs and seven of their final eight.
In the first half, Cal Poly used an 11-2 run to jump out to an early 14-6 lead. Moments later, UC Irvine went on an 8-0 run of its own to tie the game at 16-16 with 9:23 left in the half. The Anteaters closed the half with a 9-2 burst in the final 4:20 to lead 35-29 at the break.
UCI continued its surge at the start of the second half by outscoring Cal Poly, 10-2, in the first 2:38. As a result, the lead was up to 45-31 with 17:23 to play. In all, the Anteaters outscored the Mustangs 19-4 in an eight-minute stretch that spanned halftime and did not allow a field goal in the process.
The momentum then shifted dramatically in favor of Cal Poly. Keeler scored the next eight points to make it 45-39 just under the 15-minute mark. Trailing 50-46, the Mustangs would make three consecutive three-pointers to eventually regain the lead, 55-54, with 8:29 to play. Neither team would lead by more than four the rest of the way.
Cal Poly shot 43 percent from the field but was 89 percent from the line on 25-for-28 accuracy. The Mustangs outscored the Anteaters, 25-9, from the line.
With the win, Cal Poly advances to Thursday’s quarterfinals to meet No. 3 Long Beach State.