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Men's Basketball

Cal State Fullerton Hosts Wooden Legacy

11/26/2013

Men's Basketball Release No. 4

Cal State Fullerton is set to host the DirecTV Wooden Legacy, an eight-team men's basketball tournament that begins on Thanksgiving Thursday at Titan Gym and concludes Sunday with four placement games at Honda Center.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

CAL POLY

Into The Win Column: Cal Poly shook off three straight losses to open the season and planted a 39-point rout on Bethesda University on Saturday.  The 78-39 win represented the fewest points allowed by Cal Poly both overall and at home since defeating Pacific on Mar. 3, 2012.

Wide Margin Winning: Cal Poly’s 39-point triumph against Bethesda also was its largest margin of victory since walloping Menlo College 89-43 on Dec. 8. 2012.

Assistance: Senior guard Jamal Johnson’s combined five assists against Fresno State and Bethesda last week gave him 221 for his career, moving him into sole possession of seventh place all-time at Cal Poly.

Nwaba’s Contributions:  Sophomore David Nwaba recorded his third double-digit scoring effort in four games when he posted a career-high 14 points against Bethesda.  The 6-4 wing hit 5 of 6 shots in the victory, and is 10 for his last 13 (76.9%) over the last two games.

CAL STATE FULLERTON

Unfortunate Turn: The Titans suffered a pair of double-digit road losses last week to USC and San Jose State, but were without the services of leading scorer Alex Harris, who missed both games with a right ankle sprain and is currently listed as day-to-day.  Harris is averaging 17.7 points per game.

Titans To Host Wooden Legacy: Cal State Fullerton is set to host the DirecTV Wooden Legacy at Titan Gym on Nov. 28-29 before the tournament moves to Honda Center for four placement games on Sunday.  In addition to the Titans, the loaded field includes Arizona State, College of Charleston, No. 18 Creighton, George Washington, Marquette, Miami and San Diego State.

Williams Making Impact: Senior Michael Williams, a transfer from San Francisco, has started all five games for the Titans and has scored in double figures in each.  The guard also has been an adept rebounder, corralling five or more boards in all but one outing.  Williams ranks second on the team with 5.2 rebounds per game.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE

Road Journey Closes: The Matadors conclude their longest roadtrip in school history (nine days, four games) when they visit Montana State on Tuesday.  In all, CSUN will have played six straight games away from the Matadome.  CSUN defeated the Bobcats in the opening game of last week’s Central Michigan Tournament, 74-73.

Hicks Nears Milestone: Cal State Northridge junior Stephan Hicks scored 62 points over three games at the Central Michigan Tournament to earn All-Tournament honors.  He left with 954 career points, just 46 short of becoming the 17th player in school history to reach 1,000.

Free Is Free: Hicks, who had a season-high 24 points in an 80-77 overtime victory against Austin Peay, accounted for half of those on free throws.  The forward canned 12-of-12 from the line to tie the school record for free throw percentage in a game.  Thanks to players like Hicks, the Matadors lead the Big West in team free throw percentage (.812), shooting 75 percent or better five times this season.

LONG BEACH STATE

Streak Hits Six: Long Beach State’s litany of tough non-conference opponents continued last week with consecutive losses to No. 14 Michigan, No. 10 VCU and Kansas State at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, extending the team’s losing streak to six straight.  The slide is the longest in head coach Dan Monson’s LBSU tenure since year one, when the 49ers ended the 2007-08 season with eight straight losses.

Not Getting Any Easier: The 49ers do not get a breather as their next action is a road game at Washington, followed by a home clash with No. 18 Creighton.

Monson Tied For Second: Head coach Dan Monson sits at 105 career wins while at Long Beach State.  He currently shares the No. 2 spot for most wins with Seth Greenberg (1990-96).

Spencer Steps Up: Junior guard A.J. Spencer tallied a career-high 14 points as LBSU’s upset bid against VCU came up short in a 73-67 loss.  It was the fourth straight game that Spencer had scored in double figures.

UC DAVIS

Aggie Success: UC Davis took its second trip to the state of Portland in the month of November, and came away with a successful outcome.  The Aggies were twice victorious at the Portland State Tournament, downing SIUE and Loyola-Chicago by five and three points, respectively.

Sypkens Tees Up 1,000: Senior guard Ryan Sypkens stands just five points shy of 1,000 when the Aggies take the court Tuesday against Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State.  Sypkens seeks to become the 19th Aggie in program history to reach the milestone.  The last player to do so was Mark Payne on Nov. 14, 2010.

Looking Ahead For Ritchart: Senior Josh Ritchart seems intact on making his final year at UC Davis a memorable one.  He currently is tied for the Big West scoring lead with Hawaii’s Christian Standhardinger at 18.0 points per game.  Ritchart erupted for a career-high 35 points against SIUE to open the Portland State Tournament.  With 61 points in three tournament games, Ritchart now has 917 career points and has begun his approach to the 1,000 milestone.

UC IRVINE

Puttin A Hurtin: UC Irvine enjoyed blowout wins over LIU Brooklyn and Eastern Washington sandwiched around a tough loss to Boston University at the 2K Sports Classic Regional Round.  Both wins were by 20 points or more.  UCI has won by an average of 23.5 points in its four victories.

Mamadou - Again: In a span of 10 days, freshman Mamadou Ndiaye broke the Big West single-game record for blocked shots – twice.  Ndiaye initially set the new record with nine blocks against Washington on Nov. 14.  Well, he came back on Sunday against Eastern Washington and swatted away 10 shots.  The 7-6 center has 26 blocks through seven games.

Foreign Flavor: Freshman Luke Nelson, a native of England, is bringing solid production to the Eater lineup.  The guard is the team’s third-leading scorer (11.1 ppg), and leads in steals (9).  Nelson poured in career highs of points (19) and three-pointers (5) in the win against Eastern Washington.  He has reached double figures in scoring in five straight games.

UC RIVERSIDE

Another Close Loss: UC Riverside lost its second game this season by five points or less on Monday in Seattle.  The Highlanders dropped a 69-68 decision to the Redhawks as Chris Patton’s baseline jumper as time expired came up short.  After losing by three earlier to Pepperdine, the Highlanders could easily be off to a 4-1 start.

Thornton In Mix: Junior forward Steven Thornton has made significant contributions for the Highlanders over the last two games.  He had 20 points in a win at Southern Utah, and followed that up with a team-high 18 versus Seattle.  He also knocked down four threes against the Redhawks.

Impressive Road Win: The Highlanders walloped Southern Utah on the road, 74-59, in a Saturday triumph that represented the largest non-conference road margin of victory in the program’s Division I history.

Patton On Upswing:  Senior Chris Patton has made 15 of his last 30 shots and is averaging 18.0 points over his last two games.

UC SANTA BARBARA

Compete: A shorthanded UC Santa Barbara squad, playing without leading scorer and rebounder Alan Williams, fought for an entire game but came up short against the Pac-12’s Colorado, 76-68.  The Gauchos led as late in the game as 5:51 remaining, 54-52, but had their only two post players foul out and finished the game with two point guards and three wings.

Brutal Statistic: UC Santa Barbara lost the battle at the free throw line against the Buffaloes.  Colorado had 36 free throw attempts to UCSB’s eight.

Taran’s Time: Sophomore forward Taran Brown had one of the top games of his young career against Colorado.  He scored a career-high 23 points and canned a personal-best seven three-pointers.

Difficult Schedule Continues: The Gauchos hope to build a solid non-conference résumé with their next four games, including two at home against South Dakota State and Cal.  UCSB also has road games at UCLA and San Diego.

HAWAI‘I

Prolific Effort: Hawai‘i turned in one of the top offensive performances in program history with Thursday’s 114-63 dismantling of Hawaii-Hilo.  The 114 points were the seventh-most in school history and the highest scoring total since 1974.  In addition, the 51-point margin of history was the third largest ever.

What’s Up Next: Hawai‘i has a pair of home games this week againt New Orleans and Montana.  The Rainbow Warriors are currently 3-1 at home this season.

Efficient Outing For Valdes: Five UH players scored in double figures against Hawaii-Hilo.  Redshirt freshman Aaron Valdes got in on the act, notching a career-high 16 points in only 15 minutes of action.

Standhardinger Hits 20 Again:  Senior Christian Standhardinger recorded his third 20-point game and second in a row with 22 points.  The forward hit 10 of 12 shots against Hawaii-Hilo.  Over the last two contests, Standhardinger has made 19 of 24 shots.