DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 29th, 7:05 p.m. (pt)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (4,000) -- Fullerton, California. Television: None. Home Record: CSUN 4-8, Fullerton 11-1. Away Record: CSUN 3-12, Fullerton 7-6. Neutral Record: CSUN 0-0, Fullerton 1-1. Conference Record: CSUN 3-12, Fullerton 10-4. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 37-28.
GAME NOTES: Northridge has had a brutal season, going 7-20 overall and it currently sits in last place in the conference standings at 3-12. The Matadors haven't played very well lately, losing three in a row and seven of their last eight games, including a 94-85 overtime loss to UC Irvine on Saturday, a tilt in which they surrendered a nine-point lead with 5:30 to play in regulation.
Fullerton has enjoyed an impressive run this season, as it is tied for second place in the Big West with a 10-4 league ledger, and with one more victory it will eclipse the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign. The Titans had been red-hot, winning six in a row and nine of 10, before losing a disappointing game to UC Davis on Saturday, 78-75
Fullerton has a 37-28 advantage in the all-time series with Northridge, and the Matadors swept all three meetings last season, but the Titans got back in the win column in last-second fashion on January 26 of this year, 70-68.
While Northridge boasts a modest offense (67.9 ppg), it has not found much in the way of consistent success because it allows opponents to score a league- high 74.6 ppg on 46.2 percent field goal efficiency. Saturday's loss was a microcosm of the Matadors' season, as they lost in shootout fashion. Even though they put up an impressive 85 points, they shot a less-than-stellar 38.2 percent from the floor and 3-of-19 from three-point range, while they allowed UC Irvine to connect on a lofty 55.6 percent of its total shots. Freshman Stephen Hicks put together one of his best performances of his young career, shooting 8-of-14 from the field for 24 points, while also grabbing nine boards. Hicks (15.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) has been one of the Big West's best performers this year, and Josh Greene (12.1 ppg) provides solid support from the outside, draining 55 three-pointers.
Fullerton has the best offense in the conference, scoring 78.3 ppg on 48.6 percent shooting from the field. It also hit an incredible 41.4 percent from three-point range, which ranks fifth in Division I. The Titans struggled by their standards in Saturday's loss to UC Davis, connecting on just 41.5 percent of its field goal attempts, while knocking down only 8-of-31 three- point attempts. D.J. Seeley tallied his second double-double of the year with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and he now averages 16.3 ppg, good for fourth in the conference. Seeley is part of a starting five that contributes on a nightly basis, with Kwame Vaughn (15.4 ppg, 3.9 apg) and Isiah Umipig (13.9 ppg) joining him out on the perimeter, while Omondi Amoke (11.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Orane Chin (10.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) do their damage from their forward positions. Umipig and Seeley are deadly from long-range, combining for 131 three-pointers between them.
Fullerton is no doubt upset about the letdown that occurred at UC Davis over the weekend, but it now comes home where it has lost just one of 12 games this season. Northridge has been prone to giving up huge point totals, especially on the road, meaning the Titans should be able to roll to an easy victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 87, CS-Northridge 69