The win was Fullerton's seventh in a row at the Matadome and improved its record to 13-11 overall and 7-5 for sole possession of third place in the Big West. Northridge fell to 9-16, 4-7. The combined 225 points are the most in a game in Fullerton's 50-year basketball history.
Gerard Anderson led the Titans with a career-high 25 points including 11 in the third overtime. With Northridge leading, 112-110 and 4 seconds left, he made one free throw before missing the second on purpose. Eric Williams got the rebound on the left side and put in a short bank shot and was fouled, sinking the winning free throw before the Matadors' Vinnie McGhee's half-court shot bounced off the rim at the final buzzer.
Aaron Thompson and Jacques Streeter each had 21 points for Fullerton before fouling out.
Kenny Daniels led the Matadors with 25 points before he fouled out. Mark Hill scored 18 including 6-for-6 free throws in the third overtime. Five Titans and five Matadors fouled out. The game was tied 17 times and there were 15 lead changes.
Anderson scored Fullerton's first 6 points in the third overtime, tying the game at 103 with 1:45 to go. Raymond Cody hit a trey at 1:21 but Anderson scored twice more for a 107-106 lead with a minute to go. But Hill hit two free throws with 43 seconds left and Taylor stole the ball from Anderson near midcourt with 28.7 seconds left and Hill hit two more free throws for a 110-107 lead. Williams scored a deuce with 12 seconds left to make it 110-109 but Hill made two more free throws with 11.3 seconds left to make it 112-109.
"I've never seen anything like this," said CSF Coach Bob Burton, who has been coaching for more than 40 years.
"That's as resilient a team as I've ever seen. We were dead so many times but kept coming back and to win is terrific. We never quit. That will be one of my most memorable wins."
Fullerton appeared to have lost the game in regulation and each of the overtime periods.
Devon Peltier hit a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds to go in regulation to tie the score at 76 and CSUN's Kenny Daniels missed a short jumper at the buzzer.
In the first overtime, Anderson hit two free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining for a 73-73 tie and the Matadors didn't get a shot off.
In the second overtime, Anderson blocked a shot and took the ball to the other end for a dunk and a 92-87 lead, Fullerton's biggest of the game, at 1:46. But Vincent Cordell hit a 3-pointer and 3-for-3 free throws around a Titan turnover to put the Matadors ahead, 93-92. Streeter scored for the Titans at 0:47 but Hill made a 3-point play a few seconds later to make it 96-94. Streeter missed a three but the Titans got the ball back on a held ball. But Peltier missed a foul-line jumper. Cordell made one free throw and Streeter tied it with a trey with 6 seconds left before Hill missed at the buzzer.
A total of 75 fouls were called in the game with Fullerton posting school record totals of 44 free throws made and 61 free throws attempted. Northridge made 37 of 49. Fullerton made 31 of 41 free throws in regulation but only 5 of 10 in the first overtime period.
The game was tied at regulation at 76 points; 83 after one overtime and 97 after two.
Fullerton is now 3-0 in triple overtime games in its history, which includes 0-2 in quadruple overtime games. The win was Fullerton's fourth road win in a row and three of them have taken more than 40 minutes. Four of Fullerton's last seven games have gone overtime and the season record is now 4-1 in extra time.
The 113 points tie for the third most by a Titan team, trailing only 128 vs. Chapman in 1972 and 117 vs. U. S. International in 1985 (also 113 vs. Pasadena-Nazarene in 1965-66).
Anderson scored only 2 points in the first half and 5 in the second half, all on free throws. But he had 5, 2 and 11 points in the overtime periods and ended up 13-for-17 at the foul line. Streeter had 7 points in the second overtime. Williams finished with 5 points, playing only the final 3 minutes after Streeter fouled out. He hadn't scored in the Titans' last 8 games over a total of 17 minutes and he didn't even play in Thursday night's win at UC Irvine.
In a foul-prone first half, the Matadors jumped out to a 9-2 lead and gradually stretched it to a 12-point margin at the half, 44-32. The 44 points matched the high by a Fullerton opponent (Utah State) this season. Fullerton's last field goal of the half came at 9:17 on a 3-pointer by Jacques Streeter that made it 24-18, Northridge. Fullerton's final 14 points of the half came at the foul line, where it made a total of 15 of 22.
CSUN dominated the glass, getting off to a 13-4 advantage and ending the half at 27-14. Fullerton shot only 30 percent from the floor but was 4 of 9 from the 3-point line. Both Bryce Webster and Jer'Vaughn Johnson, who both fouled out in a Jan. 16 loss to CSUN, both picked up three personal fouls.
Fullerton scored the first 7 points of the second half and finally caught up at 50-50 on a Peltier 3-pointer at 10:16. CSUN pulled away to lead by 6 but Orane Chin hit a jumper at 6:06 to put Fullerton ahead for the last time in regulation at 60-59.
The Titans host Big West leader UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night.