Cal State Fullerton is 2-0 in Big West men's basketball play ahead of tough matchups against UC Irvine and UC Davis this week.
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Cal State Fullerton Off To 2-0 Start
Cal State Fullerton began Big West play 2-0 for the first time under fifth-year head coach Dedrique Taylor – and for the first time since the 2011-12 season. The Titans won a pair of closely contested games last week, edging past UC Riverside (68-65) and taking overtime to defeat Cal Poly (101-97) on the road. The 101 points scored represented the most for the program in a game since tallying 106 against Portland State on Nov. 13, 2016.
The Titans attempt to move to 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2007-08 when they visit Orange County rival UC Irvine on Thursday. They then host UC Davis on Saturday. The Titans have not started out conference play 4-0 since the 1983-84 season – when the Big West was known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA).
UC Davis Hits The Road
UC Davis moved to 5-0 at home – and improved its winning streak on Hamilton Court to 16 straight – with last week’s 64-53 victory over UC Irvine. That is currently the seventh longest streak in the nation. But the Aggies seek to stay undefeated in Big West play with some road success this week. They take on UC Riverside Thursday in what represents the 500th Division I game for head coach Jim Les, and square off against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. The Aggies aim to start Big West 2-0 under Les for the third time in four years.
On The Tube, On The Tablet
Four games will be available this week on either Fox Sports West – or FoxSportsGo.com – and the WatchESPN app. The FOX games begin a nine-game regular season package on the official Big West regional network. The four men’s quarterfinal games of the Big West Tournament as well as the women’s championship game will also be available in March.
FOX SPORTS WEST GAMES
Wed., Jan. 10 – CSUN at Long Beach State
Thurs., Jan. 11 – Cal State Fullerton at UC Irvine
Thur., Jan. 11 – UC Davis at UC Riverside
Sat., Jan. 13 – UC Davis at Cal State Fullerton
Monson Nears No. 6 Spot On Wins List
Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson won his 106th Big West game when the Beach upended Hawai‘i, 89-81, in the conference opener for both teams. He is now 106-57 all-time in Big West games – the seventh-most wins among coaches. His next target is former UC Irvine mentor Pat Douglass (1997-2010), who compiled 109 Big West victories in his 13 years.
Home Sweet Home, So Far
Through one week of Big West action, home teams have posted a 6-2 record.
UC Santa Barbara is 7-0 at home this season, its longest Thunderdome win streak since the 2014-15 campaign.
PRIOR TO TIPOFF
CSUN AT LONG BEACH STATE (FOX SPORTS WEST) - CSUN had lost eight straight against Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid before posting an 89-82 victory last year. However, the Matadors are 0-7 on the road this season. Beach senior Gabe Levin averaged 19.0 points and shot 50 percent (14 of 28) in a 1-1 split last week. CSUN senior Tavrion Dawson is 43 points shy from becoming the 19th player in school history to reach 1,000 for his career. PXP: Sam Farber • COLOR: Corey Maggette • SIDELINE: Rahshaun Haylock
CAL POLY AT HAWAI‘I (BIGWEST.TV) - Cal Poly overcame a 21-point deficit to shock UC Santa Barbara, 80-79, in the league opener for both teams last week. The Mustangs then hit 19 threes – falling just two short of tying the Big West record – against Cal State Fullerton in an overtime loss. Victor Joseph scored a career-high 33 points while Hank Hollingsworth blocked a Cal Poly record seven shots. Hawai‘i is coming off a 65-46 win at CSUN, with the 46 points allowed a Rainbow Warrior opponent low this year. Drew Buggs dished out a career-high 11 assists versus the Matadors.
UC DAVIS AT UC RIVERSIDE (WatchESPN) - The matchup pits the Big West’s best team in guarding the three-point shot against the worst shooting squad from distance. UC Davis is allowing teams to shoot just 30.3% (93 for 307) on threes. UC Riverside is shooting 30.5% (84 for 275) from beyond the arc. Aggie senior Chima Moneke is one of two Big West players – UC Santa Barbara’s Leland King II the other – to average a double-double (19.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg). PXP: Scott Marsh • COLOR: Bill Herenda • SIDELINE: Megan Reza
CAL STATE FULLERTON AT UC IRVINE (FOX SPORTS WEST) - Cal State Fullerton has lost five straight games against UC Irvine in the Bren Events Center. The Titans have shot better than 50 percent in seven of their last 10 games. The Anteaters lead the Big West in field goal percentage defense (.403). UCI junior Jonathan Galloway needs two blocks to reach 100 for his career. PXP: Sam Farber • COLOR: Corey Maggette • SIDELINE: Courtney Sweet