The Cal State Fullerton Titans defeated the Pepperdine Waves 78-64 on Wednesday night at Firestone Fieldhouse. Brendan Lane led the Waves with outstanding post play, scoring 24 points. However, no one else really got going on offensive end. Stacy Davis was saddled with two fouls with just over 2 minutes elapsed in the first half, and never got in a rhythm in the second half. While it was nice to see Jett Raines back in action from finger surgery, scoring a couple of baskets, he still seems to be limited in the number of minutes he can play. Nikolas Skouen disappointed off the bench going 0/3 from the field. I believe he is suffering a senior shooting slump similar to that of Portland’s Nemanja Mitrovic two years ago.
For CSF, it was Michael Williams’ 12 second half points after being shutout in the first half that made the difference. Marquis Horne was excellent right from the start, showing a wide variety of moves including mid range jumpers, layups, and a three point shot as well. He led all Titan scorers with 21 points. Alex Harris seems to be recovering well from his ankle injury, scoring 9 points, and forward Steve McClellan gave the Waves fits inside, scoring 13 points.
Stats of the Night
1. Jeremy Major and Malcolm Brooks combined for 9 assists and 1 turnover. That is quite impressive for two freshmen who have played only 9 college basketball games each. If it were not for those two, the deficit might have been much larger. They also would have gotten more assists had Malte Kramer or Skouen hit a few perimeter shots.
2. The Pepperdine starters played 71% of the minutes. What this shows is that Marty Wilson could not get a lift from anyone off the bench, which really hurt in the second half when the Waves were outscored 46-27. No Wave reserve played more than 11 minutes.
While the Waves need to keep Davis out of foul trouble and continue to look for Lane and Davis in the post, they can only be isolated in one-on-one situations if guys like Kramer and Skouen are able to space the floor and shoot from the perimeter. Because the Waves only shot 4/17 from beyond the arc, Lane began getting double teamed in the second half and was not quite as effective late in the game because he kept having to kick the ball out of the post. If the Waves can get both the post game and the perimeter game going at the same time, they will be a difficult out come league play.