Men’s basketball concludes regular season versus UCSB and Cal Poly

ROBERT HUSKEY/ Daily Titan

ROBERT HUSKEY/ Daily Titan

The Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball team will look to end season on a high note this weekend on the road against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and bring momentum into the Big West Tournament.

The Titans (14-15, 6-10 Big West) will look to rebound after losing their final two home games of the season. The first loss of last weekend was against University of the Pacific, 64-55, on Feb. 28, which marked the team’s lowest scoring game of the season. CSUF also dropped their senior night game Saturday against UC Davis 71-68.

CSUF currently stands in seventh place in the Big West standings and will travel up the 101 freeway tonight to take on the UCSB Gauchos (9-19, 5-11 Big West), who sit right behind the Titans in the eighth and final Big West Tournament spot. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Titans will look to sweep the season series against the Gauchos after they won at home against UCSB 86-79 on Dec. 29. The Titans are 6-8 on the road, and are currently tied for first in road wins with Long Beach State and UC Davis. The Gauchos are 6-6 at home this season. UCSB leads the all-time series against CSUF, 39-36.

The Gauchos won their first game of March against Cal State Northridge after a rough 1-6 February.

With both teams having already clinched a spot in the tournament, the teams will be looking to iron out any kinks in their game and rest some of their stars.

The Titans have been hit with the injury bug and sorely need some rest before the tournament. Senior forward Sammy Yeager hasn’t played since Feb. 16 and missed his fourth consecutive contest as he continues to sit with a back injury.

Senior guard D.J. Seeley missed the game against UC Davis after going down with a foot injury in the second half of the match against the University of the Pacific Tigers.

Senior guard Kwame Vaughn has stepped up in the absence of his starting mates. Vaughn has led the team in scoring in each of the past four games, compiling 86 points, 21 rebounds and 13 assists.

Vaughn shared a special moment in front of the home crowd on senior night as he became the 22nd player in school history to hit the 1,000 point milestone. Vaughn hit the milestone just 10 days after Seeley reached the 1,000 point mark, and the duo became the fifth pair in school history to accomplish the feat in the same season.

Sophomore guard Alex Harris has also contributed nicely for the TItans over the past four contests with 50 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists.

The Titans’ season finale will be on Saturday against the fourth place Cal Poly Mustangs (15-12, 10-6 Big West), starting at 7 p.m. The Mustangs go into tonight’s game against UC Riverside winners of three straight.

The Mustangs had a strong month of February with a 5-2 record including wins against University of the Pacific, UC Davis and UCSB, and a two-point loss against first place Long Beach State. However the other loss was against CSUF 77-60 on Feb. 20.

The Titans can claim the season sweep on the road, but it will be a tough challenge as the Mustangs are 11-1 at home. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo lead the all-time series against CSUF 32-25.

The Titan offense has cooled down since ranking third in the nation in points per game earlier in the season. The Titans haven’t scored 80 points in any of their last eight matches and have slipped to an average of 78.8 points per game. CSUF will look for two things before heading to the Big West Tournament: to get healthy and to rekindle some of that early-season firepower.

About Tameem Seraj

Tameem is a journalism major and kinesiology minor in his senior year. He is a copy editor for the Daily Titan at Cal State Fullerton for Fall 2014.