NEW ORLEANS — It was difficult to tell precisely when things got out of hand for Cal State Fullerton Saturday night, but it was sometime between the first half--in which the Titans managed only 12 field-goal attempts and three rebounds--and the final buzzer.
When it was over, New Orleans had coasted to an 80-57 victory and Fullerton had lost for the third time in four games this season.
Despite some dismal statistics in the first half, the Titans trailed by only nine at halftime and cut that lead to five early in the second half. But a little later in the game, Fullerton collapsed.
With New Orleans already leading, 70-42, Gabe Corchiani made a three-point shot from the left wing, and about 20 seconds later, Sam Jones made a steal, finishing it off with a dunk. Within less than a minute, Ledell Eackles took a fast-break pass from Jones and slammed home a reverse dunk that made it 77-42 with four minutes to play.
In Fullerton's defense, let it be said that on a night when the Titans were playing New Orleans, the court at Lakefront Arena was one of the more unlikely places to find a Titan forward.
Henry Turner, the Titans' best forward, was home in California, hobbled by a sprained ankle. Vincent Blow, a top reserve, was in a New Orleans hotel room, ill with the flu. And--after the first 10 minutes of the game--Bobby Adair, a starter, was on the Fullerton bench, having been ejected from the game.
Adair was involved in an altercation with New Orleans' Chris Trunk, and both were ejected.
The result of all this was that Van Anderson, actually a guard, and Brent Calvin, a deep reserve still recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, were the Titan forwards.
Fullerton was outrebounded, 35-15, and allowed New Orleans three more offensive rebounds than the Titans totalled.
The brightest spot for Fullerton once again was the play of Richard Morton, who scored 34 points, making 11 of 16 shot, including 4 of 6 three-point attempts. No other Titan scored in double figures.
Jones scored 24 and Eackles had 21 for New Orleans (2-1).