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Turner Returns, Is Key to Titans' 67-43 Win

December 20, 1987|STEVE LOWERY | Times Staff Writer

A simple conclusion drawn from Cal State Fullerton's 67-43 nonconference victory over Utah Saturday night at Titan Gym: Give Henry Turner two weeks to prepare for a game and the guy is tough.

Turner, playing for the first time since straining ligaments in his right foot against Weber State Dec. 4, led Fullerton (2-3) in scoring (22) and rebounding (16).

He also led a defensive effort that stifled Utah, a team that had averaged 77 points in its previous six games.

Utah (5-2) shot 35% for the game, 28% in the second half. The Utes had 17 rebounds in the entire game, or one more than Turner.

It took Utah more than nine minutes to score 10 points in the first half. At one stretch in the second half, Utah did not make a field goal for more than seven minutes.

"Fullerton did an excellent job of taking us out of our offense," Utah Coach Lynn Archibald said.

Leading the defense inside was John Sykes, a 6-foot 8-inch, 235-pound forward, who held Utah's leading scorer, Watkins Singletary (18.0 average) to just 7 points.

Fullerton led at halftime, 37-24, with Turner having 16 points.

"We couldn't find anyone to stop Henry," Archibald said. "Fullerton really is a different team with him playing."

That was Turner's argument to George McQuarn, Fullerton coach, a week ago before the Titans played New Orleans. Turner wanted to play in that game, but McQuarn decided to hold him out. Fullerton lost, 80-57.

"Henry was so mad at me last week," McQuarn said. "He really wanted to play. I'm not really surprised by what he did here today. Henry's a big time kid. He can do things like this."

When he does, it takes pressure off guard Richard Morton, who has carried the Fullerton offense this season.

Morton came into the game averaging 28 points a game. He scored 19 and said he was more than happy to miss his average.

"When someone like Henry is playing like this, it really takes the pressure off me," he said. "It's great, teams can't key on me. They can't cheat."

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