FRESNO — Cal State Fullerton showed resiliency against Fresno State Thursday night, coming back time after time from deficits in the five- to nine-point range.
But the Titans spent so much energy climbing out of holes that they had little left at the end of their 88-83 Big West Conference loss before 9,714 in Selland Arena.
Wilbert Hooker led five Fresno State players in double figures with 25 points, making five of seven three-pointers, as the Bulldogs improved to 10-4, 1-1 in conference.
Agee Ward scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds, and point guard Aaron Sunderland added 15 points and eight assists for the Titans, who fell to 4-7, 0-2, and have lost four of their last five games.
Fullerton guard Joe Small, mired in a shooting slump, made only four of 18 shots--including two of nine three-pointers--and scored 13 points. The Titans, who committed only 12 turnovers against Houston and 10 against Nevada Las Vegas the past two games, had 18 Thursday, many of them unforced.
Fullerton trailed, 71-62, with 7:32 remaining but trimmed the deficit to 71-70 on Ward's jump shot, Sean Williams' three-point play and Small's three-pointer with 6:06 left. The Bulldogs scored the next seven points, five by Hooker, to push the lead to 77-70 with 4:18 to go.
J.D. Green's two free throws and Kim Kemp's jump shot cut Fresno State's lead to 84-80, and Pat Riddlesprigger's errant pass gave the Titans possession with 39 seconds left.
But Green missed a three-point attempt with 28 seconds left, and Riddlesprigger and Hooker each made two free throws in the final 25 seconds to seal the victory.