SAN DIEGO — For a Cal State Fullerton team that won only six games last season, it was an opportunity to move into some heady territory.
But San Diego canceled that move with a 77-53 victory over the Titans in front of 1,037 in the USD Sports Center.
Cal State Fullerton hasn't won four consecutive road games in one season since Bobby Dye's team did it in 1977-78. That team made the Titans' only NCAA tournament appearance and finished 23-9.
The Titans missed the chance to equal that Tuesday night. Instead San Diego (3-3) overwhelmed Fullerton (3-2) and stopped the Titans' early run of success away from home.
"It was a complete and total disaster," Titan Coach Bob Hawking said. "And it was an aberration of what had happened with us so far. We got off to a bad start, and it didn't seem to get any better."
It was the first matchup between Brad Holland and the Titans, his former team. Holland clearly had much more to enjoy than Hawking, Holland's assistant for two seasons at Fullerton.
The Titans shot only 38.2% from the field and were outrebounded, 48-28. Fullerton made only seven of 18 free throws and only four of 18 three-point shots.
"It didn't seem like the same club," Hawking said. "I really can't identify what the difference was. But I know we have to shoot better than that and rebound better than that."
San Diego shot 42.4% on field goals and was 19 of 24 on free throws, giving Holland reason to be pleased with the way his team came back from three consecutive losses.
"It was nice to have some intensity and enthusiasm back with my team," Holland said. "That's what we've lacked the last couple of games."
The Toreros came to life behind a 21-point performance from forward Brian Miles, but San Diego had four other players score in double figures, including 12 from reserve Andre Speech.
Guard Chris Dade led Fullerton with 16 points, and forward Craig Whitehead had 11, but the Titans were hurt badly inside by San Diego's strong defensive play.
Power forward John Williams was limited to seven points and two rebounds. Williams picked up his third foul with slightly more than seven minutes left in the first half, and Hawking thought that probably was a factor.
"Any player's frame of mind changes when you're saddled with that early," Hawking said.
Dade blamed the Titans' performance on a lack of focus. "We came out very slow," Dade said. "I think a lot of us might have thought this was going to be a vacation road trip, and we'd get another win, but we weren't ready."
San Diego went on a 13-2 run in the first half to go from a 16-16 tie to a 29-18 lead. The Toreros led by as many as 16 points late in the first half and moved ahead by 22 early in the second half. San Diego led by as many as 28 points with slightly more than two minutes left.
"We tried to make some adjustments at halftime, but sometimes you're swimming up stream and that seemed to be the case with us tonight," Hawking said.
Holland said he had been concerned by Fullerton's three victories on the road at Brigham Young, Montana and Loyola Marymount.
"I was wondering about how we'd react, since we've been so hot and cold," Holland said.
"But this time we played a 40-minute game. We played well defensively. We gave them a couple of different looks with the man to man and the zone."