Los Angeles, CA — The Cal State Fullerton Titans men’s basketball team fell 64-50 Wednesday night to USC at the Galen Center.
Trojans Tre White poured in 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, Kobe Johnson chipped in 14 points, five assists and three steals to lead the way.
USC started the game on fire, scoring the first 14 points of the game before a deep three from San Antonio put Cal State on the board. The Trojans extended its lead to 17 points, 22-5, halfway through the half. But Fullerton didn’t lay down, they used an 11-2 run fueled by back-to-back treys from Latrell Wrightsell Jr. to get within eight points, 24-16.
Both teams traded baskets throughout the remainder of the half, Harris completed a three-point play and Lee made a pair of bunnies to get the score to 29-21 for USC at halftime but got no closer.
Fullerton (4-5) shot just 27.6% (8 of29) in the first half but the Trojans scored just one point during a stretch of five-plus minutes and the Titans used a 16-5 spurt to trim the lead to single digits but ran out gas in the second.
“There were a lot of good things out there and there were some not so good things out there tonight,” said Cal State Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor. “USC’s length and the way they were playing took us out of rhythm a little bit. But there were moments where we played hard and were able to execute.”
USC Trojans scored the first five points of the second half before a pull-up jumper on the right wing from Harris which brought the score to 33-23 for the Trojans. Wrightsell Jr. hit a 3-pointer off a hand-off from Lee, but a 7-0 Trojan spurt then gave USC a 42-26 lead.
Wrightsell Jr., the only Fullerton play to score in double figures, scored 17 points and was problem in the first half.
The Trojans extended its lead to 20 points, 48-28, before Max Jones laid it back off the glass. USC led by as many as 23 before a 10-0 Titan run capped by a Wrightsell Jr. driving layup brought Fullerton within 13, 57-44, with 3:22 left in the game. Victor Panov and Grayson Carper each drained treys in the wanning minutes to seal the win.
USC, which went into the game allowing its opponents to shoot just 37.4% from the field (No. 23 nationally), limited Fullerton to 33% shooting (19 of 58).
Drew Petersen scored nine points and eight boards for USC (7-3).
CSU Fullerton returns home to take on Southern Utah on Saturday.
USC plays the third of four consecutive home games against Long Beach State next Wednesday.