Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#789 Cal State Fullerton 137 vs.
#790 Long Beach State -2
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#789 California State University, Fullerton
#790 California State University, Long Beach
5-13
6-13
4-12
7-10
4-11-1
10-7
63
68
66
78

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Two of the Big West’s teams from the Golden State take to the parquet floor in search of a conference victory. The CSU Fullerton Titans make the in-state trip to take on the Long Beach State 49ers Saturday night. CSU Fullerton was dropped 74-61 at home by UC Irvine Wednesday night in their last contest. Long Beach State was edged 85-82 at home by UC Davis in their previous game Thursday night. The 49ers own a 57-43 edge in the all-time series between the teams but the Titans have won the last four meetings. That includes an 85-82 home win in the most recent matchup on February 13, 2019.

CSU Fullerton Titans Hoping to Get Back in Win Column

CSU Fullerton suffered their third defeat to open up conference play as they were dumped at home by perennial conference power UC Irvine. Offense has been a problem for the Titans all year as they have cracked the 75-point mark just three times in their 18 games this season. Two of those came against Cal State Stanislaus and Saint Katherine, neither of whom are Division I programs. That means the lone time the Titans have hit that mark against an actual Division I program came in a three-point home win at home over UCLA. Clearly, there is work to be done for CSU Fullerton if they hope to become relevant in conference play.

The Titans score an average of 63.8 points per game so far this season, putting them a dismal 326th in the nation in scoring offense. CSU Fullerton pulls down 33.2 rebounds per contest while dishing out an average of 10.6 assists per game. The Titans are above average on the defensive end of the floor as they are tied for 130th in the nation by allowing 67 points per game this season. Austen Awosika leads the team with 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. Jackson Rowe (13.6 points, seven rebounds), Brandon Kamga (12.5 points) and Wayne Arnold (9.5 points, 3.7 rebounds) are solid offensive weapons this season for the Titans. Davon Clare, Vincent Lee and Tory San Antonio are key secondary options for the team this season. CSU Fullerton is shooting 42.3 percent from the floor. The Titans knock down 5.9 three-pointers a game on 32.5 percent shooting from downtown this season. CSU Fullerton is mediocre at the charity stripe as they cash in 66.9 percent of their chances on the year.

According to KenPom, CSU Fullerton is just 323rd in the nation in offensive efficiency, 316th in effective field goal percentage (45.4 percent) and 346th in offensive rebounding percentage (20.2 percent) this season. The Titans are 174th in defensive efficiency and are 210th in tempo, averaging 68.2 possessions a game on the year. CSU Fullerton is 311th in two-point field goal percentage defense (45 percent) and 311th in free throw percentage this season.

Long Beach State 49ers Seeking Consistency

There may not be a more maddening team in the country than Long Beach State. The 49ers seem to turn a corner only to slam face first into another wall. We’ve seen it happen on several occasions this season and this week was no exception. After going on the road to beat UC Santa Barbara and snap the Gauchos’ six-game win streak, setting a season-best for points allowed in the process, one would think that the 49ers were primed to get some positive momentum as they returned home. Instead, they allowed UC Davis to shoot out to a 13-point halftime lead after leading by as many as 20. Long Beach State rallied to tie but couldn’t regain the lead to close things out. Dan Monson has to get more consistency from his group, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

The 49ers are averaging 68.6 points per game this season, which is 255th in the nation. Long Beach State collects 33.6 boards a night while dishing out 11.7 assists per contest. The 49ers are a dismal 334th in scoring defense as they allow 78.2 points a night. Chance Hunter leads the team with 14.7 points per game this season. Michael Carter III (12.1 points, 3.1 assists) is one of two other players averaging in double figures this season for the 49ers. Colin Slater (10.7 points), Joshua Morgan, Drew Cobb, Jordan Griffin and Max de Geest have to be more consistent on the offensive end to help out. Long Beach State shoots 44 percent from the field as a team. The 49ers average 6.3 three-pointers a game while shooting 36.1 percent from long range. Long Beach State shoots a mediocre 68.2 percent from the line as a team this season.

The 49ers struggle on both ends of the floor as they are 290th in offensive efficiency and 293rd in defensive efficiency this season. Long Beach State is 319th in effective field goal percentage defense at 54.4 percent and 336th in offensive rebounding percentage allowed at 33.9 percent. Opposing teams shoot 37.6 percent from beyond the arc (328th) and 53 percent from inside the arc (285th) against the 49ers. Long Beach State pushes the pace as they are 37th in the nation in tempo with 72.1 possessions per game this season.

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Both teams have had their struggles this season and it’s going to be interesting to see who prevails. Long Beach State seemed to be in good position to come up with the win over UC Davis based on being at home and their defensive work against UC Santa Barbara. Instead, they were nearly run out of their own gym before putting together a rally that ultimately fell short. CSU Fullerton has been smacked around in conference play regardless of venue and their offensive woes are painful to watch. Going on the road, even against a weak Long Beach State defense, isn’t enough to help the Titans. Take Long Beach State at home given CSU Fullerton’s 2-6 road mark.

 

Prediction: Long Beach State 49ers -1.5

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We know that both teams have rather porous defenses, which means that even mediocre offenses can put up solid numbers. UC Davis is a case in point as they were averaging just over 71 points a game heading into Thursday and hung 85 on the road against Long Beach State. The 49ers are 294th in field goal percentage defense (45.5 percent) and 278th in three-point field goal percentage defense (35.1 percent) this season. CSU Fullerton isn't going to set the world on fire either as they gave up 74 points to UC Irvine, who isn't going to be confused for a team like Duke, Arizona or Gonzaga offensively. This one ends up over the total as neither side is compelling defensively.

Prediction: Over 138
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.