Cal State Fullerton's basketball team spent the better part of two days in airports trying to get here. And, by late Sunday afternoon, it probably wished it had stayed home in bed.
Not only did the Titans lose, 59-45, to the University of Portland, they lost senior point guard Kevin Henderson for an indefinite period with a severely sprained right ankle.
Henderson, the team's leading scorer with a 21-points-per-game average, was driving for a layup early in the first half and came down on someone's foot. He squirmed on the floor and his moans were audible throughout the Chiles Center.
"It's at least a severe sprain," said Jerry Lloyd, the Titan trainer. "We'll get X-rays when we get home. I would have to say he's very questionable for the Pepperdine game (Saturday)."
Henderson wasn't the only thing missing from the Titan attack. Kerry Boagni and Richard Morton, Fullerton's Nos. 2 and 3 scorers, must have left their shooting touch at Ontario Airport. At one point early in the second half, they were a combined 1 for 17 from the floor.
Boagni, who was averaging 15 points, finished 0 for 9 from the field and was scoreless.
"That was without a doubt the worst game of my collegiate career," Boagni said. "It was just one of those things, I guess."
Morton finally found the range late in the second half, and finished with 11 points, hitting 4 of 13 field-goal attempts.
"I have no doubts that Boagni and Morton will bounce back," Titan Coach George McQuarn said. "But Henderson's injury is serious . . . real serious.
Only 911 fans saw the Pilots play what Coach Jack Avina called "easily our best game of the season."
"We have to qualify that win with what they had to go through to get here," Avina said, refering to the flight cancellations that forced the game, scheduled for Saturday night, to be switched to Sunday afternoon. "There's no question that was a factor."