Cal State Fullerton started slowly against West Texas State Wednesday night, missing its first six shots and not scoring a field goal for almost six minutes.
But behind Cedric Ceballos’ 25 second-half points, the Titans finished fast enough for an 89-74 victory in Titan Gym.
Ceballos scored 34 points, a career high, making 13 of 20 shots, including back-to-back three-pointers that turned a seven-point lead into a 65-52 lead with nine minutes left.
Ceballos, a 6-foot-7 swing player, took advantage of mismatches, as the Buffaloes were forced to guard him with guards only slightly taller than six feet.
Of course, he had to guard them on the other end himself.
“He gave up a few, too,” Fullerton Coach John Sneed said.
West Texas State, a Division II team that entered the game 4-0, clung closer to the Titans than Fullerton would have liked.
The Titans held a 36-33 lead at halftime only on the strength of a three-pointer by Mark Hill just before the buzzer.
In the second half, Fullerton switched from a zone to a man defense, and with improved rebounding pulled away.
Fred Rike, who had hit nine of 10 three-pointers in an earlier game, was held to nine points on three three-pointers, and was slowed by foul trouble.
“We couldn’t get Rike into the game,” West Texas State Coach Mark Adams said.
Rod Toliver led the Buffaloes with 20 points.
Hill scored 18 and Wayne Williams had 16 for Fullerton (2-0).