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Matadors No Match for Titans : College basketball: Fullerton plays its best game of season in 82-61 victory over Northridge.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The scouting report from Cal State Fullerton’s 82-61 victory over Cal State Northridge Saturday night won’t exactly have UCLA players shaking in their sweats today.

But it was a good, solid victory for the Titans, and that’s about all Coach John Sneed can ask for as Fullerton prepares to play the third-ranked Bruins in Pauley Pavilion Monday night.

The Titans (3-3) played their most consistent, all-around game of the season and for once didn’t let a lead slip away. Noticeably absent were those large patches of ragged play, which plagued Fullerton in its previous five games.

Bruce Bowen scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Joe Small made a surprisingly strong showing despite suffering from flu all week by scoring 16 points, and point guard Aaron Sunderland played his best game of the season with 14 points and nine assists.

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Fullerton outrebounded the Matadors, 47-28, and shot 51.7% from the field compared to Northridge’s 38.1%. David Keeter (12) and James Morris (11) were the only players in double figures for the Matadors, who were without starting center Percy Fisher, suspended from the game for disciplinary reasons.

“I was pleased with our effort and consistency the whole game,” Sneed said. “We had some breakdowns when we played some strange combinations, but otherwise we executed well, shot well, rebounded well and used good judgment in our running game. Aaron had only one turnover in the first half. That’s excellent for him.”

Northridge fell to 0-9 and must travel to University of San Diego for a game tonight.

After the UCLA game, the Titans play host to Drake Saturday night. Then they travel to Houston for a Dec. 30 game, before opening up the Big West season against Nevada Las Vegas.

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It was pretty much smooth-sailing for the Titans after halftime Saturday night. Northridge stuck close and trailed, 39-30, after 20 minutes. But Small opened the second half with a jump shot and a three-pointer to give the Titans a 44-30 lead.

A 20-7 run later in the half allowed Fullerton to extend the lead to 68-43 with 7:20 remaining. The Matadors never got closer than 18 points the rest of the way.


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