Harris’ Career Night Leads Titans to 74-71 Win Over Pepperdine in Home Opener

Harris’ Career Night Leads Titans to 74-71 Win Over Pepperdine in Home Opener

FULLERTON, Calif. — Fueled by a career-high 27 points from Jalen Harris, Cal State Fullerton men's basketball defeated Pepperdine 74-71 Friday night in its home opener. 

"This is a heck of a win for our ball club," said Cal State Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor. "I really liked the way we all worked tonight. It was a total team effort. Even with Jalen having a career night offensively, without those other four guys on the floor he's not as successful."

Harris shot 8-for-16 on the night, going 4-for-6 from deep and adding three rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists. He scored the Titans' final four points as Cal State Fullerton held off the Waves in the final minutes. 

With the Titans leading 68-63 with just over five minutes left in the contest, Pepperdine fought back to narrow its deficit to one, 70-69, with 2:09 left. Harris knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 72-69 Titans, but a jumper from the Waves' Lewis Maxwell brought them back within one, 72-71. 

Pepperdine had two chances in the final 30 seconds to take the lead, but a stifling Titan defense forced missed shots on both possessions. Harris then iced the game with another pair of free throws with seven seconds left as the Titans went on to win 74-71. 

Cal State Fullerton and Pepperdine remained deadlocked for the majority of the contest, as a Max Jones triple and Vincent Lee layup off a dish from Jones brought the score to 20-19 for the Waves early. Teams traded baskets throughout the remainder of half number one, with back-to-back baskets from Lee tying the score at 37 at the break. 

The Titans surged to a six-point lead in the second half, 47-41, following a three from Harris and a Wrightsell jumper. A Jones layup and a corner triple from Carper later put the Titans up seven, 55-48. The Waves fought back, tying things at 57 before taking a 61-60 lead. But a three from Harris quickly gave Cal State Fullerton back a lead that the Titans never again gave up, going on to close out the 74-71 win. 

Lee notched 12 points and nine rebounds in the win, while Wrightsell Jr. had nine points and a game-high five assists. Jones added eight points and three boards while Tory San Antonio contributed five points and seven rebounds. Garrison Wade tallied eight points and seven rebounds off the bench. 

The Titans remain at Titan Gym Sunday in game two of their homestand as they play Vermont at 5:00 p.m. PT. 

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-2
Sat Feb 11
9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at Hawai'i
-2
Wed Feb 15
7:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC San Diego
-2
Sat Feb 18
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
at Cal State Fullerton
-2
Mon Feb 20
7:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Santa Barbara
Spectrum SportsNet
-2
Thu Feb 23
7:00 PM
UC Davis
at Cal State Fullerton
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