FULLERTON, Calif. — The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team defeated Vermont 94-85 in double overtime Sunday night at Titan Gym.
"I'm very proud of the way our guys handled adversity tonight," said Cal State Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor. "This was a great opportunity for our ball club to win playing a different style of basketball. I thought we did a good job of getting to the free throw line and we found a way to win by getting help from all of our guys."
Tory San Antonio paced the Titans with a career-high 21 points, going 7-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three to go with six rebounds and a pair of assists. Jalen Harris scored 18 points, while Latrell Wrightsell Jr. had 13 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Max Jones had 13 points and seven rebounds while Vincent Lee contributed 12 points and five boards as all five of the Titans' starters reached double figures in scoring.
Garrison Wade posted nine points and eight rebounds off the bench and Lathaniel Bastian had eight points and five rebounds. As a team, the Titans shot a season-high 46.7% on the night, including 50% from deep, while holding Vermont to 42% shooting.
With Vermont leading 63-62 and 20 seconds left in regulation, Jalen Harris hit a pullup free throw line jumper to put the Titans on top 64-63. Fullerton managed a defensive stop on the next possession, and Wrightsell hit one of two free throws after being fouled. But Vermont's Dylan Penn got a layup to fall with three seconds left, tying things up at 65 and forcing the first overtime.
Teams traded baskets to start the first overtime period, as Harris hit a three from the right wing to put the Titans up 72-70 with one minute left. Vermont answered with a three of its own, but Jones made a driving layup to put Fullerton back up one, 74-73, with 20 seconds remaining. The Titans nearly got the game-sealing stop on the next possession but Jones was called for a foul with less than a second left, giving the Catamounts a chance to win the game at the line. Vermont's Nick Fiorillo made one of two, and the game went into a second overtime.
Things remained tight in the second overtime, with a pair of San Antonio free throws giving the Titans an 84-82 lead with 1:33 left on the clock. Vermont made a free throw to come back within one, but it was all Titans after that, as Harris completed a three-point play and Lee iced the game with a dunk to help seal the 94-85 win for the Titans.
San Antonio paced the Titans in the first half, hitting four three-pointers and scoring 17 of his 21 points in the first period. The game remained close from the start, as a jumper from Wrightsell and back-to-back threes from San Antonio put the Titans up 18-16 midway through the half. Harris hit a triple and Bastian scored a layup as Fullerton took a 37-36 lead into the locker room.
Vermont got out to a quick start in the second half, using an 11-0 run to go up 47-37 four minutes in. But the Titans clawed their way back, with Wade hitting a pair of threes to bring Fullerton within four 50-46. The Titans tied things at 52 following four free throws from Jones, and took a three-point lead later after a jumper from Wade. Vermont came back to take a 63-62 lead with less than a minute remaining before Harris' heroics helped force the first overtime.
Up next, the Titans hit the road to take on Pacific on Friday, November 18th. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m PT.
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