FULLERTON – As notable games go, Cal State Fullerton’s 85-70 win Saturday night over UC Davis checked a lot of Titan boxes.
The rout of the Aggies provided a bit of satisfaction considering UC Davis eliminated the Titans in the Big West Conference tournament semifinals last March. It also put the Titans into sole possession of first place in league play at 4-0, the only team with an unblemished record, and gave them 10 wins in their past 12 games.
Kyle Allman (27 points, 8-8 on free throws) and Khalil Ahmad (25 points, seven rebounds, five 3-pointers) blitzed the Aggies with an array of deep shots, buckets in transition and disciplined passes for easy field goals. The Titans had just eight turnovers for the first 35 minutes of the game against a team that ranked 40th nationally in forced turnovers. Chima
Moneke was a one-man brigade for the Aggies with 29 points and 12 rebounds.
The larger scale checkmarks were historic. The last time the Titans started conference play with an early unblemished record was 2007-08, the last season they advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The last time they started conference 4-0 was 34 years ago, in the 1983-84 season. The only other Fullerton team to start 4-0 was the 1978-79 squad, a memorable Titan team coached by Bobby Dye that advanced to the NCAA Regionals.
“That’s an accomplishment, and a tip to the character of the guys on the team,’’ Coach Dedrique Taylor said. “It shows what we’re capable of. We forced 18 turnovers against a disciplined team.
“It was a good win because the whole team is focused and executed everything we wanted to do. That work ethic is becoming part of who we are.’’
Ahmad and Allman have become one of the best guard duos in the West. The juniors were a combined 16 for 32 from the field and have developed an instinct for knowing where each other are on the court.
“It’s what we do in practice and it matches up with what we try to do during the game,’’ Allman said. “We’re confident in what we do. It’s becoming a real good team that’s playing together.’’
The Titans (11-5, 4-0) are also developing more depth. Sophomore forward Davon Clare had a game that looked better than his nominal stats, and 6-7 junior Dominik Heinzl, a native of the Czech Republic, had nine points and four rebounds.
“Davon gave us a real burst of energy for a five-minute period in the first half, and Dominik is really playing tough inside,’’ Taylor said.
Jackson Rowe made two…