Cal State Fullerton holds on in Overtime against Cal Poly

Updated: January 8, 2018

It was almost Mott Magic for the second time in three days. Almost.

After erasing a 10-point Cal State Fullerton lead with 2:39 to play in the game, Cal Poly looked like they had all the momentum they needed to get out of the weekend with a pair of improbable home victories. 

But the Titans’ Kyle Allman Jr. took control. The junior guard altered a shot late and finished the game with 30 points to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 101-97 win. Fullerton is now 2-0 in conference play while Cal Poly falls to 1-1. 

Victor Joseph’s hot shooting spurred the Mustangs on Saturday night. By Owen Main

Victor Joseph heats up

After a slow start to the season, senior Victor Joseph has warmed over the past month or so. As Cal Poly clawed back into Saturday night’s game, Joseph was the catalyst, scoring 25 of his 33 points in the second half and overtime. Joseph was 11-19 from the field on the night, including 7-12 from three-point range. In all, Cal Poly made 19 three-pointers (the program and Big West record is 21). but Cal Poly shot just 12/34 from two-point range (35 percent) and had no answer for Fullerton’s Big 3. 

Fullerton rising

Between Kyle Allman Jr., Jackson Rowe, and Khalil Ahmad, it’s hard to know who to focus on if you’re playing defense against the Titans. 

Allma (30 points, 9 rebounds), who was the week’s Big West Player of the Week, has a quickness usually only seen from guys as small as Donovan Fields and Victor Joseph, and his explosiveness around the rim allows him to draw contact and finish. 

Jackson Rowe (24 points, 12 rebounds), last year’s Freshman of the Year in the Big West, has developed enough of a three-pointer to keep teams honest and was as effective an offensive rebounder as I’ve seen against Cal Poly this season. 

As for Ahmad, he had an off night on Saturday, scoring “just” 13 points while fouling out. He is dangerous though. He’ll win at least a game or two for the Titans singlehandedly this season as teams focus on shutting down Allman and Rowe. 

Cal State Fullerton is for real. They have enough balance and are finally disciplined enough on defense across the roster to compete the way head coach Dedrique Taylor wants them to. 

Hank sets a record

Hank Hollingsworth set a Cal Poly program record with seven blocks on Saturday night. What’s more amazing is that he did so in just 14 minutes of action. With Cal State Fullerton going small late, Joe Callero chose to keep Hank out of the lineup late in the game and into overtime in order to match-up. 

Cal Poly hits the road to play Hawai’i on Wednesday night before visiting UC Irvine and CSUN for consecutive ESPN3 contests on January 18th and 20th. 

Photos by Owen Main. For more photos click here. If you just want to contribute to the cause, Venmo @Owen-Main or paypal