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Big West Notebook

December 11, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Big West Conference Notebook

by Marcus Vanderberg

It’s his prerogative

Bobby Brown has arrived and I’m not talking about the singer who is on the run from the police.

Brown, a freshman guard from Westchester High School (CA) is making his mark for Cal State Fullerton. After a rough two games, Brown has exploded in his last four, including a 27 point performance in a heartbreaking 96-90 overtime lost to the USC Tuesday night. Not only did he lead all players in scoring, but was 5-9 from three point range.

On the season, the 6-1 guard is averaging 15.2 points and 3.8 assists per game for Cal State Fullerton.

Big West Player of the Week

Bobby Brown – Cal State Fullerton

With scoring performances of 22, 16, and 27, this freshman is looking to make a name for himself not just in the Big West but on the West Coast.

Big West Player of the Year Watch

Sow holds on slightly as his teammate is on the rise:

1. Pape Sow – Cal State Fullerton (16.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 62.7 field goal percentage)
2. Varnie Dennis – Cal Poly (17.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks)
3. Bobby Brown – Cal State Fullerton (15.2 points, 3.8 assists, 2.3 rebounds)
4. Casey Cook – UC Santa Barbara (13.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 100.0 free throw percentage)
5. Chris Davis – Cal State Northridge (14.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 54.2 field goal percentage)

Inside the Big West

Cal Poly Mustangs (3-2)

Shane Schilling made his presence known as he scored a season-high 24 points in the Mustangs 76-60 victory over Sacramento State, while returning from a hand injury. Senior Varnie Dennis was carrying the scoring and rebounding load while Schilling was out.

With finals approaching, the Mustangs host Cal Baptist in an exhibition game on Saturday.

Cal State Fullerton Titans (2-4)

With a numerous NBA scouts in attendance on Tuesday night at the Sports Arena, Pape Sow went out and laid an egg in the rebound column and fouled out in 21 minutes. Scoring just 9 points, Sow had his worst performance in the season and quite possibly cost his team the victory over USC.

After their recent performance the past three games, the Titans should feel confident heading into the end of their non-conference schedule. Fullerton will host Eastern Washington, Occidental and Loyola Marymount before opening conference play at home against Cal State Northridge.

Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-3)

Well there was good news and bad news for the Matadors.

The good news was a victory over Montana University, rallying from a 10 point deficit in the second half to win 72-63.

The bad: A 55-49 loss to a San Jose State team that had yet to record a Division I victory this season. As if the loss wasn’t enough, junior Davin White went down with an apparent shoulder injury and it’s unknown when he will return.

The 49 points was just the second time in eight years a Bobby Braswell-coached Matador team was held under 50 points.

Long Beach State 49ers (1-4)

Long Beach State won a game!

OK, OK, so it was Cal State Stanislaus, but the 49ers could use any victory they come across.

Pepperdine and Minnesota gave them a dose of reality, defeating a struggling 49ers team that has lost 18 consecutive road games. Senior Kevin Roberts and sophomore Jibril Hodges are the only two 49ers averaging double figures in scoring. Roberts also leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 per game.

UC Irvine Anteaters (4-3)

The Anteaters wrapped up their busy week with an 84-67 victory over Arkansas-Monticello in the McCaffrey Classic. Mike Efevberha scored a career high 37 points as he was lights out from three-point range. The previous night, Adam Parada sank a game winner with less than two seconds left to knock off Princeton, 57-55.

UCI is off until December 18 for finals. Head coach Pat Douglass is one win shy of 100 (Douglass is currently 99-80 in his career).

UC Riverside Highlanders (0-4)

The Highlanders are the last team in the Big West that hasn’t won a game so far.

All the blame can’t go to UCR, who was on the road for its first four games of the season with three of those coming against Pac Ten opponents.

UCR will have its home opener on Monday night against Northern Arizona. Vili Morton continued his impressive play with a 22 point performance against UCLA. In his last two games, Morton is averaging 20.5 points per game.

UC Santa Barbara (2-2)

With senior guard Nick Jones still out for four more games and talk that Big West Player of the Year Branduinn Fullove could be gone for the year, it was crucial that some of the other Gauchos players stepped up.

Joe See, a transfer from Oregon State, did just that with 13 points in UCSB’s 65-62 victory over Pepperdine. Casey Cook picked the right time to hit his first three-pointer of the season as it was the game winner at the buzzer.

Even without their two leading scorers in the lineup, the Gauchos have been competitive thanks to a strong defense. UCSB is only allowing 63 points per game, first in the conference.

Idaho Vandals (1-3)

The verdict is still out on the Vandals who won their season opener against Elon, but have dropped three in a row. Each game came on the road and Idaho allowed more than 70 points. On a good note, the Vandals will finally have their home opener on Saturday when they host in-state rival Boise State. Leonard Perry is not afraid to go to his bench, with 11 players averaging more than 10 minutes per game.

Pacific Tigers (3-2)

There must be something about the Alex G. Spanos center when it comes to Pacific and non-conference foes.

Last year, the Tigers knocked off Western Kentucky and St. Joseph’s at home. So when the Tigers were trailing 75-68 to Nevada on Saturday, they had no reason to worry, outscoring the Wolfpack 14-1 to win 82-76.

Unfortunately for UOP, Saturday will mark the last time it plays at home until December 30. Sophomore Christian Maraker started for the first time this season, scoring 20 points against Nevada.

Utah State (3-1)

So the Hoopville jinx got to Mark Brown.

After selecting him as the Big West Player of the Week, Brown goes out in his next games against Utah and scores a total of 0 points. Yes, 0 points, one game after scoring 20 points and dishing out 13 assists.

Thanks to a swarming Utah defense, the Aggies were held just to 45 points in their loss to the Running Utes. It was the lowest tally for USU since December 7, 1999 when they scored 42, against whom else, Utah. Spencer Nelson has been consistent so far, scoring in double figures in all four games.


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