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Cal State Fullerton Nips Cougars 78-74

Feb. 20, 2010

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FULLERTON, Calif. - It rained in sunny southern California on the day before SIUE's debut in ESPN Bracketbusters, and Cal State Fullerton rained on SIUE's parade Saturday in a 78-74 victory over the Cougars.

It wasn't without its excitement for the Cougars. Mark Yelovich collected a double-double with 10 minutes to play. The Cougar sophomore, who was coming off a career-high 34 points at North Dakota, followed it up with 32 points and 10 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton.

"Mark really stepped it up. He's gaining more confidence in his shot," said SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester. It was Yelovich's second double-double of the season.

With all of the screens and sharp passes to Yelovich over the past two games, Forrester said Yelovich's game was not a solo effort. "It was a team effort why he had 34 one night and 32 the next."

Despite never leading the game, the Cougars nearly stole the game away by putting the Titans on the free throw line late in the second half. SIUE, 4-22, was down by 13 points with 2:53 to play and pulled within four twice in the last minute of play.

Forrester lauded SIUE's effort against the Titans.

"The fact that they haven't given up - I give them credit for that," said Forrester.

Cal State Fullerton also led by 13 points with 16:39 to play. SIUE went on a 14-4 run to pull within three points. It would be the closest SIUE would come to the Titans, 14-12.

Cal State Fullerton finished with four players in double figures, including 20 each from Gerard Anderson and Jacques Streeter. Devon Peltier added 16 points off the bench, and Jer'Vaughn Johnson scored 12.

"They were quick and athletic, and we had a hard time matching up with them," said Forrester.

Cody Rincker was the only other player in double figures for the Cougars. He finished with 11 points.

SIUE shined from the free throw line, hitting 19 of 20 for the game.

"I was very proud of the effort the guys gave us today," said Forrester of the Cougars. "Give Cal State credit, they played extremely well and did a good job of playing their game."

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