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Wooden Legacy post-game notes & quotes, Cal State Fullerton 68, Sacramento State 63

Wooden Chips
• Today’s action could be considered one of the best in the history of the Wooden Legacy… the four games today were decided by a combined total of 23 points (five, six, seven and five points)… the only other day which featured all four games being decided by single digits was Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, when the combined total margin was just 22 points (seven, eight, five and two points).
• Cal State Fullerton’s Khalil Ahmad scored 22 points in the second half, becoming the 15th player in tournament history to record at least 20 points in a single half… his teammate Kyle Allman accomplished it yesterday (with 20 points)… the 22 ranks tied for the fourth most ever in a half by a single player.
• Sacramento’s Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa tied a Wooden Legacy record with 12 assists tonight, equaling the mark set by Washington’s Egidiju Mockevicius in 2015… he entered today with six assists for the year.
• Friday’s daily attendance was 2,513.

Cal State Fullerton (2-3)
• Playing in its third ESPN event (2-6 record in those).
• Cal State Fullerton has now won nine of the last 15 games decided by five or fewer points.
• Khalil Ahmad logged his ninth career game with 20+ points tonight, finishing with 25… he scored 22 of the Titans’ 45 second half points… this ties for the second most ever in his career (career best is 27).
• Kyle Allman grabbed six rebounds, one shy of his career best… he also added 13 points, his 24th career game with double figure scoring.

Sacramento State (1-5)
• Playing in its first ESPN event (0-2 record in those).
• Sacramento State was just 4-7 FT, narrowly beating the all-time tournament lows for those two categories (three FTM and six FTA)… in addition, the Titans grabbed just three offensive rebounds (all-time tournament low is two).
• Justin Strings extended his streak of scoring in double figures to 26 straight games with his 22 points tonight… that was his 17th career game of 20 or more points… 18 of his points tonight came after halftime.

Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Dedrique Taylor:
(Opening statement)- “Always feels good to win, that’s the most important thing is trying to find a way to win. I shared with our team tonight before the game that I wanted to continue learning but I’d love to be able to learn after a win and so they granted that wish for us tonight.”

“There’s a lot of learning for us to do and a lot of opportunities for us but in spite of that Khalil Ahmad stepped up and got us going offensively by being aggressive and I think he found his rhythm tonight which was super important for our ball club. It was a big win for us in my opinion just to be able to win on our home floor in this type of environment and this type of setting.”

(On bouncing back after a tough loss to Georgia) – “A dear friend of my, a coaching mentor made a heck of a point. Our ball club suffered from an emotional hangover after last night’s loss. Not that we were down but we expended a great deal of energy, a great deal of emotion and I don’t know that we played through it well enough up until the second half we kind of found ourselves just a little bit, just enough to get a win.”

Cal State Fullerton junior guard Khalil Ahmad:
(On scoring 22 out of 25 points in the second half) – “Mostly my teammates trying to find me, keeping me up, saying ‘next shot, next shot, next play’ and what not, they were just trying to find me open shots and I finally started hitting them.”

(On improving individually from Thursday night’s game) – “I was a little more aggressive but I got a little bit more open shots and then once I got the one going in it started flowing a little bit more.”

Sacramento State Head Coach Brian Katz:
(Opening statement) – “I thought it was two teams that really really really played hard, we’re almost a mirror image of each other, both teams play really hard but have trouble scoring. But I thought both teams had great competitive spirit.”

(On Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad) – “Ahmad was really really good tonight. I thought he was probably the difference, 4-for-7 from three, they made four three’s and he made all of them.

Sacramento State senior forward Justin Strings:
(On his strong individual performance in back-to-back games) – “I think just trying to play within what we do. We don’t try to force anything or do anything outside of our character and so I think as a team we’ve overall just been trying to get more guys involved, get me involved and play off of things we know we can do.”