December 29, 2012

Titans Hope to Close 2012 on a Win Streak

Cal State Fullerton Game Notes (PDF)
Columbia Game Notes (PDF) 

FULLERTON, Calif.-- Cal State Fullerton looks to build a winning streak, as it closes out 2012 with its non-conference finale at home Monday vs. Columbia at 2 p.m.

Watch it Live

There will be a live video feed available for Cal State Fullerton's game vs. Columbia. To access video for the game visit www.fullertontitans.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "video" link to watch through BigWest.TV. 

Listen Live

There will be live audio streaming available for Cal State Fullerton's game vs. Columbia. To access audio for the game visit www.fullertontitans.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "audio" link. Patrick Along will be providing the play-by-play.

Live Stats

There will be live stats available for Cal State Fullerton's game vs. Columbia. To access live stats for the game visit www.fullertontitans.com, click the women's basketball schedule page then click the "live stats" link.

Follow the Titans!

Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and YouTube.com (YouTube.com/csfathletics). In addition, the women's basketball team has established its own official Facebook and Twitter pages (@WBBTitans)

 

A Look at the Series...

Cal State Fullerton (3-8) vs. Columbia (2-8)

Overall Record 0-2

Home Record 0-2

Away Record 0-0

Neutral Site Record 0-0

Longest Win Streak N/A

Longest Losing Streak 2 games

Current Streak Lost 2

Record in Last 10 Meetings 0-2

Last Meeting 

Dec. 30, 2008 at Fullerton (L, 65-63)

Series Notes: Monday marks just the third all-time meeting between the two schools...Cal State Fullerton has never defeated Columbia...the Titans two losses vs. the Lions have come by a combined nine points...the two teams have never played at Columbia...Fullerton's largest margin of defeat came in a 67-58 (nine points) loss Dec. 30, 2000 at Titan Gym...Fullerton's smallest margin of defeat was a 65-63 defeat Dec. 30, 2008 at Titan Gym.

Looking at the Lions

The Columbia Lions have struggled in the first half as they come into the game carrying just a 2-9 record...the Lions average 49.9 points per game this season while they surrender an average of 57.5 points per game...Senior guard Tyler Simpson leads Columbia in scoring, averaging 10.5 points per game while junior forward Courtney Bradford leads the team in rebounding, grabbing 6.3 boards per game...the Lions were picked to finish eighth in the Ivy League's preseason media poll.  

Last Time Out For the Titans

San Jose State received the ball down by just a point with seven seconds left, but failed to get a shot off as Cal State Fullerton hung on to defeat the Spartans 60-59 Dec. 22 at Titan Gym, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

Senior center Lauren Bushong went 5-for-9 from the field and poured in a career-high tying 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench to lead the Titans. Junior forward Mya Olivier had her most productive game of the season, as she also chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Chante Miles went for double figures as well, scoring 13 points.

Sophomore guard Ta'Rea Cunnigan led all scorers with 18 points and went 9-of-11 from the free throw line to pace the Spartans, while freshman forward Riana Byrd earned her third career double-double, as she recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds.

It didn't look promising early for Fullerton, (3-8) as it came out of the gate sluggish, connecting on just two of its first nine shot attempts and trailed San Jose State (3-8) 10-4 with 15:33 left to play in the first half, as the Spartans conversely went 5-for-9 to start the game.

The struggles continued for the Titans, as a Riana Byrd trey gave the Spartans their biggest lead of the game at 22-10 with 7:53 left to play in the first half.

However, the always stingy Fullerton defense kept the Titans in the game, as it forced 12 first-half turnovers and held the Spartans to just one field goal over the final seven-plus minutes of the opening half. So despite shooting just 24 percent for the half, the Titans led 27-24 at the break after scoring five unanswered points in the final 2:36 to close out the period.

The Titans kept the momentum rolling, as Miles started to find her stroke from downtown; nailing consecutive treys to open up the second half, giving Fullerton it's biggest lead of the day at 33-26 with 18:43 left to play.

However, San Jose State refused to surrender complete control, as it kept things close throughout. Fullerton's lead never got higher than six points the rest of the way.

Things started to get a little bit dicey for the Titans inside of the final six minutes, as the Spartans regained the lead three separate times, mostly on free throws. San Jose State connected on 12-of-14 second half free throw attempts.

But, Lauren Bushong came up big when it counted most, providing the play that would ultimately seal Fullerton's fate, as she converted on an and-one opportunity with 3:56 left to play to put the Titans up 58-54.

San Jose State was able to get the deficit back down to one after Thomas Chereese swished a wide-open corner trey, but in the end Fullerton's defense was able to come up with just enough stops to escape with the win.

Something to Build On

Last Saturday's 60-59 win over San Jose State ended Cal State Fullerton's seven-game losing streak. It was the longest skid since the 2008-09 season when it also lost seven straight...the 60 points scored was the most the Titans have scored since they produced 73 points Nov. 20 at Loyola Marymount...Fullerton shot 80 percent from the free throw line, it's best percentage since shooting 83 percent Nov. 17 vs. San Francisco...Three Titans scored in double figures for the first time since March 1, 2012 at Long Beach State...A win vs. Columbia on Monday will give Fullerton back-to-back wins for the first time since Nov. 11 and 17 vs. Sacramento State and San Francisco. 

How We Rank

As of Dec. 29, Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West in overall rebounding (43.5 rpg), offensive rebounding (20.6 rpg), offensive rebounding percentage (.420) and turnover margin (+2.00). The Titans also rank second in rebounding margin (+2.2 rpg), and fourth in scoring defense (63.4 ppg)

What's Trending 

Fullerton has committed less or the same amount of turnovers as the opposition in eight of its last nine games...the Titans have had more offensive rebounds than the opponent in nine of 11 games this season...Titans have led at halftime only three times this season (2-1 in those contests)...Fullerton has been outscored in the paint in five consecutive contests.

Feeling Homesick

The Titans have dropped 14 consecutive games away from home, dating back to Jan. 18, 2012 at UC Irvine...the Titans have dropped seven straight games away from home to start the season. It's the first time that's happened since Fullerton fell in seven consecutive games away from home to start the 2007-08 season.

Titans vs. the Ivy League

The Big West is 0-1 vs. the Ivy League so far this season...Cal State Fullerton is 0-2 all-time vs. the Ivy League. Both losses have come vs. Columbia. The Titans haven't faced any other Ivy League member. 

Heartbreak City 

Six of 11 games this season have been decided by five points or less. Fullerton is just 2-4 in those contests...in the four losses, Fullerton either had the lead, was tied, or was within one possession with under three minutes to play...at one point this season the Titans were 2-5 but still didn't have a negative point differential (449-449).

Happy New Year!

Cal State Fullerton will ring in the New Year with a New Year's Eve contest vs. Columbia, playing on the last day of the year for the third season in a row and for the seventh time in the last 12 years. The Titans have won two straight New Year's Eve contests after dropping the previous six. Although they won't this year, the Titans have played on New Year's Day exactly once in school history, posting a 77-65 victory at Saint Mary's on the first day of 1991. 

60 is Pretty Nifty

The Titans are 3-2 when scoring 60+ points this season, compared to an 0-6 mark when scoring under 60 points...Fullerton is 2-0 when scoring exactly 60 points this year.  

A Cold December

Fullerton has connected on just 69 of 273 (25.3 percent) shot attempts this month for an average of 46 points per game.

Home For the Holidays 

The Titans are in the midst of a season-long four-game homestand which began with San Jose State on Dec. 22. Fullerton plays Columbia on Monday, Hawai'i on Jan. 3, and Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5...the four opponents own a combined record of just 13-26 (.333).

Protecting the House

All three of Cal State Fullerton's wins this season have come at Titan Gym (3-1)...the Titans have outscored opponents a combined 268-244 (+24) during home games this season...nearly 66 percent of the Titans' total wins since the 2005-06 season have come at home. 

Finding the Right Mix

Cal State Fullerton has used six different starting lineups this season and has only sent out the same starting five in consecutive games twice this season...Chante Miles is the only Titan to have started in every game.

Miles Ahead of the Rest

Chante Miles has scored double-figures in nine of her first 11 games to start the season...Miles has scored 17+ points in five of 11 games this season...Miles' 18 points put up vs. Sacramento State on Nov. 11 marked the most points any Titan player not named Megan Richardson had scored since Mya Olivier went for a career-high 23 points Jan. 28, 2012 vs. Long Beach State....Miles has had three 18+ point performances since...Miles set or tied career scoring highs in three consecutive games from Nov. 11- 20, 2012...Miles currently leads the Titans in scoring (13.5 ppg), total points (149), field goals made (53), free throws made (2.4 fpg), assists (3.4 apg), steals (2.7 spg), and minutes (34.1 mpg)...Her points per game is seventh best in the conference, her steals and minutes per game are ranked third best, while her assists per game average is good enough for fifth. 

Coming Alive

2011-12 Big West Honorable Mention Mya Olivier and senior Lauren Bushong were expected to be large contributors coming into the year, but both have had relatively quiet seasons up to this point. If last game was a sign of things to come, then the Titans have a lot to look forward to as they head into conference play. Bushong and Olivier produced arguably their best games of the season last time out vs. San Jose State, as Bushong scored a career-high tying 15 points, while Olivier recorded season highs in both points scored (13) and rebounds grabbed (8). The two combined to score nearly 47 percent of the Titan points.

Flying Under the Radar 

Slowly but surely, Kathleen Iwuoha is making her presence felt. She currently leads the team in overall rebounding (7.2 rpg), offensive rebounding (3.0 rpg), and defensive rebounding (4.2 rpg). Her overall and offensive rebounding ranks fifth in the conference. She's averaged 7.8 rebounds per game over her last six appearances.

Bushong's Block Party 

With Lauren Bushong's block at Gonzaga on Dec. 9 she recorded the 60th block of her career and overtook Toni Thomas (59, 2005-09) for sixth on the school's all-time block list. She currently has 62 career blocks and is four away from passing up Rochelle Ortega and Dee Braxton (65 each) for fourth on the all time list...Her 13 blocks is best on the team and ranks fourth in the Big West.

Tailoring Greatness

Tailer Butler's 16-point, 10-rebound performance (both career highs) opening night at Nevada was the first double-double of her career. It also marked Fullerton's first double-double since Natalie Williams went for 11 points and 18 rebounds Feb. 16, 2012 vs. Cal State Bakersfield (also recorded career-highs in both points and rebounds). Butler's performance was actually the first time in 14 games a Titan player had recorded a double-double in a winning effort (Mya Olivier, 12 pts and 17 reb in a 67-58 over Cal State Bakersfield on 01/14/12).

Titans Ink Four Recruits for 2012-13

Head coach Marcia Foster announced on Nov. 19 that four high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Cal State Fullerton. Casey Williams, Chelsea Waddy, Samantha Logan, and Priscilla Brooks' four years of eligibility will start at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic school year.

"This is very strong class with great students and overall just great people," Foster said. "They all fit into our mold of being a hard-working bunch. We look for blue-collar kids with talent and that's what we have in this class. I expect all of these kids to be able to contribute right away next year."

All four recruits played at California high schools and are expected to play high school basketball their senior years.

Casey Williams • G • 5-8 • Sacramento High School, Calif.

Averaged 7.6 points, 2.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game as a junior at Sacramento High School…Is a one-year varsity letter winner…Recorded a career-high 15 points vs. Modesto Christian High School on Dec. 30, 2011…Grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds vs. Kennedy High School Feb. 2, 2012…Helped lead the Dragons to a 27-7 overall record and a 14-0 league mark in 2011-12…Sacramento advanced to the CIF Division III semifinals, beating San Marin 72-34 in round two before eventually falling to Miramonte 71-64.

From coach Foster: "Casey Williams is a tough guard and comes from a great high school system. She's a good defender, she's strong, she's tough, and really fits the mold of the guards we have here now. She has great vision; she can play the one or the two. She's just a very versatile guard, her upside is incredible."

Chelsea Waddy • F/C • 6-1 • Rialto Carter High School, Calif.

Averaged 12.9 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game as a junior at Rialto Carter High School…Is a three-year varsity letter winner…Put up 18 double-digit scoring outings as a junior…Recorded 21 double-digit rebounding performances last season, including 10 consecutive 10+ rebound games from Nov. 30- Dec. 29, 2011…Led her team in points per game (12.9), total points (336), field goals made (114), Free throws made (104), free throws attempted (151), blocked shots per game (3.4), total blocked shots (89), rebounds per game (12.2), and total rebounds (317) last season.

From coach Foster: "Chelsea Waddy is definitely a sleeper. I don't know if a lot of people know about here yet, but she's a big body who is also quick on her feet. She has great hands, rebounds well and can shoot the ball from the perimeter. She'll enable us to stretch the floor as well. She's a great student and has tremendous upside. We're very excited about her."

Samantha Logan • G/F • 5-9 • Centennial High School, Calif.

Averaged 7.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.2 steals per game as a junior at Centennial High School...Is a three-year varsity letter winner...Led Centennial in rebounds per game (9.2) and total rebounds (240) last season…Put up 23 points (career high) and 16 rebounds Dec. 3, 2011 vs. Rialto High School…Recorded a career-high 25 rebounds Feb. 19, 2011 vs. California High School her sophomore year… Helped lead the Huskies to a CIF Division-I playoff birth both her sophomore and junior years, including a quarterfinal appearance two seasons ago.

Other Notes: Her father, Matt Logan is currently the head coach of Centennial High School's football team. Samantha played in one of Centennial's football games last October. She suited up at quarterback and completed a pass vs. Roosevelt High School in Centennial's annual "Pink Game" (The purpose of wearing pink was to raise awareness for breast cancer). Both her and the receiver she completed the pass to lost their mothers due to breast cancer. She has a goal of becoming the first ever female in California to throw a high school touchdown pass.

From coach Foster: "Samantha Logan is toughness personified. She's versatile, she can handle the ball, rebound; she's just always around the ball. She is coming from a program that's had a lot of Division-I players. Just a tough-nosed guard who can do a lot of things with the basketball."

Priscilla Brooks • C/F • 5-10 • JW North High School, Calif.

Averaged 15.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, and 1.7 steals as a junior at JW North High School…Is a one-year varsity letter winner… Recorded 26 double-digit scoring performances, including a streak 15 consecutive double-digit games…Pulled down double-digit rebounds 13 times last season…Recorded a career-high 26 rebounds March 10, 2012 vs. Monache High School…Put in a career-high 30 points Feb. 1, 2012 vs. Roosevelt High School…Helped lead JW North to a 31-6 overall record, 12-2 league mark, and a trip to the CIF Division-II championship game after the school totaled just four wins (one league win) a year ago.

From coach Foster: "Priscilla Brooks is just terrific. She started off as a point guard early on in her career, so she can really just do it all now. She can handle the ball and rebound. She has a great inside presence. One of the things we're excited about is the fact that we're going to be able to use her in a variety of ways.  She's just a great physical player and rebounds with the best of them."

2012-13 Tip-Off Fundraiser a Success 

The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team hosted over 100 fans and raised money for the program at the team's third-annual Tip-Off Party and Fundraiser last Saturday night at the Student Pavilion on campus.

"It was a great evening and we really thank everyone who came out to support us," said head coach Marcia Foster. "We can't wait to make everyone proud."

The evening consisted of a raffle drawing, silent auction, fun dancing, and great food.

Recycled Notes

Breaking Down the Titans

Cal State Fullerton returns two starters and seven letterwinners overall from last season's squad that finished 11-19 overall and 4-12 in the Big West Conference, good enough for eighth place. The Titans were the No. 8 seed in last year's conference tournament, falling to top-seeded Cal Poly in the opening round for a second consecutive season, 71-53.

A new era of Fullerton basketball begins after the team says goodbye to two of the top three scorers from a year ago in Megan Richardson (16.1 ppg) and Lauren Chow (8.1 ppg) due to graduation. However, the Titans will have some stability with the return 2012 All-Big West honorable mention Mya Olivier who returns as the team's leading rebounder (7.4 rpg) from a season ago. Twenty-six game starter Kathleen Iwuoha also returns looking to build off a solid freshman campaign where she averaged 5.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

My-oh-Mya

After suffering a season-ending injury early into the 2010-11 season, she rebounded in a positive manner last year, finishing as the team's leading rebounder (7.4 rpg) and second on the team in scoring (8.8 ppg) in addition to earning a Big West Honorable Mention...Olivier started her first game of the season Nov. 23 vs. Georgetown.

Straight From the Coach's Mouth

Be sure to visit www.fullertontitans.com and click on the women's basketball page to watch the 2012-13 women's basketball preview video featuring head coach Marcia Foster.

Titans Tabbed 10th in Big West Media Poll

The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team was picked to finish 10th in the 2012-13 Big West Conference race according to a vote of league media members released by the conference office on Oct. 24. 

The Titans received 29 points to finish just behind Orange County rival UC Irvine, which was ninth with 65 points. Cal State Northridge managed to edge out Pacific as the favorite to take home the conference crown with six first place votes and 161 points overall. Pacific was tabbed second with 159 points (five first place votes), UC Santa Barbara third with 153 points (three first place votes), Cal Poly fourth with 127 votes (one first place vote), Long Beach State fifth with 116 points (one first place vote), Hawai'i sixth with 81 points, UC Davis seventh with 80 first place votes, and UC Riverside eighth with 74 points. 

Filling in the Holes

Cal State Fullerton returns just 52 percent of its 1,830 points scored, 60 percent of its rebounds, 53 percent of its field goals made, 28 percent of its three-pointers made, 61 percent of its free throws made, 43 percent of its assists, and 63 percent of its steals from a season ago.

New Kids on the Block

The Titans bring in four new faces to this year's squad, but only two true freshmen compared to the seven that joined last year's team. The Titans welcome Brianna Barfield (TR, Citrus JC), Xava Grooms (TR, Utah State), Briana Hubbard (FR), and Annie Park (FR).

You Can't Teach Tall

This year's Titan squad could be one of the tallest in recent memory; featuring six players listed at 6-feet or taller –tied for the tallest Fullerton squad since the 2007-08 team listed seven players taller than 6-foot.

Tourney Tested

The Titans will face a schedule loaded with postseason participants in 2011-12 as they will face three (with a fourth possible depending upon the outcome of the Cal Classic Nov. 23- 24th) NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (Georgetown, Gonzaga, Big West rival UC Santa Barbara, and possibly California) as well as five WNIT teams from 2011-12 in Oregon State, Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge, Pacific, and UC Davis for a total of at least eight tournament teams. That matches the amount faced last season.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Cal State Fullerton boasts a rigorous 12-game non-conference schedule that includes one neutral contest against a team hovering near the AP preseason top 25 rankings in No. 33 Georgetown. Depending upon the outcome of the first game of the Cal Classic (Nov. 23- Nov. 24th) the Titans could also square off against No. 13 California in Berkeley. Seven of the Titans' 12 non-conference affairs will be played away from Titan Gym. Gonzaga is also ranked 29th in the USA Today preseason coaches poll (California 15th, Georgetown 30th). 

California Dreamin'

All 14 players on the roster call California home. Twelve of the 14 players are from Southern California while two are from up north. All three assistant coaches completed their undergraduate degrees at Southern California institutions as well. (Lori Morris at San Diego, Jorge Cerna at San Diego State, and Monica Quan at Concordia)

Fullerton's Fountian of Youth

The Titans come into the 2012-13 season tied for the sixth youngest team in Division I basketball, with the team's average experience being one year per player. The program holds five freshman, five sophomores, three juniors (with one being a JC transfer in Brianna Barfield), and one senior. The Titans have lost three starters from last year's squad in senior Megan Richardson, senior Lauren Chow, and junior Alicya Crisp. Sophomore center Jasmine Grayson left the program as well

Aloha Hawai'i!

The Big West Conference welcomes the University of Hawai'i women's basketball team back to the league for its second stint as a Big West women's basketball participant. The Rainbow Wahine was a member of the Big West from 1984-1996.

 

Cal State Fullerton will play 18 conference games (one home, one away vs. Hawai'i added) instead of the traditional 16 games as has been done in years past. The Titans will still play 29 regular season games, two non-conference games have been subtracted. The top eight teams in the conference will still qualify for the Big West Tournament. San Diego State will return as the conference's 11th member, effective July 1, 2013.