FULLERTON, Calif. - After having their best non-conference slate in almost three full decades, the women's basketball team will play host to Hawaii in their conference opener on Saturday and celebrate their 50th anniversary throughout the evening.
Going into the start of Big West play, the Titans are tied for second in the conference with an 8-5 record while Hawaii sits in sixth with a 4-9 record. This will be the second year in a row the two teams open up conference play facing each other with Fullerton winning last year's opening matchup.
The Rainbow Wahine are led by Makenna Woodfolk who averages 12.4 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. She is the only player averaging double-figures as Leah Salanoa is the next leading scorer averaging 9.8 ppg.
This season marks the 50th year of women's basketball at Cal State Fullerton. The program made its debut in the 1969-70 season and won the CIAW National Championship that year. The program's history will be celebrated January 5 against Hawaii
LAST TIME OUT
Fullerton got back in the win column courtesy of a three-pointer from Amiee Book with 16 seconds left on the clock. The hero finished with 12 points while Carolyn Gill led the scoring with 16 points. With the victory, the Titans have now won six of their last seven.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Several Titans have found their way into the record books on the all-time career leaderboards:
Hannah Thompson......3rd in Three-Point Percentage (36.5%)
Jade Vega..................10th in Assists (338)
Daeja Smith...............2nd in Blocks (121)
................................5th in Double-Doubles (25)
................................7th in Rebounds (725)
................................9th in Field Goal Percentage (48.9%)
ROAD TO 1K
Only 23 Titans have ever surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers, but there could be two more to reach it this year. Daeja Smith currently sits at 988 and Jade Vega is behind her at 954. They rank 26th and 27th respectively all-time.
Daeja Smith surpassed 950-career points and 700-career rebounds against UAV. That makes her just the 8th player in program history to reach both of those marks. She currently sits at 988 points and 725 rebounds.
Picking up where she left off last year, Daeja Smith has shown why she's on the Lisa Leslie Award watch list. Through 10 games, she has four double-doubles, averaging 13.8 ppg and 9.8 rpg. Her best game came against CBU when she set a career-high 26 points to go along with 16 rebounds.
Raina Perez was forced to redshirt last season, but has shown everyone what she's capable of already this year. After missing the first game, she is averaging 13.0 points per game and 6.1 assists in a team high 35.7 minutes per game. She has also scored in double-figures in all but two games this year.
RED HOT KIWI
Freshman Amiee Book has been absolutely on fire from the field this season. In twelve games, she is shooting 52.6% (50-95) from the field and 46.7% (21-45) from three. She also ranks 15th in the Big West with 10.9 ppg and has scored in double-figures in eight of her eleven games this season.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Titans have several players ranking in the Top 25 in the NCAA. Raina Perez is 20th in total assists and 15th in assists per game; Daeja Smith is ranked 22nd in offensive rebounds; and Jade Vega is also ranked 25th in total assists.
SHARING IS CARING
This year's Fullerton team plays very unselfishly passing up good shots for great shots. Because of that, they have 210 assists on the year averaging 16.2 per game. Those rank 44th and 54th in the NCAA respectively.
ON FIRE FROM THE FIELD
The Titans have shot lights out from the field so far this year, leading the conference shooting 43.6% from the field leading to 67.2 points per game which is the third highest scoring team in the Big West.
TURNING THE PROGRAM AROUND
Coach Harada and company wasted no time improving the program as they eclipsed the 2015-16 and 2016-17 combined win total in their first year with eight wins. Through 13 games this season, they have already matched that going 8-5 thus far.
BEST YEAR IN ALMOST THREE DECADES
Cal State Fullerton has seen some rough seasons in recent years, but this year's squad is changing that. They went 8-5 in the non-conference portion of their schedule which is the best mark since the 1990-91 team. That year, the Titans went 11-4 in non-conference play and finished the season with a 25-8 record. It's the last time the women's basketball program has seen a record over .500
TITANS IN CONFERENCE OPENERS
Fullerton is 15-18 all-time in Big West Conference openers and 9-7 when they are in Titan Gym. Last year, the Titans took down Hawaii in the opener, 69-57.
SUPPORT THE TITANS!
Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at email@example.com. The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.
FOLLOW THE TITANS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan Athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook/FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans), and Instagram (FullertonTitans). In addition, the softball team has established its own Twitter (@FullertonWBB) and Instagram accounts (@FullertonWBB).