Preseason Favorites Pay Visit to Titan Gym
Jan. 4, 2012
FULLERTON, CA -
Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton
Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 | 7 p.m.
Titan Gym (4,000)
Coverage: Live Audio | Live Video | Gametracker
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 | 3 p.m.
Titan Gym (4,000)
Coverage: Live Audio | Live Video | Gametracker
TIP-OFF: Winners of four of its last five following a split of its Big West Conference openers last week, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (7-6 overall, 1-1 in the Big West) finally returns home this week to host the league's Central Coast contingent after competing six of its previous seven on the road. The Titans open against preseason league favorite Cal Poly on Thursday (Jan. 5) night at 7 p.m. before taking on UC Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 7) at 3 p.m.
NEW LOOK BIG WEST: The Big West Conference Board of Directors announced on Dec. 12, 2011, that San Diego State will return as the conference's 11th member effective July 1, 2013. The Aztecs, whose women's teams were members of the league from 1985-90, were an original member of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association from 1969-78, and will join Hawaii as the league's "newest" members. The Warriors, whose women's programs were part of the Big West from 1984-96, were introduced as the 10th member of the league on Dec. 10, 2010, and will officially compete as a member of the Big West in July of 2012.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Vimeo.com (vimeo.com/fullertontitans). In addition, the women's basketball team has established its own official Facebook fan page, just search for Cal State Fullerton Women's Basketball.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, select Cal State Fullerton women's basketball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of FullertonTitans.com.
I SEE YOU: For the sixth consecutive season, live streaming video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home regular season contests and selected road games will be available (on a subscription basis) live over the Internet courtesy the Big West TV platform. For a monthly subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95, fans can catch all the exclusive action from the comfort of their home computers. For more information, please visit www.BigWest.org/TV or access the video player at www.fansonly.com/schools/bigw/allaccess/index.html.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: For the third consecutive season, Cal State Fullerton men's and women's basketball will feature live stats via CBS College Sports' Gametracker interface for all of the Titans' home games as well as select road contests. Links will be available on both the men and women's basketball schedule pages at FullertonTitans.com.
CAL POLY BRIEFLY: The Mustangs enter the week with a 4-9 overall record after ending a seven-game skid with a 61-58 victory over UC Santa Barbara to open Big West Conference play... Cal Poly is 1-7 away from the friendly confines of Mott Gym, having lost six straight contests on the road... Kristina Santiago, the 2009-10 Big West Conference Player of the Year who missed all of last season due to injury, is averaging a double-double with a league-high 23.5 ppg and 10.2 rpg while shooting .536 from the field this season in 11 starts... Ashlee Burns is also in double figures at 10.0 ppg and has helped the Cal Poly offense to league-bests in scoring (71.8 ppg), field goal percentage (.416), three-point percentage (.355)... the Mustangs, however, rank last in scoring defense (73.3 ppg), eighth in field goal defense (.426), and last in three-point defense (.366).
UC SANTA BARBARA BRIEFLY: The Gauchos enter the week with a 5-7 overall record and have split their last six outings, including a three-point loss to Cal Poly to open conference play... UC Santa Barbara is 1-5 on the road this season, losing two of three during its most recent road trip sandwiching a one-point win at UTEP with losses at New Mexico State and Cal Poly... Sweets Underwood leads the Gauchos offensively with 9.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg while shooting .473 from the floor... UCSB, averaging a league-worst 52.1 ppg, relies heavily on one of the best defenses in the league, holding opponents to a league-best 50.7 ppg while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.372), third in three-point defense (.287), and first in rebounding defense (34.8 rpg).
SERIES NOTES: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 25-18, but the Mustangs have won the last three-straight meetings and five of the last six... the Titans' last win in the series came on Feb. 25, 2010, with a 70-63 victory at Titan Gym... Fullerton is 16-5 all-time at home against Cal Poly, having won eight of the last nine after a 75-72 win by the Mustangs snapped an eight-game home winning streak by the Titans... Fullerton is just 13-17 against Cal Poly since the Mustangs joined the Big West in 1996-97... UC Santa Barbara leads the all-time series with the Titans, 44-22, having won the last 37 consecutive meetings against Fullerton dating back to a win in the 1995 Big West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas (more on that below)... the Titans are 12-17 against the Gauchos at home, having lost 16 consecutive games at Titan Gym dating to an 89-86 win on Feb. 26, 1995... All but seven of the meetings between the two schools have come as members of the Big West Conference, where UCSB leads the series, 44-15, including a 6-1 record at the Big West Tournament.
TITANS THIRD AMONG BIG WEST TEAMS IN FIRST NCAA RPI RANKING: Cal State Fullerton debuted at No. 160 in the season's first RPI report released by the NCAA and updated on Jan. 3, ranking behind only Pacific (No. 74) and UC Davis (No. 87) entering the weekend. The Titans' opponents this week, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, rank No. 222 and No. 212, respectively, in the first report.
THE STREAK NO ONE LIKES TO TALK ABOUT: The Titans will be looking to snap one of the nation's longest losing streaks against a single opponent on Saturday when Cal State Fullerton clashes with UC Santa Barbara. The Titans' 37 consecutive losses to the Gauchos dating back to 1995 is tied for the fifth-longest streak of futility among conference foes alongside Alabama's 37-straight losses to Tennessee in SEC play. The current active record is held just up the California coast by Stanford, which has won 52 consecutive games against Pacific-12 Conference rival Washington State. Special thanks to UC Santa Barbara SID Matt Hurst for the legwork in keeping the list updated.
DIV. I ACTIVE WINNING STREAKS, CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
1. Stanford vs. Washington State (Pacific 12) - 52 games
2. Old Dominion vs. William & Mary (Colonial Athletic Association) - 51
3. Old Dominion vs. UNC-Wilmington (Colonial Athletic Association) - 42
4. Tennessee vs. South Carolina (SEC) - 40
T5. Tennessee vs. Alabama (SEC) - 37
T5. UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Fullerton (Big West) - 37
7. Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina (Big South) - 36
8. Duke vs. Wake Forest (ACC) - 35
9. Duke vs. Georgia Tech (ACC) - 33
10. Tennessee vs. Mississippi State (SEC) - 32
DEFENSES CLASH: Points could be at a premium on Saturday as the Big West's top two defenses collide with UC Santa Barbara coming to town. The Gauchos are allowing a league-low 50.7 ppg while the Titans are second at 62.6 ppg. The two programs also rank second and third, respectively in field goal percentage defense (UCSB at .372 and Cal State Fullerton at .386) as well as in the top three in three-point percentage defense (Fullerton at .282 and UCSB at .287).
CAREER YEAR: We all knew she could score, but senior Megan Richardson is taking her game to a whole new level in 2011-12. In just 13 games this season, Richardson is setting new career bests for minutes per game (32.3 mpg), field goal percentage (.437), three-point percentage (.404), rebounding (3.9 rpg), and scoring (17.8 ppg).
ON A ROLL (HOLD THE MAYO): Richardson has reached double figures in each of her last five games (including four 20-point performances), entering this week's contests averaging 22.0 ppg and 4.2 rpg over than span while shooting .529 (36-for-68) from the field and .545 (12-for-22) from three-point range.
"300": A perfect score in bowling, and a possible milestone in scoring for Megan Richardson this season. With just 68 more points this season, the senior from Manhattan Beach will become only the fourth player in school history to reach 300 points in all four of her collegiate seasons as a Titan, joining Robin Holmes (1982-86), Shayla Bradshaw (1992-96), and Toni Thomas (2005-09). Looking ahead in our crystal ball, should Richardson score 168 more points, she would join Bradshaw and All-Americans Genia Miller (1987-91) and Nancy Ratliff (1980-83) as the only Fullerton players to reach 400 points in three-straight seasons.
ROAD WARRIORS: Playing the hand they were dealt with eight of their first 13 games this season on the road, the Titans have performed well, going 4-4 away from home thus far and bettering last season's mark when they finished 3-14 in road contests. One more road win this season would give Fullerton its most wins away from Titan Gym since 2009-10 (5-10) while a sixth road victory would be the most for the Titans since the 1990-91 NCAA Tournament-bound squad finished 9-6 away from the friendly confines.
SPEAKING OF WINNING: Fullerton's seven wins this season are just two shy of last season's total when the Titans finished 9-21 overall. Not to jinx anything, but three more victories would give Fullerton double-digit wins for the second time in three seasons under Head Coach Marcia Foster and its sixth such season in the last seven years.
OH, MYA!!: Redshirt sophomore Mya Olivier was a beast on the boards for the Titans to ring in the new year, averaging a double-double with 10.5 ppg and 13.0 rpg while shooting 42 percent from the field during their Big West Conference-opening weekend. She grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds in a loss at Pacific, but "rebounded" to match her career high with 15 boards (including eight on the offensive end) and fall one point shy of her career high with 14 points in the Titans' win over UC Davis. The double-double against the Aggies was Olivier's third of the year and the sixth of her career while the two double-digit rebounding performances gave her six in 10 games overall this season.
LAST TIME AT TITAN GYM: Megan Richardson will hopefully be able to channel her performance from the last time the Mustangs paid a visit to Titan Gym after the senior went off for 33 points on 14-of-24 shooting in 37 minutes of play, making her the first Titan since Toni Thomas in 2007 to reach the 30-point plateau in a single game and the most points for a Fullerton player since Natascha Stokely's 36 points against Long Beach State in 1998.
ALL GO, NO QUIT: Barring some freak accident in practice, shootaround, or warmups (everyone knock on wood...), Megan Richardson will be making her 100th CONSECUTIVE start on Thursday when the Titans take the floor against Cal Poly, having not missed a start since coming off the bench on Dec. 4, 2008, against No. 16 Vanderbilt as a freshman. Richardson has not missed a single one of the program's 105 possible contests dating to the 2008-09 campaign, starting a total of 100 of those games.
SHOOTING TIGER, BLOCKING BUSHONG: Junior Lauren Bushong apparently really likes playing Pacific after notching three blocks against the Tigers last week to up her season total to a team-best 11 swats in 13 games. Of her 12 career games with multiple blocks, four of those have come against the Tigers, including a career-high six blocks on Jan. 2 last season in Stockton, and she is averaging 3.25 bpg (13 overall) in those contests. Bushong enters the week with 44 career blocks, good for No. 10 on the school's career list and one shy of Andrea Thieme (1995-99) for ninth place and six back of Charlee Underwood (2003-07) in eighth.
THOMAS TOPS VS. TIGERS: Sophomore Alex Thomas kicked off the Titans' most recent road trip to Northern California in style, setting career bests with 16 points and seven rebounds against Pacific, reaching double figures for the fourth time this season and besting her previous high of 15 points set earlier this year in a win over Pepperdine.
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)... DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): Fullerton's defense has been up to the challenge thus far in 2011-12 after finishing at or near the bottom in numerous defensive categories a season ago. The Titans, who ranked 8th in scoring defense (71.7 ppg), 9th in field goal percentage defense (.432), and 8th in rebounding defense (41.8 rpg), last season while leading the league in three-point defense (.301), stand among the top four in the Big West entering the week in three of those four same categories. Heading into the start of conference play this week, Fullerton has allowed the second-fewest points per game (62.6 ppg), stands third in field goal percentage defense (.386), and is second in three-point defense (.282), while standing 5th in rebounding defense (40.8 rpg).
DOUBLE-DIGIT DOMINATION: You know the old saying, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes?" We'd like to add a third -- Megan Richardson and double-digit points. The Titans spectacular scoring guard has reached double digits in points in 76 of her 105 career games (72 percent), including 25 career 20-point contests and a 33-point effort against Cal Poly on Jan. 13, 2011. She is one of only three active Fullerton players with at least 10 career double-digit games (Lauren Chow and Mya Olivier) and is one of two active Titans who have reached 20 points in their collegiate careers (Chow).
CHOW DIALS LONG DISTANCE FOR MILESTONE: Belated congratulations for the Titans' sharpshooting senior, who hit career three-pointer No. 200 on Dec. 10 against Nevada, making her only the eighth player in the history of the Big West Conference to reach the mark and break into the league's career top-10 list. Chow already holds the school record in that category, but will need to really heat up to match Pacific's Selena Ho for the league's career mark after the Tigers' guard finished with 271 career made three's from 1998-2002. Until then, she needs only eight more trey's to move past UNLV's Gwynn Hobbs, who hit 212 career three-pointers from 1991-95, for No. 7 on the all-time list.
I'M HERE TO HELP: Redshirt senior Lauren Chow inched her way up the school's career assist list last week, as her seven combined helpers against Pacific and UC Davis last week upped her total to 355 career assists, good for No. 6 on the all-time list and just 23 helpers shy of Audrey Taylor, who holds down the No. 5 spot with 378 helpers from 2002-07.