Jan. 10, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - A roller-coaster stretch of the 2006-07 season continues this weekend as the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (7-10 overall, 2-2 in the Big West Conference) heads east to take on travel partner UC Riverside on Saturday evening (Jan. 13) at 5 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center in Riverside. It will be the lone game of the week for both the Titans and Highlanders.
Cal State Fullerton's contest at UC Riverside on Saturday can be heard live over the Internet. Log on to www.fullertontitans.com and click on the logo with the microphone on the right-hand side of the page to access the link.
BIG WEST TV IS BACK!
Live streaming video for all Cal State Fullerton home games and select road contests will be available once again during the regular season through a partnership with the Big West Conference and CSTV. The subscription video service is \$79.95 for the entire season or \$9.95 per month. For more information, please visit the Big West website at www.bigwest.org/tv.
Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with the Highlanders, 16-11, having won the last two straight after sweeping the season series last year with a 68-62 victory at Titan Gym and a 59-55 win at the Student Recreation Center... the sweep last season came after UCR swept the series from the Titans in 2004-05, including a win over Fullerton in the first round of the Big West Tournament... Cal State Fullerton is just 4-8 against UC Riverside since the Highlanders became members of the Big West Conference during the 2001-02 season.
SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS
UC Riverside enters the week with a 9-7 overall record and a share of first place in the Big West Conference with a 3-1 mark in league play... The Highlanders have won seven of their last nine contests and had won three straight to open conference play until a loss at Cal State Northridge on Saturday... Junior Kemie Nkele is the team's leading scorer (15.8 ppg) and rebounder (7.5 rpg) while also leading the league in blocks per game at 2.44... She is also shooting 46 percent from the floor and leads the team with 25 steals... UC Riverside features the league top defense, allowing only 61.1 points per game and holding opponents to just 38 percent shooting from the field.
THOMAS STILL ATOP THE BIG WEST SCORING RACE
Sophomore Toni Thomas remains atop the Big West scoring race at 17.4 points per game entering Saturday's contest - just under a point per game ahead of second-place Jenna Green from UC Santa Barbara, who is averaging 16.5 ppg this season. If the season were to end today, Thomas would be the first Titan to lead the league in scoring since Koko Lahanas accomplished the feat in 1994-95 after averaging a nation-high 26.8 ppg. Claudette Jackson (1992 - 20.3 ppg) and Genia Miller (1991 - 29.4 ppg) are the only other Titans to lead the Big West in scoring.
UNDERWOOD'S WEEK PUSHES HER UP SCORING LIST
Senior Charlee Underwood's offensive fireworks this past week continue to push her up the Cal State Fullerton career scoring list as her 31 points against Cal State Northridge and Pacific moved her into a tie for ninth place all-time with Cheryl Peterson (1978-81), who had 1,163 points during her three years and needs 98 more points to pass Marlene Klein (1979-83) for eighth place.
TAYLOR MATCHES CAREER HIGH SCORING EFFORT
Senior Audrey Taylor tied a career-high with her 17-point effort in last Thursday night's victory at Cal State Northridge, marking the second time in the last five games that the point guard has scored 10-or-more points (16 points vs. Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 20).
BLOCKS A PLENTY
The Cal State Fullerton defense racked up a season-high eight blocks in last Saturday night's loss at Pacific - the most swats in a single game for the Titans since the 1997-98 season when they also had eight in a loss to Northern Iowa on Nov. 24. The single-game school record for Fullerton is 11, accomplished three times in the history of the program - the last coming on March 6, 1991, against Fresno State.
Senior Ariel Adams (4) and junior Alison Bennett (3) combined for seven of the Titans' eight total blocks against the Tigers while senior Charlee Underwood tallied her 11th block of the season. The four blocks by Adams were the most since Heather Hansen also blocked four shots in a loss to Santa Clara on Dec. 12, 1999.
THAT'S QUITE A STREAK
Sophomore Toni Thomas has already had a significant streak this season after scoring in double digits in the team's first 10 games of the year, but her latest streak may be just as impressive. Thomas has hit her last 20 consecutive free throws dating back to the second half of the Titans' victory over Cal Poly on Dec. 28 to open Big West play, extending the streak thanks to 7-for-7 and 8-for-8 efforts at Cal State Northridge and Pacific, respectively, last week.
IN OTHER SCORING NEWS
Senior Andrea Adams' recent scoring exploits have her listed among the school's top 25 scorers as her 711 career points place her No. 24 on the charts. Adams' next point will move her past Laura Smith (1980-82) for No. 23 all-time.
GETTING THEM WHILE THEY'RE FREE
Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West Conference this season with a .749 free throw percentage as the Titans have shot 70 percent or better from the line in 11 of team's 17 games this season - including a single-game high of .941 (32-of-34) in a win over San Francisco - and have shot better than 80 percent from the line in each of their last three contests.
SPEAKING OF THE FREE ONES
A trio of Titans have been almost automatic from the free throw line over the course of the last six games, led by Toni Thomas, who enters this week ranked second in the league with an .837 free throw percentage. Thomas has missed only twice (36-for-38) over the last six games, shooting just under 95 percent. She is followed by Charlee Underwood, who is shooting just over 82 percent (14-for-17) in that same stretch and India McDaniel, who is hitting on 79 percent (26-for-33).
BACK ON TRACK
Sophomore Toni Thomas, who has scored in double figures in 16 of the Titans' 17 games this season, has gotten back on the scoring track since being held to just two points against San Diego on Dec. 16, averaging 17.7 ppg over her last six contests, including a 20-point outings against UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 30) and Pacific (Jan. 6) and double-doubles against Cal State Bakersfield (Dec. 20) and the Tigers, which including a season-high 14 rebounds.
AS ANDREA GOES, SO GO THE TITANS
Coincidence? Senior Andrea Adams' recent scoring spree has helped spark her team to victory as she has scored in double figures in each of Fullerton's last three wins, averaging 12.0 points per game in that span, while being held to just 10 points total (3.3 ppg) in each of the Titans' last three losses.
DEFENSE HOLDING STRONG
Cal State Fullerton is holding opponents to only 67.0 ppg this season - ranking fourth in the league. A lot of that has to do with the pressure from a squad that has forced a league-high 368 turnovers (21.6 per game) and leads the Big West in turnover margin at +3.65 per game while averaging a league-low 18.0 turnovers per game.
THOMAS KEEPS UP IMPRESSIVE PACE
Should sophomore Toni Thomas keep up her current scoring pace (17.4 ppg) over the Titans' 13 remaining games, she would be in line to become the first Titan player to score 500 points in a single season since Koko Lahanas led the nation in scoring with 778 points (26.8 ppg) in 1994-95. Thomas' current pace would put her at 522 points for the year - which would rank 10th on the single-season list.
BIG WEST'S BEST 1-2 PUNCH
Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas (17.4 ppg) and Charlee Underwood (14.8 ppg) each rank among the league's top five scorers - making them the best 1-2 offensive punch in the Big West. The duo has combined to score 533 points (31.4 ppg) and has accounted for about half of the team's 63.2 ppg this season. UC Santa Barbara's duo of Jenna Green (16.5 ppg) and Jessica Wilson (13.3 ppg), who have combined to score 434 points on the year (28.9 ppg), is second on the list.
In honor of the late James Brown we'd like to introduce you to three of the "hardest working women" in Big West Conference women's basketball this season: sophomore Toni Thomas, senior India McDaniel, and senior Charlee Underwood. The trio, who make up three-fifth's of Cal State Fullerton's starting lineup, all rank in the top 10 in the league in minutes played this season as Thomas is No. 5 at 34.47 mpg, Underwood is tied for eighth at 32.62 minutes per contest, and McDaniel is No. 10 at 32.41 minutes per game. In addition, McDaniel and Underwood have gone the distance in a single game twice this season while Thomas has done it once.