Jan. 11, 2006
FULLERTON, CA -
A suddenly resurgent Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (4-10 overall, 2-2 in the Big West Conference) gets a breather of sorts as the Titans face only Big West travel partner UC Riverside this week after playing four games in seven days. The Titans and Highlanders tip off on Saturday (Jan. 14) at 2 p.m. at Titan Gym.
ON THE AIR... SORT OF
Saturday's games against UC Riverside will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com with Todd Reeves and former Fullerton track & field standout LaTangia Oliver handling the play-by-play and color commentary, respectively.
SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE
The Highlanders enter the weekend with a 4-9 overall record and a 1-3 mark in the Big West for seventh place. UCR has dropped eight of its last nine games overall, snapping a seven-game losing streak with a win over Pacific on Jan. 7. The Highlanders fell to Cal State Northridge in their last outing, 76-70, on Jan. 9.
UCR has been without the services of All-Big West First-Teamer and Freshman of the Year Kemie Nkele since the middle of December after she fractured the index finger of her non-shooting hand during practice.
Nkele, who was averaging 15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game before her injury, has missed the Highlanders' last six games as UCR has gone 1-5 in that span.
In her stead, the Highlanders have been led by freshman guard Seyram Gbewonyo, who is averaging 10.5 ppg and leads the teams with 21 steals. Freshman forward Amber Cox is averaging 9.2 ppg and leads the team with 20 blocks.
&\#149; UC RIVERSIDE: The Titans narrowly lead the all time series with the Highlanders, 14-11, but have lost the last three meetings with UCR... the Highlanders swept all three meetings with the Titans last season, including a first-round win over Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament... the Titans' last win in the series came in 2004, a 71-56 win in the first round of the Big West Tournament on March 10... Fullerton is 5-4 overall against Riverside at home with the location of three games unknown in a series that dates back to the 1969-70 season.
TITANS GO BACK-TO-BACK
Cal State Fullerton's win over Pacific on Jan. 9 gave the Titans back-to-back victories for the first time this season and the first time since winning three consecutive games to close out the 2004-05 regular season.
UNDERWOOD GOES FOR 20... AGAIN
The Fullerton offense has recently run through the hot shooting hands of junior forward Charlee Underwood, who has reached the 20-point plateau in each of the Titans' last two victories. She posted a season-high 22 points in Fullerton's 26-point victory over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 7, then added 21 points in an eight-point win over visiting Pacific two days later. The games marked the fourth and fifth 20-point-plus scoring performances of her career which includes a career-high 23 points against Idaho as a freshman in 2003-04.
MORE ON CHARLEE...
Underwood extended her double-digit scoring streak to seven consecutive games, thanks to her performances against the Matadors and Tigers to pull the Titans even at 2-2 in conference play.
Underwood has scored in double-figures in 12 of Fullerton's 14 games this season (combined two points in the other two contests) and is averaging 15.3 points per game during her most recent streak while shooting 52 percent from the field (43-for-83).
She enters the week ranked third in the Big West Conference in scoring, fourth in field goal percentage (.487), and second in three-point percentage (.474).
SPEAKING OF SCORING...
Senior forward Amber Pruitt has been a major force down low for the Titans during their recent successes, scoring in double figures in each of her last five games - a streak second only to Charlee Underwood's seven-game streak. During that time, Pruitt is averaging 14.6 points to go along with 7.2 rebounds per contest.
THE RESURGENT Andrea Adams
Cal State Fullerton junior guard Andrea Adams has found her shooting stroke over the course of the Titans' last two victories, pouring in a combined 35 points against Cal State Northridge and Pacific. This is even more striking when you take into account that Andrea had scored only 43 points in her previous 12 games combined.
NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH...
But there are such things as free points -- and the Titans are the best in the Big West Conference at snatching them up. Fullerton leads the league in free throw percentage at .704 and has shot 70 percent or better from the charity stripe in nine of the team's 14 games. The Titans have done themselves one better in their last two wins, shooting better than 80 percent against Cal State Northridge (.857) and Pacific (.813).
PRUITT CLIMBS ALL-TIME SCORING CHART
Senior post Amber Pruitt is closing in on a milestone in her career as she looks to become the 15th player in the history of the program to reach the 1,000 career point plateau. Pruitt's 40 points this past weekend against Cal State Northridge and Pacific have moved her closer to No. 16 all-time as she now stands just 33 points behind Koko Lahanas (1993-95) with 915 career points. Should Pruitt reach 1,000 points, she would be the second player in the last three years to reach that plateau joining Tamara Quinn, who finished with 1,109 career points in 2004 to rank 10th.
LOOKING FOR THAT CERTAIN, SPECIAL...
Someone? How about five someones? In it's 14 games this season, the Titans have used 11 different starting lineups, with only Charlee Underwood (13 starts), Toni Thomas (11 starts), and India McDaniel (11 starts) being the most consistent names in Fullerton's starting five. Of the 15 Titans that have seen playing time this season, all but three have at least one start.
TITANS LIGHT UP MATADORS FOR SEASON-HIGH
Fullerton hit for a season-high 52 percent from the field in its 26-point victory over visiting Cal State Northridge - the third time this season that the Titans have hit better than half their shots from the field after shooting 51 percent in a loss to Army (Nov. 26) and 50 percent in a win over Montana State (Dec. 19). The performance against the Matadors was the highest for the Titans in a single game since shooting .537 from the field against Northridge on March 6, 2004.
The 87 points against Cal State Northridge marked the second time this season Cal State Fullerton surpassed the 80-point plateau, surpassing the previous season-high of 85 points against Montana State on Dec. 19. The 87 points against the Matadors are the highest for a Titan team since putting up 88 points in an eight-point win over Cal Poly on Jan. 30, 1999.
TITANS HIT THE BOARDS
Fullerton put its collective noses to the grindstone -- or the backboard as the case may be -- this past weekend, outrebounding both Cal State Northridge and Pacific to extend its streak to four straight games that the Titans have held the advantage on the boards after failing to do so in the first 10 games of the year.