Jan. 14, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton looks to rebound after a split weekend against its Central Coast rivals this week as the Titans (5-8 overall, 2-1 in Big West Conference play) head to Northern California to take on UC Davis and Pacific in their first conference contests on the road in 2009. The Titans and Aggies tip-off at 7 p.m. from The Pavilion in Davis, while Saturday's game against the Tigers will begin at 4 p.m. from the Spanos Center in Stockton.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Both of this weekend's contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Patrick Alog will have the call live for both contests from Northern California.
I SEE YOU: For the third consecutive season, video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home women's basketball games and selected road contests will be streamed live over the Internet (on a subscription basis) thanks to Big West TV. For a monthly subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95, fans can catch all the exclusive action from Titan Gym and points beyond. For more information, please log on to www.BigWest.org/TV.
I NEED STATS, STAT: Both of this weekend's contests will feature live in-game statistics via CBS College Sports' Gametracker. Links are available on the women's basketball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES: UC Davis enters this week's games with a 6-8 overall record and a 2-1 mark in Big West Conference play... the Aggies split their two games last week by narrow margins, falling at UC Riverside (56-52) before edging Long Beach State (55-54)... Paige Mintun leads the team offensively, averging 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game... Haylee Donaghe is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 ppg, but is out for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.
THE SERIES: The series between the Titans and the Aggies is tied at 4-4, but UC Davis has won each of the last two meetings after Fullerton won three straight in the series from March 2, 2006-March 1, 2007... UC Davis posted a 77-45 win in Fullerton and an 82-55 victory in Davis last season to sweep the season series... The Titans are 2-2 all-time in Davis, last posting a 60-51 win on Jan. 27, 2007.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific enters the week with an 8-7 overall record and a 2-1 mark in league play heading into its Thursday night battle with UC Irvine... The Tigers have won five of their last seven and split their two games last week against Long Beach State (W, 76-62) and UC Riverside (L, 65-56)... Newcomer Amber Simmons leads the way offensively for Pacific, averaging a Big West Conference best 19.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game... Simmons, a transfer from Chico State, has led the team in scoring in 10 of the team's 15 games this year, including a career-best 29 points against Northern Colorado on Nov. 22.
THE SERIES: The Tigers lead the all-time series with the Titans, 31-18, but Fullerton has performed well as of late, winning three of the last four... the two teams split the season series in 2007-08 with each team winning at home by the scores of 94-83 in Fullerton and 76-72 in overtime in Stockton... The Titans are 5-18 all-time at Pacific, having lost three straight since an 80-59 win in 2005.
QUICK START ONE FOR THE AGES: Cal State Fullerton's win over Cal Poly on Jan. 8 gave the program its first 2-0 start in conference play dating all the way back to the 1997-98 season when the Titans defeated New Mexico State and North Texas. With its start this season, Fullerton opened conference play 2-0 for only the fourth time since joining the Big West/Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1985-86.
SHE'S KIND OF A BIG (WEST) DEAL: Sophomore Lyndsey Grove has stepped up her game since the start of the Big West Conference season, ranking among the league leaders in seven different categories - and besting her overall season averages in each: scoring (13th, 11.3 ppg), rebounding (4th, 8.3 rpg), field goal percentage (2nd, .591), free throw percentage (t6th, .875), steals (t10th, 1.67), offensive rebounds (t2nd, 4.00), and minutes (9th, 32.67).
TITANS GET OFFENSIVE: And we mean that in a good way. After three Big West Conference games this season, the Titans sport the league's best offense at 65.7 ppg, outscoring its opponents by an average of 11.7 ppg, while backing that up with one of the conference's best defenses - ranking third with 54.0 ppg allowed.
WELCOME BACK, TONI: Senior Toni Thomas has picked up right where she left off before being sidelined with an injury, averaging a team-best 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in only 19 minutes per game over the last four contests. Thomas is shooting 44 percent from the field in that stretch and has hit 15-of-16 from the free throw line (.938) while tallying six assists and eight steals.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE VISION?: With her 17-point, 10-rebound performance against UC Santa Barbara, Thomas logged her 23rd career double-double - a total that ranks fourth on the school's all-time list thanks to a thorough scouring (and updating) of box scores dating back to the early 1980's by sports information intern Nick Longo. Thomas stands just three double-doubles behind Claudette Jackson (26) for third place and 12 back of Erin Whiteside for second. The school record is held by Eugenia Miller-Rycraw, who accumulated 61 double-doubles in her brilliant four-year career at Cal State Fullerton.
DOUBLE DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Eat your heart out In-N-Out. Toni Thomas and Lyndsey Grove each posted double-doubles in the Titans' narrow loss to UC Santa Barbara last week - the first time that Fullerton teammates have accomplished that feat since Feb. 15, 2007 at UC Irvine when Charlee Underwood (11 points, 16 rebounds) and Thomas (20 points, 10 rebounds) did it in a 77-59 win over the Anteaters.
THIS IS NEW...: It hasn't been often that opposing defenses have been able to shut down reigning Big West Freshman of the Year Lauren Chow, but the Gauchos did just that, holding Fullerton's sharp-shooting sophomore scoreless for the first time in her 43-game career last Saturday. Chow's previous single-game low was two points at San Diego State and Santa Clara last season.
WORKIN' ON THEIR NIGHT MOVES: Cal State Fullerton is 4-3 this season in night games, but has struggled this year when the sun is shining - posting just a 1-5 record in six games played before 6 p.m., having lost two of the last three. While averaging almost the same amount scoring wise from day to night (63.8 ppg to 63.9 ppg, respectively), the Titans are shooting much better "under the lights," hitting on 39 percent from the floor to 36 percent overall, and .333 from three-point range to .285 beyond the arc in day games.
LET'S "GROVE" TONIGHT: Lyndsey Grove capped off a brilliant four-game homestand last Saturday against UC Santa Barbara, posting her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Gauchos. Since returning home on Dec. 30 against Columbia, Grove is averaging13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game over her last four contests, shooting a spectacular 61 percent (19-for-31) from the field and an almost perfect 93 percent (13-for-14) from the free throw line.
CHARITY CASE: After going to the line a season-low six times on Dec. 20 at San Diego, the Titans have done well to capitalize on their chances at the line during their recent homestand, shooting a combined .802 (69-86) over the last four games - including a perfect 16-for-16 against Columbia on Dec. 30. The performances have helped lift Fullerton into third place overall in the Big West, shooting 73 percent from the line.
STATIC ON THE LINE: The Titans began the season as one of the league's top-shooting teams from long distance, but has struggled from beyond the arc as of late, hitting on just over 24 percent (24-for-99) over their last six games from three-point range as compared to 35.3 percent (47-for-133) in the team's first seven games to open the season.
SULTAN OF STEAL: Keep your eye on the ball or senior Daviyonne Weathersby just might make it disappear. Weathersby enters this week's games ranked second in the Big West Conference with 2.15 steals per game and fifth overall with 28 swipes on the year. She has a steal in every game but one in 2008-09, including a season-high four steals in the season opener against Santa Clara, and is averaging 2.6 steals per game over her last five contests.
Lauren Chow - THE GUARD THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: Sophomore Lauren Chow enters the week as one of the league's top playmakers, ranking fourth in the league with 3.54 assists per game and tied for fourth with 46 assists overall this season. She has also done well to take care of the ball herself, leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.39 (46 assists to 33 turnovers) - one of only four conference regulars to have more assists than miscues thus far this season.
FOR DESSERT?: It's safe to say a basketball turnover probably wouldn't taste very good as a meal-ender, but on the court, it has been a sweet statistic for the Titans. Fullerton's defense has forced its opponents into 286 turnovers on the season (a league best 22.0 per game), turning them into 260 points for the "good gals." The Titans have forced 20-or-more turnovers in nine of their 13 contests this season with a pair of 19-turnover games to boot. On the other hand, the Titans have also done a great job of taking care of the ball themselves, committing only 218 turnovers (best in the Big West) and ranking first in the league in turnover margin (+5.23) while notching 130 steals to rank fourth overall and tops in the league with 10.00 spg.
SWIPER, NO SWIPING: Cal State Fullerton's defense has been on its toes over the last five contests, posting 60 steals (12.0 per game) and forcing 107 turnovers (21.4 per game) in that span. Contrast that to the strong ball handling for the Titans, who have committed just 69 turnovers in that same span - an average of 13.8 per contest.