Traditional Rivals Long Beach State, UC Irvine Invade Titan Gym
Jan. 17, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (7-11 overall, 2-3 in the Big West Conference for fifth place) looks to snap a two-game losing streak this week as the Titans return to the friendly confines of Titan Gym against a pair of local rivals. Fullerton hosts Long Beach State on Thursday (Jan. 18) at 7 p.m. before welcoming UC Irvine on Saturday (Jan. 20) for a 2 p.m. tip-off.
Both of Cal State Fullerton's contests against Long Beach State and UC Irvine 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.
LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers lead the all-time series, 56-24, dating back to the 1969-70 season... The Titans defeated Long Beach State, 62-61, at Titan Gym last season to snap a five-game losing streak... The 49ers handed Fullerton a 64-59 loss at The Walter Pyramid last season to earn a season split... Cal State Fullerton is 10-27 all-time against Long Beach State at home... UC IRVINE: The Titans trail in the series with the Anteaters, 28-23, but are 12-11 against UCI at Titan Gym... The two schools split their two meetings last season with each school winning on their home court... Fullerton's victory snapped a three-game losing streak to UCI and an eight-game losing skid to the Anteaters at Titan Gym.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS
Long Beach State enters this week's play with a 4-14 overall record and a 1-3 mark in Big West play for a sixth-place tie with Cal Poly... The 49ers have split their last six decisions including a win over Pacific (70-52) and a loss to Cal State Northridge (73-63) last week... Head Coach Mary Hegarty is in her fourth year at the helm after helping the 49ers to the league's regular season co-championship and an 18-10 mark in 2005-06... Sophomore guard Karina Figueroa leads the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg and is averaging 19.5 in conference play this season.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine enters the week with a 4-13 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Big West play for fourth place - just half a game ahead of the Titans in the standings... The Anteaters travel to UC Riverside on Thursday before heading to Fullerton for Saturday's match-up... UCI has split its last four games after losing seven straight contests in the month of December... Head Coach Molly Tuter is entering her second full season leading the Anteaters program after taking over in the middle of the 2004-05 season... Angie Ned leads the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg while Stephanie Duda is averaging a double-double this season at 12.2 ppg and 10.3 rpg.
THIS YEAR'S "MISS CONSISTENCY" IS...
Sophomore Toni Thomas and senior Charlee Underwood are both battling it out for the title this season as the duo have been the Titans' most consistent offensive options this season.
Thomas has scored in double figures in each of her last seven contests, averaging 17.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg while shooting just over 41 percent from the field (40-for-97) in that span.
Not to be outdone, Underwood has been in double figures in each of her last five contests, averaging 16.0 ppg while shooting just under 40 percent from the floor (29-for-73).
LOOKING FOR DOOR NUMBER THREE
While Toni Thomas and Charlee Underwood have been getting their fair share of the points this season, the Titans have been looking for that third or fourth scoring option to step up and provide some offense. Fullerton is just 1-5 this season when it has only two players score in double figures while the Titans are 3-4 with three players in double figures and a perfect 3-0 when four players score 10 or more points.
THE JINX REARS ITS UGLY HEAD
Our apologies. Things were looking really good for sophomore Toni Thomas on Saturday against UC Riverside, as she hit her first two free throws on the day to extend her streak to 22 consecutive free throws made dating back to the Cal Poly game on Dec. 28. However, Thomas' streak (featured in last week's game notes) was snapped when she failed to complete a three-point play at the 11:56 mark in the first half during the loss to the Highlanders. The sophomore is shooting just under 82 percent from the charity stripe this season - ranking second in the Big West entering this week's games.
STILL NO. 1
The Titans hit just 53 percent (7-of-13) from the free throw line on Saturday at UC Riverside - well below the 75 percent the Titans had been averaging entering the game against the Highlanders. However, the low numbers weren't enough to take away Fullerton's crown as the top free throw-shooting team in the Big West as the Titans continue to lead the league with a .741 percentage.
NOT NO. 1... BUT REALLY GOOD
Fullerton's league-leading .741 free throw percentage ranks No. 37 in the NCAA behind Northern Illinois' nation-leading .806 from the charity stripe.
ROAD WOES CONTINUE
After dropping their ninth game in 11 chances away from the friendly confines of Titan Gym on Saturday in Riverside, Cal State Fullerton must be more than a little thankful to tip-off on its home floor this week against Long Beach State and UC Irvine. The Titans, who are averaging 62.4 ppg overall this season, are averaging just 55.6 ppg away from home in 2006-07, having lost their last two road games after a win over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 4. Much of Fullerton's stuggle can be attributed to poor shooting as the Titans are hitting on just 34 percent of their shots from the floor on the road in those 11 games this season, compared to almost 41 percent at Titan Gym.
THOMAS STILL LEAGUE'S BEST
Sophomore Toni Thomas remains atop the Big West scoring race at 17.3 points per game entering this week's games - besting second-place Kemie Nkele of UC Riverside by 1.4 ppg. 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.
THOMAS KEEPS UP IMPRESSIVE PACE
Should sophomore Toni Thomas keep up her current scoring pace (17.3 ppg) over the Titans' 12 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 519 points for the year - which would rank 10th on the single-season list.
DYNAMIC DUO GOES NATIONAL
Both sophomore Toni Thomas and senior Charlee Underwood rank among the nation's top 100 players in various categories entering this week's play. Thomas is No. 67 in the country in scoring, No. 80 in rebounding and No. 94 in free throw percentage. Underwood is No. 73 in three-point percentage and No. 79 in three-pointers made per game (2.2). Thomas is the only Big West player in the top 100 in scoring and one of four in the top 100 in rebounding.
BIG WEST'S BEST 1-2 PUNCH
Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas (17.3 ppg) and Charlee Underwood (14.9 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 564 points (32.2 ppg) and has accounted for just over half of the team's 62.4 ppg this season. UC Santa Barbara's duo of Jenna Green (15.8 ppg) and Jessica Wilson (13.2 ppg), who have combined to score 480 points on the year (29.0 ppg), is second on the list.