Jan. 21, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP OFF: In a very light week of action, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (8-10 overall, 4-2 in the Big West Conference for third place) returns home for a single game this weekend, looking to rebound after suffering its first two losses in Big West play. The Titans host perennial power UC Santa Barbara on Saturday evening (Jan. 23) at 5 p.m. at Titan Gym in the first match-up between the two schools this season.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Saturday's game against UC Santa Barbara will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran Titan broadcaster Patrick Alog will have the play-by-play live from Titan Gym. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the newly redesigned FullertonTitans.com.
I SEE YOU: For the fourth consecutive season, video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home regular season contests and selected road games will be streamed live over the Internet (on a subscription basis) courtesy the Big West TV platform. For a monthy 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 log on to BigWestTV.org.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: For the first time this season, Cal State Fullerton men's and women's basketball will feature live stats via CBS College Sports' Gametracker for all of the Titans' home games and select road contests. Links will be available on both the men's and women's basketball schedule pages at the redesigned FullertonTitans.com.
SERIES RECORDS: UC Santa Barbara leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 40-22, having won the last 33 consecutive games over a span of 14 years... the Titans' last win in the series came on March 8, 1995, as they defeated the Gauchos, 97-86, in the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament... Fullerton is 12-15 against UCSB at home, having lost 14 straight dating back to an 89-86 win on Feb. 26, 1995.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: Currently in the midst of a very un-UCSB-like season, the Gauchos enter the weekend with a 5-12 overall record and a 2-3 mark in Big West Conference play for sixth place - already more losses in conference play than the last two years combined (30-2)... UC Santa Barbara has lost its last two (and seven of its last nine), falling to Long Beach State (78-63) and UC Riverside (77-60) last week in league play... sophomore Emilie Johnson leads the team in scoring at 12.6 ppg and paces the team with 56 assists and 26 steals... junior Mekia Valentine, a transfer from Wake Forest, is averaging 12.1 ppg and a team-high 7.1 rpg while blocking 65 shots (4.06 bpg - ranking among the top five in the nation) and shooting just under 60 percent from the floor... the Gauchos are averaging 56.6 ppg and shooting just under 42 percent from the field as a team while allowing a 63.2 ppg, but holding opponents to just 38 percent shooting from the field.
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!: Members of the 1970 CIAW National Championship squad will be feted at halftime of Saturday's contest, recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Titans' triumph in Boston. Fullerton won the mid-season tournament with victories over Springfield College (76-41), Western Carolina (38-31), East Stroudsburg State (43-28), and West Chester (50-46) en route to a 17-1 season under Hall of Fame head coach Billie Moore, who compiled a 140-15 (.903) overall record in eight seasons with the Titans before leaving to assume head coaching duties at UCLA.
...AND WE NEED A LIVE CHICKEN?: Cal State Fullerton may need some other-worldly assistance to break the jinx that the Gauchos have on them, entering Saturday's match-up with UC Santa Barbara looking to snap a 33-game losing streak to the Gauchos. In the silver lining department, it is not the longest streak in the nation, however, as Stanford owns a 48-game winning streak over Pac-10 rival Washington State according to a preliminary list of such streaks currently being compiled by Leo Krause, Assistant SID at Loyola-Chicago.
A TALE OF TWO TEAMS: It's hard to say how Saturday's match-up with the Gauchos will turn out as both teams have had their struggles on each end of the court this season. Saturday's game will feature Cal State Fullerton's second-ranked offense (68.4 ppg) against UC Santa Barbara's second-ranked defense (63.2), but the other side of the ball has been a different story for both teams as the Gauchos rank ninth in scoring offense (56.6 ppg) while the Titans are eighth in scoring defense (71.1 ppg).
TAKING THEIR SWINGS: The Titans' have not been cheated out of their shot attempts this season, averaging a Big West-high 63.89 field goal attempts per game and standing as one of only two schools to average more than 60 attempts per game entering this week's contests (Pacific at 60.33 per game). Fullerton has taken a season-low 42 shots twice this year against Wisconsin (Nov. 29) and Eastern Washington (Dec. 21) but has not taken fewer than 54 shots in the remaining 16 games - including a Big West-high 81 shots at Oregon on Nov. 27 and 80 attempts at Sacramento State on Nov. 15 while also taking 70 or more shots six times.
BRITT NOT "PETER"-ING OUT: Junior guard Britt Peters continues to find just a little bit more on the offensive end, helping the Titans to one of their best seasons in recent memory. Peters scored a career-high 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting while also setting a career-high with six rebounds in the Titans' loss at Cal State Northridge, reaching double figures for the fourth time since the start of Big West Conference play. During that stretch, Peters is averaging 11.7 ppg and shooting just under 41 percent from the field while hitting a team-high 13 three-pointers. It's quite a jump for the junior guard, who had entered the season averaging just 1.5 ppg for her career and who had not scored more than eight points in a game in her two previous seasons.
GROVE LOOKING TO THE RECORD BOOKS: Junior Lyndsey Grove is experiencing a break-out year offensively and that is translating into some record book-like numbers. The Placentia native is shooting .407 (24-for-59) from three-point range which would rank fourth in the single-season books while her .852 (75-for-88) free throw percentage has her in second place - just .002 points behind Toni Thomas' single-season record of .854 in 2008-09.
STREAKS SNAPPED: A poor-shooting second half at Cal State Northridge led to the snapping of a pair of lengthy scoring streaks for the Titans as senior Jasmine Scott's double-digit scoring streak was stopped at eight consecutive games (13.9 ppg, .452 FG%) while sophomore Megan Richardson's run was ended at 11 straight (16.6 ppg).
BREITE BACK BIG-TIME IN THE POST: After ranking among the league's top three rebounders for most of the season, opposing defenders seemed to figure out a way to keep Fullerton junior Jenna Breite off the boards, holding her to just 20 combined rebounds in a six-game stretch. However, Breite broke out of her rebounding funk in a big way during the team's recent road trip, grabbing a combined 19 rebounds - 11 of those on the offensive end - against Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge. Breite, who reached double-digit rebounds for the fourth time this season with 10 against the Mustangs, enters the week ranked third in the conference in rebounds at 6.7 rpg and is fourth in offensive rebounding at 2.44 per game.
PROLIFIC OFFENSE: Should Fullerton keep up this pace on the offensive end, this year's offensive unit will go down as one of the best in school history. This year's offense, which is averaging 68.4 ppg thus far, would rank among the top 15 offenses in school history and would give the Titans their best offensive season since the 1996-97 team averaged 70.7 ppg in 26 games en route to a 10-16 overall record.
THREE-CO-LA: After hitting 11 three-pointers in a win over UC Riverside, Fullerton's long-range shooters apparently weren't done, duplicating the effort in last week's overtime loss to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. The season-high 11 trey's fell just three shy of the school single-game record set against Iowa State on Nov. 15, 2006. As a team, the Titans rank fifth overall in the league in three-point percentage (.322), second in three-pointers made (109), and third in three-pointers made per game (6.06 pg). Individually, junior Lyndsey Grove ranks tied for fourth in three-point percentage (.407) and eighth in three-pointers made per game (1.33) while sophomore Megan Richardson is tied for ninth in three-pointers made at 1.28 per game.
SWEET HOME FULLERTON: The Titans return to historic Titan Gym on Saturday evening, looking to extend a four-game winning streak on their home court after opening the season with three straight losses in front of the hometown faithful. Fullerton, which is 4-3 on its home floor this season - including a perfect 3-0 in conference play, is averaging 71.5 ppg and shooting .437 from the field during its recent winning streak, holding opponents to just 59.2 ppg in that stretch. Individually, the offense runs through the trio of Megan Richardson (18.3 ppg, .414 FG%), Jasmine Scott (15.8 ppg, .568 FG%), and Lyndsey Grove (13.0 ppg, .436 FG%) as the Titans have defeated their opponents by an average of 12.3 ppg in their last four home contests.
DOWNRIGHT OFFENSIVE: And we mean that in a good way. The Fullerton offense, which averaged 62.5 ppg last season (third-best in the league), has kept the momentum going in 2009-10, entering the week ranked second in the league in scoring offense at 68.4 ppg (No. 92 in the NCAA) bouyed by eight games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15. Fullerton's 1,231 points thus far this season are 88 points more than second place Cal Poly and Long Beach State (1,143).
OR YOUR POINTS ARE FREEEEE: The Titans, who led the Big West in free throw percentage a season ago, have continued to be one of the most accurate at the line this season, leading the league once again entering the weekend at .742 on the year. Junior Lyndsey Grove ranks second in the conference and No. 40 in the NCAA at .852 (75-for-88) while sophomore Megan Richardson is tied for ninth at .765 (65-for-85). On a national level, the Titans stand No. 33 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Drexel's nation-leading 81.2 percent (as of NCAA stats of Jan. 17).
NOT IN A GIVING MOOD: Fullerton hasn't been one to just hand the ball over to its opponents this season, committing a Scrooge-esque 15.7 turnovers per game and ranks No. 37 in the nation in that category (as of NCAA stats of Jan. 17) and first in the Big West Conference. The 283 turnovers overall are the fewest in the league entering the week, Fullerton's +3.06 turnover margin (No. 58 in the NCAA) is second in the conference (UC Davis +4.82), and the Titans' 338 turnovers forced are third-best in the league.
GIMME A SECOND CHANCE: Fullerton's work on the offensive boards have done just that for its offense this season as the Titans top the league entering the week with 263 offensive rebounds and 14.61 offensive rebounds per game. Individually, juniors Jenna Breite (4th - 2.44 per game) and Lyndsey Grove (8th - 2.06 per game) lead the way.
EIGHT IS GREAT...: But not enough for the juggernaut Titans, whose 8-10 mark this season puts them just two wins shy of their total for all of last season when they finished 10-20 overall and advanced to the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. Fullerton didn't notch it's eighth win last year until game 26 in a 70-61 win at Long Beach State on Feb. 28.
FOUR IS FINE...: Continuing a theme... Fullerton's four conference wins are also just one shy of last year's 5-11 mark that placed the Titans sixth in the league during the regular season. Cal State Fullerton hasn't won more than eight games in conference play in each of the last 18 seasons since posting a school record 14 league victories in 1990-91, finishing with an 8-10 mark in 1994-95 and 2003-04 and an 8-8 record in 2007-08.