Feb. 7, 2006
FULLERTON, CA -
After sweeping local rivals UC Irvine and Long Beach State at home for the first time since the 1996-97 season, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (8-13 overall, 5-4 in the Big West) will look to make it three straight victories this weekend as the Titans head up the 91 freeway to meet travel partnet UC Riverside in their lone game of the week. Tip-off on Thursday (Feb. 9) is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center on campus.
LIVE, FROM TITAN GYM...
Audio for Thursday night's clash with the Highlanders will be available online at www.FullertonTitans.com and, for the first time in the history of the program, fans of Cal State Fullerton women's basketball can watch the action live over the Internet thanks to a partnership between the Big West Conference and CSTV.
All remaining men's and women's regular season games not on an ESPN or Fox Sports Net platform are to be streamed as part of a subscription service beginning Jan. 25 for \$24.95. To sign up an view the games, please visit www.cstv.com/ot/bigwest-aa.html.
SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE
The Highlanders enter the week with a 7-13 overall record and a 3-6 mark in Big West Conference play after splitting its two games last week. UCR handed Long Beach State its first conference loss of the season on Feb. 2 with a 90-78 win over the 49ers, but could not sustain the momentum, falling to UC Irvine on Feb. 4, 65-63, to end a two-game winning streak.
The Highlanders are led offensively by sophomore center Kemie Nkele, who returned to the lineup on Jan. 14 against Cal State Fullerton after a finger injury, and is averaging 15.7 ppg and 7.8 rpg while notching 24 blocks. Freshman Seyram Gbewonyo is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 ppg and leads the team with 30 steals.
&\#149; UC RIVERSIDE: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with UC Riverside by a 15-11 count, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Highlanders with a 68-62 win at Titan Gym back on Jan. 14... The Titans are just 4-5 all-time at the Student Recreation Center, having lost every meeting there since the 2000-01 season.
CONGRATS, DR. J!!
Congratulations are in order for Head Coach Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah, who earned her 400th career coaching win on Saturday night in the Titans' 62-61 upset win over first-place Long Beach State at Titan Gym. Jeremiah, who is now 400-291 (.579) in her 25-plus seasons of coaching, is now just three wins from yet another milestone as she rapidly approaches Hall of Fame Head Coach Billie Moore's school record of 140 career wins at Cal State Fullerton. Jeremiah is 137-146 (.484) in her nine-plus years at the helm of the Titan women's basketball program.
PRUITT IS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cal State Fullerton senior forward Amber Pruitt was named the Big West Conferemce Player of the Week on Monday after helping lead the Titans to a pair of wins last week. Pruitt averaged 16.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg in the Titans' wins over UC Irvine and league-leading Long Beach State. It is Pruitt's second career player of the week honor after winning her first award in March, 2004.
TITAN GYM SOMETHING MAGICAL
With their wins over the Anteaters and 49ers, the Titans improved to 8-2 overall this season at Titan Gym - posting the most home victories in a single-season since the NCAA Tournament team of 1990-91 went 12-1 at home. With the two wins last week (and with two home contests still to play), Cal State Fullerton has secured its first winning home record since 1997-98 (7-5).
MISSED IT BY THIS MUCH...
The legendary Maxwell Smart would have been proud Saturday night as the Titans were almost able to celebrate a pair of milestones on the same night. Senior forward Amber Pruitt, who needed just 15 points to become the 15th member of the "1,000-Point Club" at Cal State Fullerton, finished a single-point shy after her 14-point, 12-rebound effort in the Titans' win over Long Beach State.
Pruitt passed Erin Whiteside (1996-2000) for 15th place on the all-time scoring list and now has Joey Ray, who finished with 1,004 career points from 1988-92, in her sights.
Speaking of close, junior Charlee Underwood also missed moving into a tie for 17th place on the all-time scoring list by a single-point, standing one shy of Amy Torczon's (1984-88) career total of 861 points.
BRINGING `EM BACK
Cal State Fullerton's two wins last week were helped, in large part, by huge second halves from senior Amber Pruitt, who scored 30 of her 32 points on the weekend after the break - including all 18 of her points in the win over UC Irvine.
TITANS SNAP HOME SKIDS
With its wins over UC Irvine and Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton snapped a pair of Titan Gym losing streaks to its long-time local rivals. The Titans downed the Anteaters on Feb. 2 for the first time in nine years, snapping an eight-game losing streak to UCI dating back to Jan. 23, 1997. Two nights later, Fullerton ended its seven-game drought at Titan Gym against the 49ers with a 62-61 win that dated back to a similiar 61-59 victory over Long Beach State on Jan. 22, 1998.
NOW THIS LOOKS FAMILIAR...
The Titans may have something here. After using 14 different lineups in its first 18 games this season, Cal State Fullerton's starting five has had a familiar ring to it as the Titans have used the same starting lineup in each of their last four games, posting a 3-1 record in that span. The quintet of Audrey Taylor, Andrea Adams, Charlee Underwood, Toni Thomas, and Amber Pruitt has also jumpstarted the offense as the Titans are averaging 73 points in those four games - almost seven points better than the opposition - and are shooting .421 from the field compared to .406 for the opponents.
THOMAS' STREAK SNAPPED AT SEVEN
Freshman Toni Thomas had her double-digit scoring streak snapped at seven games on Saturday against Long Beach State, putting an end to the longest such streak by a Titan this season. However, Thomas is putting her name in the record books as one of the best freshmen to ever play at Cal State Fullerton as her 241 points this year ranks 10th among Titan freshman scorers since 1980.
NOW ABOUT THESE ROAD TRIPS...
Just as the yin and yang are in balance, the Titans home successes have been equally balanced by its road woes this season as Fullerton plays its next three games away from the friendly confines of Titan Gym, posting a combined record of 22-21 at those venues.
The Titans are 0-11 away from home (including neutral site games) in 2005-06 and has lost its last 12 games away from home dating back to the first round of the Big West Tournament last season. Fullerton is averaging just 63.2 points this season in front of hostile crowds while allowing just under 78 points per contest and being outrebounded by an average of almost nine boards per contest.
However not all seems to be lost on the road as Charlee Underwood, Toni Thomas, and Amber Pruitt are all averaging double figures away from home. Pruitt and Thomas lead the way at 12.3 ppg with Underwood averaging 11.8 ppg.
Cal State Fullerton's woes in the win-loss column haven't been due to a lack of scoring. The Titans' trio of senior Amber Pruitt, junior Charlee Underwood, and freshman Toni Thomas all rank in the top nine in the Big West Conference in scoring and in the top 15 in rebounding as well as a host of other categories. Underwood is fifth in the Big West in scoring at 12.7 points per game and 10th in the league at 5.7 rebounds per game. Pruitt is seventh in the league in scoring at 12.1 ppg and seventh in rebounding at 6.2 rpg while Thomas is ninth in scoring (11.5) and 10th in rebounding (5.9).
FOUR SCORERS AND FOUR WINS AGO
The Titans improved to 4-1 overall this season when they have at least four players score in double figures, thanks to the offensive quartet of Amber Pruitt (18 points), Toni Thomas (17 pts.), Audrey Taylor (10 pts.) and Charlee Underwood (10 pts.) and their performances on Thursday against UC Irvine. Fullerton has also posted wins over Montana State, Cal State Northridge and Pacific under those circumstances.
EIGHT IS GREAT, BUT 80 IS BETTER
If one is the loneliest number, then 80 must be the winningest. Cal State Fullerton reached the 80-point plateau for the third time this season on Thursday in its first-ever meeting with Utah Valley State, downing the Wolverines, 84-63, to up the Titans' home winning streak to six games. In fact, the Titans, who have also reached 80 or more points in wins over Montana State and Cal State Northridge this season, have won their last 12 straight games in which they have scored at least 80 points dating back to a 97-80 road loss to UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 23, 1997.
Pruitt, whose scoring exploits have been discussed earlier in this release, also ranks 10th in career free throws made (213), 5th in free throw percentage (.732), and tied for 10th in career blocks (33). Her 535 rebounds are also 10th on the all-time list - just one short of ninth place.
Underwood is 19th on the all-time scoring chart with 860 career points and a season-plus to play in her collegiate career. She is fifth in career three-pointers made (93) and ranks sixth in career attempts (291). Her .320 career three-point percentage is eighth all-time.
Andrea Adams is also one of the most prolific three-point shooters in school history, ranking eighth in three-pointers made (85), seventh in three-pointers attempted (272), and eighth in three-point percentages (.313). poll was identical from both groups with Long Beach second followed in order by Cal Stae Northride, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, Fullerton, Cal Poly and Pacific.