Big West Stretch Run Opens on the Road as Titans Head to UC Irvine, Long Beach State
Feb. 14, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - The final road swing of the 2007 Big West Conference season kicks off this week as the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (12-12 overall, 6-4 in the Big West) heads to traditional rivals UC Irvine on Thursday (Feb. 15) and Long Beach State on Saturday (Feb. 17). Thursday's game against the Anteaters tips-off at 7 p.m. from the Bren Events Center while the weekend contest against the 49ers tips at 4 p.m. from the Walter Pyramid.
This weekend's contest can be heard live over the Internet by visiting Cal State Fullerton's official athletic website at www.FullertonTitans.com and clicking on the graphic with the microphone on the right-hand side of the page.
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.
UC IRVINE: The Anteaters own a 28-24 advantage in the all-time series with the Titans, but Fullerton has won the last two meetings, including a 76-62 win over UCI at Titan Gym back on Jan. 20... Cal State Fullerton is just 9-16 on the road against UC Irvine, having lost the last two at the Bren Events Center... LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers lead the all-time series against the Titans 56-25 with Fullerton winning the last two - including a 68-57 win over Long Beach State on Jan. 18 at Titan Gym... Fullerton is just 7-27 at the Walter Pyramid all-time, having lost the last three games dating back to the 2003 season.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine enters the week with a 6-19 overall record and a 3-8 mark in Big West Conference play - good for sixth place and 6 1/2 games behind league-leading UC Riverside in the standings... The Anteaters have lost their last three straight games by an average of 10 points per game and and six of their last seven... Angie Ned (14.1 ppg) and Stephanie Duda (12.8 ppg) are both averaging double figures overall this season while Annie Mai is averaging 11.4 ppg in Big West games in 2006-07.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS
Long Beach State enters the week 5-20 overall and 2-9 in the Big West - good for a seventh-place tie with Pacific in this week's standings... the 49ers host UC Riverside on Thursday before welcoming Cal State Fullerton to the Walter Pyramid... Long Beach State has lost its last four games since a one-point win over UC Irvine on Jan. 27 and seven of its last eight... Karina Figueroa leads the offense at 15.4 ppg - good for fourth in the league in scoring.
Fullerton's win over Cal State Northridge brought the Titans to the .500 mark for the first time since the beginning of the year after a win over San Jose State and a loss at Iowa State. Fullerton hasn't been .500 this late in the season since the 1994-95 team was 10-10 on Feb. 12 of that year.
FULLERTON SURPASSES WIN TOTAL
Cal State Fullerton's 12th victory of the year on Saturday night over Cal State Northridge surpassed the Titans' win total for all of last year and gave them the most wins in a season since the 1994-95 team finished 14-15 overall.
BACK-TO-BACK 10-WIN SEASONS
With their victory over UC Davis on Jan. 27, Cal State Fullerton reached double-digit victories for the second straight season. It is the first time since the 1996-97 (10-16 overall) and 1997-98 (10-17 overall) seasons that the Titans have been able to accomplish that feat. The 22 combined wins over the past two seasons are the most in a two-year span for Fullerton are the most since the Titans won 36 from 1990-92 (25-8 overall and 11-17 overall).
BREAK OUT THE BROOMS?
For the second consecutive season, Cal State Fullerton has swept home games from traditional rivals Long Beach State and UC Irvine after going seven years without a win over either team at Titan Gym. Not to be caught looking ahead, but Fullerton has never swept the 49ers and Anteaters in their four regular season meetings, coming the closest in 1990-91 with a 3-1 record, losing at Long Beach State. The last time the Titans swept Long Beach State during the regular season was in 1997-98 while Fullerton last swept the season series from UCI in 1991-92.
UNDERWOOD DOUBLES UP
Charlee Underwood notched her second consecutive double-double with her 24-point, 10-rebound effort in a win over Cal State Northridge, marking the fourth time in the last five games she has notched a double-double. She is averaging 17.0 ppg and 12.8 rpg in those four games while shooting .475 (28-for-59) from the floor.
MORE UNDERWOOD IN THE RECORD BOOKS
After Thursday night's win over Pacific, Charlee Underwood placed her name in a couple more career categories in the Titans' record book. She ranks No. 9 all-time in field goals made, No. 7 in attempts, and stands ninth in rebounding. Among single-season leaders, her 46 three-pointers made (aside from being a career-high) rank sixth while her 128 attempts are tied for sixth.
Sophomore Toni Thomas extended her double-digit scoring streak to a season-long 13 consecutive games with her 12-point, 12-rebound effort against Cal State Northridge. Thomas, who has scored in double figures in every game but one this season (at San Diego on Dec. 16), is averaging 17.1 ppg and 8.8 rpg in that span while shooting just under 45 percent (80-for-178) from the floor and 82 percent (56-for-68) from the free throw line.
THOMAS STILL LEAGUE'S BEST
Sophomore Toni Thomas remains atop the Big West scoring race at 17.5 points per game entering Saturday's game - besting second-place Kemie Nkele of UC Riverside by 1.5 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 (17.2 ppg) over the Titans' seven 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 532 points for the year - which would rank 10th on the season list.
PACE YOURSELF... IT'S A LONG SEASON
Charlee Underwood played in all 40 minutes of the Titans' win over Pacific - marking the fifth time that the Fullerton senior has not seen the bench in a game this season. Underwood, who also played all 40 minutes against Northern Colorado (12/9), Pacific (1/6), UC Irvine (1/20), and UC Davis (1/27), is second on the team with 777 minutes played and is tied with Toni Thomas at 33.8 minutes per game. Going the distance hasn't hurt her statistically, though, as she is averaging 16.0 ppg and 10.6 rpg in those games while shooting .479 (34-for-71) from the field.
The Titans are singing a happy tune this season when they have a "quartet" of players scoring in double figures as they did Saturday night against Cal State Northridge. Fullerton remained perfect at 5-0 this season when they have four players score 10-or-more points.
`Cause you shouldn't. With her 15 points against Pacific on Feb. 8, sophomore Toni Thomas became the first Titan to reach 400 points in a single-season since Shayla Bradshaw scored 487 points in 1995-96.
DISHING IT OUT
Many teams are thankful to have a talented point guard in the backcourt, directing the team's success one pass at a time. This season, the Titans have been blessed to have two basketball-saavy passers in the backcourt as Audrey Taylor and India McDaniel have done an excellent job "quarterbacking" Fullerton's offense this season. McDaniel (93 assists) is second in the Big West at 4.04 apg while Taylor (91 assists) ranks third in the league at 3.79 apg. The duo is a combined 16 assists away from becoming the first Titan guard tandem to each reach 100 assists since Marissa Frial and Shayla Bradshaw dished out 173 and 121 assists, respectively.
After going just 1-9 when trailing at the half through 10 games this season, the Titans pulled a 180 this past weekend in Titan Gym, rebounding from a five-point halftime deficit against Pacific and a one-point, 32-31, margin against Cal State Northridge.
Cal State Fullerton improved to 7-2 this season when it has a player tally a double-double thanks to its victory over Cal State Northridge on Saturday night. The Titans also had two double-doubles in the same game for the first time this year.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Titans claimed their ninth win at Titan Gym this season on Saturday night against Cal State Northridge, marking the second straight year that Fullerton has won at least nine games at home. Should the Titans triumph in their final home game of the year on March 1 versus UC Davis, Fullerton could win 10 games at home for the first time since the 1990-91 team went 12-1 at Titan Gym en route to the NCAA Tournament.
TITANS REACH 80 POINTS FOR SECOND TIME
Eight is enough, but 80 is even better. Cal State Fullerton put up 80 points-plus for the second time this season as the Titans defeated Cal State Northridge. The 86 points against the Matadors were just three short of Fullerton's season high of 89 in a win over Colorado on Dec. 7.
STILL NO. 1
Cal State Fullerton continues to sit atop the Big West Conference in free throw shooting at .732 entering this week's games. The Titans have shot better than 70 percent from the line in 14 of the team's 24 games this season (and eight times at 80 percent or better), but are only 8-6 in those games.
NOT NO. 1... BUT REALLY GOOD
Cal State Fullerton enters this week shooting a league-high .732 from the free throw line to rank No. 59 in the NCAA behind Northern Illinois' nation-leading .802 from the charity stripe.
FRIAS SHINES IN STARTING ROLE
Since breaking into the starting lineup almost a month ago, junior Dayana Frias has been a stellar shooter for the Titans, scoring in double figures in four of the six contests and averaging 12.0 ppg in that span - including a career-high 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting against UC Riverside on Feb. 3.
THOMAS STILL AMONG NCAA'S BEST
Thomas continues to rank among the NCAA's best in three different categories, entering the week ranked No. 56 in scoring, No. 98 in free throw shooting (.807), and No. 85 in rebounding. She continues to be the lone player from the Big West ranked among the nation's top 100 scorers, one of three in rebounding, and one of only two (Long Beach State's Karina Figueroa) in free throw percentage.