Feb. 17, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP OFF: The roller coaster ride of a conference season enters its final stretch this week as the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (11-14 overall, 6-6 in the Big West) hits the road for a pair of contests. The Titans, who play four of their final five regular season games away from home, closes out non-conference play on Wednesday (Feb. 17) at 7 p.m. at Cal State Bakersfield before resuming Big West Conference play on Saturday (Feb. 20) at 2 p.m. at UC Santa Barbara.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Both of this week's contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran Titan broadcaster Patrick Alog will have the play-by-play live from the Icardo Center and The Thunderdome. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the all-new 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 FullertonTitans.com.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Bakersfield leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 2-1, including a 90-76 win at Titan Gym last season... the Titans' only win in the series came in 2008 with a 77-75 victory in Bakersfield after the Roadrunners had taken the first-ever meeting between the two schools with a 69-61 victory in 2006 in Fullerton... UC Santa Barbara leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 41-22, having won 34 consecutive meetings between the two schools, including a 60-59 win in double-overtime at Titan Gym on Jan. 23... the Titans are 8-19 overall on UCSB's home floor.
SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: Cal State Bakersfield enters the week with a 15-9 overall record, having won its last five straight contests and eight of its last nine... the Roadrunners haven't played since a 78-72 overtime win over UC Irvine on Feb. 6... CSUB is 7-3 against the Big West Conference this season, posting wins over UC Irvine (twice), Cal Poly, Long Beach State, Pacific, Cal State Northridge, and UC Riverside while falling to Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis... Katie Williams leads the team offensively, averaging 19.3 ppg and 6.9 rpg while shooting over 43 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three-point range... Phynique Allen is also in double figures, averaging 16.2 ppg and shooting just under 46 percent from the floor... Bakersfield is averaging 76.1 ppg and shooting .412 from the field while opponents are averaging 71.6 ppg and .430 from the floor.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an 8-16 overall mark and a 5-7 record in Big West play for sixth place - one game behind the Titans in the standings... the Gauchos have lost their last three straight games, falling to UC Riverside (60-54 in overtime) and Long Beach State (65-62) last week... Emilie Johnson and Mekia Valentine lead the team offensively, averaging 12.9 ppg while Meagan Williams is also in double figures with 10.6 ppg... Valentine leads the team, shooting .594 from the field to go with 85 blocks... Johnson is the team's top three-point threat, making 45 trey's this season and also leads the team with 42 steals... UCSB is averaging 58.1 ppg and shooting .418 from the field while the defense is holding opponents to 61.5 ppg and shooting .371 from the floor.
TITANS RAISE THE BAR: Cal State Fullerton's win over UC Irvine last week gave the Titans 11 wins overall and six conference triumphs in 2009-10, surpassing last year's totals in both categories (10-20 overall, 5-11 in conference play). The 11 regular season wins are the most since Fullerton finished with 14 regular season victories en route to a 16-16 overall mark in 2006-07 and the six conference wins are the most since the Titans finished 8-8 in 2007-08.
DOUBLE UP: Fullerton's 11 wins thus far this season continue a run that has seen the Titans post double-digit victories in each of the last five seasons - the longest since Cal State Fullerton accomplished the feat in 12 consecutive years from 1980-92.
FOSTER AMONG THE BEST: With 11 wins in her first season at the helm of the Titans' program, first-year head coach Marcia Foster has posted the most victories for a rookie women's basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton since Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah's arrival in 1985-86 when the Titans finished 11-18 overall.
IT'S A BUMPY ROAD: With four of its final five regular season contests scheduled to be played on its opponents' home floor, Cal State Fullerton will have to work out some bumps in its game as the Titans have struggled away from home in 2009-10. Fullerton is just 3-8 in true road contests this season (compared to a 7-5 mark at home) and 1-4 in Big West Conference play, averaging just 67.6 ppg and shooting .357 from the floor while allowing opponents to score 75.8 ppg and shoot .443 from the field in those 11 contests. The Titans have lost their last four straight on the road, going without a victory since a come-from-behind win over Long Beach State on Jan. 7.
CLOSE SHAVES: Cal State Fullerton's two-point win over UC Irvine last week marked its eighth game decided by three points or fewer, improving the Titans' record to 3-5 in those contests. In all, 16 of Fullerton's 25 contests have been decided by nine points or fewer, including nine of the team's 14 losses. Eight of the Titans' last nine losses have been by single digits (two of those decided in overtime), including a pair of two-point losses and a one-point defeat.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A POINT MAKES: Cal State Fullerton reached the 70-point mark for the 11th time this season in its win over UC Irvine - the most since the Titans had 12 such contests in 2006-07 en route to a 16-16 overall record. It has been a magic number once again for Fullerton this season, which is 8-3 this season when scoring at least 70 points compared to just 3-10 when scoring 69 points or fewer.
GREAT SCOTT!!!: Scott's triple-double has only been a small part of the past three weeks for the Titans as the senior has stepped up her game to help lead the offense. Over the last six contests, Scott is averaging 14.2 ppg and grabbing 8.7 rpg while shooting .409 from the field, .389 from three-point range, and hitting 24-of-34 (.706) from the line. The run includes a career-high 26 points against Seattle and 23 more against Cal State Northridge while setting career-bests of 16 rebounds and 11 assists as part of her triple-double against Long Beach State.
SPARK: Junior Ashley Richie came off the bench to provide a spark for the Titans' offense last week, scoring a season-high 17 points and tying a season best with seven rebounds against UC Irvine then following that up with 12 points against Cal State Northridge to average 14.5 ppg and shoot .522 (12-of-23) from the floor for the week. Richie, who has reached double figures only seven times this season, has scored 10-or-more points three times in her last four games, averaging 10.0 ppg and shooting .425 (17-for-40) from the field in that stretch.
SUPER SOPH: Sophomore Megan Richardson continues to build on her spectacular freshman season in 2009-10, surpassing her point total from a season ago with 370 points (she scored 329 as a freshman) and averaging nearly five points more than her rookie campaign when she averaged 11.0 ppg (she is averaging 14.8 ppg this season - good for third in the league). Her 699 career points rank third among active Titans behind only Lauren Chow's 738 career points and Jasmine Scott's 702 points.
AS GOES MEGAN, SO GO THE TITANS: It seems that opponents have figured out a way to slow down the Titans - slow down high-scoring Megan Richardson. Fullerton is an up-and-down 3-3 in its last six games and, in the Titans' last three losses to UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and Cal State Northridge, Richardson has been held to eight points or fewer in each of those contests, averaging just 7.3 ppg and shooting just .259 (7-of-27) from the field. In the three wins, however, against Seattle, Long Beach State, and UC Irvine, Richardson has hit the jackpot, averaging 20.0 ppg and shooting .404 (19-of-47) from the field.
MY-OH-MYA... WHAT A START: Since first moving into the starting lineup on Jan. 4, freshman Mya Olivier has provided some punch down low for the Titans, averaging 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting better than 55 percent (26-for-47) from the floor. She has scored double figures three times in her 11 starts, including notching her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in a double-overtime battle with UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 23 at Titan Gym. Over her last three contests, she has hit double figures twice, averaging 9.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg while shooting .714 (10-of-14) from the field.
"CHARITY" GROVE: Our apologies to The Doobie Brothers, but we had to tweak the title a bit. Junior Lyndsey Grove is putting together one of the finest free throw shooting performances in Big West Conference history, entering the week shooting 86 percent (98-for-114) from the line to rank second in the Big West behind only UC Davis' Heidi Heintz (.865). Grove's performance at the line this season ranks No. 30 in the NCAA and tops in the school record books, besting Toni Thomas' single-season record of .854 set last season and standing as the eighth-best mark in league history.
MINUTE WOMEN: Cal State Fullerton has used only three starting lineups this season, but three of those five have proven to be constants as senior Jasmine Scott, junior Lyndsey Grove, and sophomore Megan Richardson are the only three players to have started all 25 games. Richardson has played in a team-high 801 minutes and ranks ninth in the Big West in minutes played with 32.04 mpg. Grove has appeared in 795 minutes and stands 10th overall in the league with 31.80 mpg while Scott is just outside the top 10 with 775 minutes played and 31.0 mpg.
THE FEW, THE PROUD: Senior Jasmine Scott's triple-double against Long Beach State on Feb. 4 puts her in select company as one of only 23 players in the nation this season to accomplish the feat. Louella Tomlinson (6-foot-4) of Saint Mary's and Brittney Griner (6-foot-8) of Baylor lead the nation with three apiece.
DIGGING A HOLE: Fullerton could not overcome a halftime deficit last week against Cal State Northridge, dropping an eight-point decision to the Matadors and falling to 1-12 overall this season when trailing at the half, losing its last five straight. That's compared to a 10-2 mark when the Titans lead at the break this year.
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 68.2 ppg (No. 83 in the NCAA) bouyed by 11 games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15. Fullerton's 1,704 points thus far are second only to league-leading Cal Poly's 1,714 points this season.
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 .752 on the year - 25 points better than second-place UC Davis (.727). Junior Lyndsey Grove is second in the conference while sophomore Megan Richardson is seventh in the Big West at .795 (89-for-112). On a national level, the Titans stand No. 21 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Illinois State's nation-leading 80.9 percent.
IN THE LEAD: Should Cal State Fullerton keep up its prowess at the free throw line this season the Titans will lead the league from the stripe for the second straight year and the third time in the last four seasons. Fullerton shot .771 as a team in 2008-09 to lead the league and .724 from the line in 2006-07 to stand as the Big West's best. The Titans have led the league in free throw percentage only two other times since 1983-84, shooting .725 in 1990-91 and .714 in 1994-95.
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 15.5 turnovers per game to rank No. 36 in the nation in that category and first in the Big West Conference. The 387 turnovers overall are the fewest in the league entering the week, Fullerton's +3.12 turnover margin (No. 43 in the NCAA) is second in the conference (UC Davis +4.50), and the Titans' 465 turnovers forced are fourth-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 rank atop the league entering the week with 383 offensive rebounds and leads the league averaging 15.32 offensive rebounds per game. Individually, juniors Jenna Breite (5th - 2.40 per game), freshman Mya Olivier (6th - 2.38), Lyndsey Grove (9th - 2.04), and Jasmine Scott (10th - 2.00) lead the way as Fullerton is the only school with four players listed among the league's top 10 on the offensive boards.
TAKING THEIR SWINGS: The Titans' have not been cheated out of their shot attempts this season, averaging a Big West-high 63.44 field goal attempts per game and standing out as one of only two schools to average more than 60 attempts per game entering this week's contests (Pacific, 60.04). 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 51 shots in the remaining 23 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 eight times.