Feb. 18, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - A light week is ahead for the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (7-16 overall, 4-8 in the Big West Conference for sixth place) as the Titans travel to Cal State Northridge for their only game this week. Saturday's game from The Matadome on the Northridge campus is scheduled to tip-off at 4 p.m.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: This week's contest will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Patrick Alog will have the call live for this week's contest from The Matadome.
I SEE YOU: For the third consecutive season, video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home women's basketball games and selected road contests will be streamed live over the Internet (on a subscription basis) thanks to Big West TV. For a monthly subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95, fans can catch all the exclusive action from Titan Gym and points beyond. For more information, please log on to www.BigWest.org/TV.
SCOUTING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the week with a 5-18 overall record and a 2-8 mark in Big West Conference play - holding on to the precious eighth and final spot for March's Big West Conference Tournament... The Matadors have lost five straight contests dating back to their six-point win at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 21 - their only road victory of the year thus far in 12 chances (14 if you include a pair of neutral site games)... Whitney Ligon leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.5 ppg and standing as the lone Northridge player in double figures... Four of the Matadors' five wins have come at home, but they are just 1-3 in league play on their home court.
THE SERIES: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal State Northridge, 31-6... the Matadors snapped a five-game losing streak to the Titans with their 87-82 shootout win earlier this season, winning for only the third time in 16 chances at Titan Gym... Fullerton is 16-2 all-time in Northridge, winning two straight and six of the last seven... the Titans posted a 55-45 win over the Matadors in Northridge last season.
TOURNAMENT PICTURE: The Titans currently sit in sixth place in the race for one of the top eight spots for the Big West Conference Tournament, standing just one game back of UC Davis, a half a game ahead of seventh-place Long Beach State (which would be Fullerton's opponent in the opening round if the season ended today), and two full games ahead of this week's opponent - Cal State Northridge.
ANOTHER FAB FROSH??: If Cal State Fullerton freshman Megan Richardson keeps this up, she might just be. Richardson reached double digits for the third straight game (and 11th time overall this season) with her game-high 13 points against UC Davis last weekend, putting her 13th on the conference's scoring chart at 10.4 ppg entering this week's game. Should she be voted the Big West Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches, Richardson, the only freshman to rank among the league's top 15 scorers, would become the third Titan in the last four years to earn the Big West's top rookie honor, joining Toni Thomas (2005-06) and Lauren Chow (2007-08).
MORE ON MIGHTY MEGAN: Richardson has reached double figures in eight of the Titans' last 10 games, averaging 13.1 ppg in that stretch, including her first two career 20-point games against Pacific (21) and Cal State Bakersfield (a career-high 22 points) and is shooting .382 (47-for-123) from the field in that stretch, including a team-high .382 (13-for-34) from three-point range and a fairly accurate .857 (24-for-28) from the free throw line.
"AND THOMAS WITH THE REBOUND...": Broadcasters have said that a lot over the past month as Toni Thomas has been a monster on the boards for the Titans. The senior forward has either led or co-led Cal State Fullerton in rebounding in each of the last 10 games, averaging 8.9 rebounds per game in that stretch which included three straight double-doubles against Cal State Northridge, Cal State Bakersfield, and Long Beach State. Thomas enters the week ranked third in the league with 7.5 rpg behind only Long Beach State's Whitney Fields (8.5 rpg) and UC Riverside's Kemie Nkele (7.9 rpg).
JUST A LITTLE "BRITT" MORE: Sophomore guard Britt Peters provided the Titans with a little bit of a spark off the bench this past weekend, matching a season-high with six points and tying a career high with five rebounds against the Aggies while also averaging two steals in 22 minutes. The 11 points scored over the weekend were just one fewer than in her previous nine games combined.
CHASING HISTORY: A bump in the road against UC Davis has senior Toni Thomas sitting just two shy of becoming only the fourth player in the history of the program to score 1,700 career points as she stands at 1,698 points scored entering this week's game. Thomas needs just 33 points to match Robin Holmes (1982-86) for third place on the school's all-time scoring list and 36 more points to tie Shayla Bradshaw (1992-96) for second all-time behind career leader Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (2,415).
FIREWORKS COULD FLY AGAIN: Saturday's game between the Titans and Matadors could see the same kind of shootout that resulted in 169 points in the two teams' first meeting at Titan Gym. Fullerton sports the third best offense in the conference at 63.0 ppg while both the Titans and Northridge rank near the bottom in scoring defense (seventh and ninth, respectively) and field goal percentage defense (ninth and eighth, respectively).
CHOW IN THE RECORD BOOKS AGAIN: Sophomore guard Lauren Chow has staked her claim to yet another Cal State Fullerton record despite having somewhat of an off year following her stellar freshman campaign. Chow, who already holds the school's freshman record for three-pointers made and attempted, is now the best sophomore sharpshooter in Titan history as her 42-for-142 (.296) performance beyond the arc this season set new records for three-pointers made and attempts, breaking Shayla Bradshaw's marks of 35 made and 114 attempted in 1993-94.
MOVIN' ON UP: Chow's three-point exploits also have her moving up the Fullerton career charts are her 119 career three-pointers, 356 attempts, and .334 percentage in 53 career games all rank seventh on their respective charts entering the week. Almost two-thirds of Chow's career field goal attempts have come from beyond the arc (356-of-593) in her brief Titan career.
WIN BIG OR GO HOME: Six of Cal State Fullerton's seven victories this season have come by double digits, including a season-high 27-point victory over UC Irvine on Jan. 3 to ring in the New Year. The lone "blemish" was a three-point victory on the road at San Francisco on Dec. 10, 2008.
TITANS STRUGGLING TO "GO GREEN": Cal State Fullerton continues to try and find ways to harness the power of the sun as Saturday's loss to UC Davis dropped the Titans to 1-10 in "day games" (contests played before 6 p.m.) this season, having lost the last six straight games since a win over UC Irvine on Jan. 3. While averaging almost the same amount scoring-wise from night to day (63.2 ppg to 62.6 ppg, respectively), the Titans are shooting much better "under the lights," shooting .377 (273-for-725) from the floor at night to just .353 during the day (248-for-702), and .286 (53-for-185) from three-point range to .255 (55-for-216) beyond the arc in day games.
BE THE BALL.... NA-NA-NA-NA: Cal State Fullerton shot better than 40 percent for the first time in four games in its streak-busting win over Pacific last week, hitting on 43 percent from the field after shooting no better than 34 percent in its four previous outings. The Titans were so efficient, in fact, that they took 20 fewer shot attempts in the victory over the Tigers than their overall season average of 62 attempts per game.
Lauren Chow - THE GUARD THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: Sophomore Lauren Chow enters the week as one of the league's top playmakers, ranking sixth in the league with 3.17 assists per game and sixth with 73 assists overall this season. She has also done well to take care of the ball herself, ranking fourth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.35 (73 assists to 54 turnovers) - one of only six conference regulars to have more assists than miscues thus far this season.
SULTAN OF STEAL: Keep your eye on the ball or senior Daviyonne Weathersby just might make it disappear. Despite missing three games due to injury, Weathersby continues to rank second in the Big West Conference with 2.26 steals per game and is fourth overall with 43 swipes on the year. She has a steal in every game she has appeared in but one in 2008-09, including a season-high four steals in the season opener against Santa Clara and again against UC Davis last week, all the while averaging 2.55 steals per game over her last 11 contests.
FOR DESSERT?: It's safe to say a basketball turnover probably wouldn't taste very good as a meal-ender, but on the court, it has been a sweet statistic for the Titans. Fullerton's defense has forced its opponents into 490 turnovers on the season (a league best 21.3 per game), turning them into 451 points for the "good gals" - an average of 19.6 ppg. The Titans have forced 20-or-more turnovers in 15 of their 23 contests this season with a pair of 19-turnover games to boot. On the other hand, the Titans have also done a great job of taking care of the ball themselves, committing only 372 turnovers (second fewest in the Big West) and ranking first in the league in turnover margin (+5.13) while notching 230 steals to rank first overall and tops in the league with 10.00 spg.