Stretch Run Opens in Long Beach; Titans Host UCR

Feb. 20, 2008

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FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (8-16 overall, 6-6 in the Big West Conference) looks to snap out of its recent slump this weekend as the Titans travel to Long Beach State on Thursday (Feb. 21) for a 7 p.m. contest to close out a stretch of three consecutive road games. Fullerton then returns home on Saturday (Feb. 23) for a 5 p.m. tip-off against UC Riverside prior to the men's ESPNU Bracketbuster game against Portland State at 7:30 p.m.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Audio for both of this week's games will be broadcast over the Internet via Cal State Fullerton's official athletics website at FullertonTitans.com. Todd Reeves will handle the call at Long Beach while Mike Martinez will have both ends of Saturday's doubleheader.

CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?: Live video streaming for all home games and all Big West Conference contests will be available on a subscription basis by logging on to the league's website at www.bigwest.org/tv.

SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton trails in the all-time series with Long Beach State, 57-26, but defeated the 49ers, 75-66, earlier this year at Titan Gym... The Titans are 6-29 all-time in Long Beach... Fullerton has won three of the last five in the series (all at home), splitting its two league contests with Long Beach State in each of the last two years... The Titans are 17-13 all-time against UC Riverside, snapping a two-game losing streak in the series thanks to their 62-54 win in Riverside earlier this year... Fullerton is 8-5 all-time against UCR at home, last winning on Jan. 14, 2006 (68-62).

A LOOK AT THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the week with a 5-18 overall record and a 3-8 mark in Big West play for seventh place... the 49ers have lost their last two straight and five of their last six following losses to UC Riverside (67-39) and Cal State Bakersfield (65-62)... Karina Figueroa, who missed eight games due to injury, leads the team in scoring at 12.0 ppg in 15 starts... Courtney Jacob is the team's top rebounder at 5.8 rpg and leads the team with 12 blocks on the year.

A LOOK AT THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside enters the week with an 11-11 overall record, but an 8-2 mark in Big West play for second place by percentage points over UC Davis - just 2 1/2 games behind UC Santa Barbara for the conference lead... UCR has won its last four straight and nine of their last 11 with losses to only the Titans and Gauchos interrupting a perfect run... UCR has played much of the season without 2007 Player of the Year Kemie Nkele due to injury... the trio of Seyram Gbewonyo (13.6 ppg), Brittany Waddell (10.5 ppg), and Tainoisouti Lott (10.0 ppg) have shouldered the load offensively... Roney Friend is the team's leading rebounder at 6.9 rpg while Lott ranks right behind her at 6.6 rpg... Waddell, Lott, and Friend have all been defensive down low with 10-or-more blocks apiece.

BIG WEST TOURNEY PICTURE: Cal State Fullerton stands in a tie for fifth place in the Big West standings with Pacific, just one game behind Cal Poly in the loss column in a three-team race for the coveted fourth-place spot and a first-round bye in the Big West Tournament. Fullerton seems to have an easier run down the stretch as three of the Titans final four games are against teams behind them in the standings (Long Beach State, UC Irvine, and Cal State Northridge).

THOMAS DOUBLES UP AGAIN: Junior Toni Thomas tallied her second double-double of the season last week in the Titans' OT loss to Pacific, scoring 20 points and grabbing 16 boards in the extra time defeat. It was the ninth time she has scored 20 points or more this season and she matched her season high for rebounds - coming up just one short of her career best set as a freshman at Pacific almost two years ago to the day.

TOYA TERRIFIC: Sophomore Montoya Fontenot had her best game of the season against UC Davis on Feb. 16, scoring a career-high seven points and grabbing a career-best six rebounds in a career-high 17 minutes. The seven points were as many as she had scored in the team's last eight games combined and the most since she had four points in the win over Cal Poly on Feb. 9.

"0" FOR "OT": Cal State Fullerton lost its second overtime game of the season last Thursday with both losses coming by a combined five points after the team held a halftime lead. The Titans have lost their last three straight overtime games dating back to an 84-76 extra-time win over Cal Poly at home on Jan. 2, 2003, and are 4-9 all time in OT.

THOMAS PASSES 1,300: Toni Thomas became only the eighth player in school history to reach 1,300 career points and now stands just 66 points back of Charlee Underwood (2003-07) for seventh place on the school's all-time scoring list. Of those eight players, Thomas is one of only three players in the history of the program to reach 1,300 career points in three seasons, joining Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (1,446 points after her junior year) and Nancy Ratliff (1,580 points after her junior season).

TOO CLOSE: The four-point loss to Pacific marked the eighth loss this season by 10 points or fewer and the fifth of four points or less.

DON'T FOUL HER: Thomas ranks fourth in the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.787), free throws made (118), and free throws attempted (150). If her season ended today, her percentage would rank eighth on the school's single-season chart while the makes would be just two shy and the attempts 17 short of their respective top 10 lists.

CHOW SETS FRESHMAN MARK: Cal State Fullerton rookie guard Lauren Chow has etched her name into the record books, setting a new school rookie records for three-pointers made (60) and attempted (169), breaking Charlee Underwood's previous marks of 43 and 131, respectively, set during the 2003-04 season.

IN THE NCAA: Individually, junior Toni Thomas ranks No. 71 in nation in scoring and No. 100 in field goal percentage... freshman Lauren Chow ranks No. 86 in three-point percentage and No. 36 in three-pointers made per game... as a team, the Titans rank in the top 100 in steals per game (No. 93) at 9.46 spg.

DISHIN' WITH DAY: Junior guard Daviyonne Weathersby set a career high with seven assists against Pacific and averaged 6.0 apg last week against the Tigers and UC Davis, helping propel her into second place in the Big West Conference with 3.58 apg - just .02 behind league-leading Amy VanHollebeke from Pacific. Weathersby has had five or more assists in a game seven times this season (five of those coming in the last seven games) and is averaging 5.25 apg over her last four contests.

ALSO DISHING IT OUT...: Freshman Lauren Chow stands just three assists behind her teammate overall this season, averaging 3.46 apg to stand sixth in the league. Chow has had eight games of five assists or more and is averaging 3.8 apg over her last five games. Chow gives the Titans two players ranked among the league's best in assists - one of just three schools to have two guards ranked in the top 10 (UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly are the others).

WINDEX WOMEN: For the first 16 games of the year, Cal State Fullerton just could not find a way to keep the other team off the boards, being outrebounded in each game. However, it seems the tables have turned as the Titans have found a way to grab more boards than the opposition in six of their last eight games, posting a 5-3 mark in those contests. Fullerton outrebounded both Pacific and UC Davis last week, but the Titans suffered their first losses of the year when they outrebounded an opponent after winning their first four dating back to the win at UC Riverside on Jan. 23.

ROOM AND BOARD(S): Forward Toni Thomas moved into seventh place on the school's all-time rebounding list with 636, passing Charlee Underwood (2003-07) this past weekend in Northern California. Thomas, the ninth player in school history to reach 600 rebounds in a career, needs 40 more to tie Amy Torczon (1984-88) for sixth place on the school's all-time list. Other members of the "600 club" include: Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (1,162), Terri Withers (805), Nancy Dunkle (749), Erin Whiteside (729), Meg Gallagher (702), and Heather Hansen (612).

SCORING RACE DOWN TO THE WIRE: With only four games remaining in the regular season, Fullerton's Toni Thomas continues to hold the top spot in the Big West Conference scoring race, leading UC Davis' Jessica Campbell by just 1.8 points per game (16.8-15.0 ppg) entering this week's games. Should Thomas repeat as the conference's scoring champion in 2008, she would become only the fourth player in league history to lead the conference in scoring in back-to-back seasons and the first since Idaho's Emily Faurholt accomplished the feat in 2004-05. Other Big West players to do so: Long Beach State's Cindy Brown (1986-87) and Hawaii's Judy Mosley (1989-90).

SHOOTER!!!: Opposing defenses better start getting a hand in Lauren Chow's face when the freshman pulls up to shoot. Chow ranks second in the league in three-point percentage (.355) entering this week's games and continues to lead the league in three-pointers made per game (2.50 pg) and three-pointers made overall (60).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: With the Big West Conference season winding down, freshman guard Lauren Chow continues to make a stellar case for league freshman of the year honors. The Titans' rookie ranks 10th in the Big West Conference in scoring and is one of only two underclassmen (the other being her teammate Ashley Richie) to rank among the league's top 15 scorers this week. She also stands among the league's best in assists (6th), three-point percentage (2nd), three-pointers made (1st), and assist-to-turnover ratio (4th). Her .878 free throw percentage would also lead the league, but she does not meet the league minimum for attempts to qualify.

STOLEN PROPERTY: Cal State Fullerton's defense is averaging 10.0 spg over its last five contests and ranks second in the Big West Conference with 9.46 spg this season. Both Daviyonne Weathersby (2.00 spg) and Ashley Richie (1.67 spg) rank among the league's top 10 thieves while Lauren Chow (1.63 spg) ranks just outside the top 10.

RICHIE TEARING UP THE BIG WEST: Freshman Ashley Richie has found Big West defenses to her liking, ranking sixth in the league in scoring at 13.8 ppg through 12 games - reaching double figures in nine of those contests. She also ranks seventh in field goal percentage (.458) and fifth in minutes played (32.08 mpg).

ROAD WOES CONTINUE: Fullerton fell to 3-11 overall (2-4 in Big West play) away from the friendly confines of Titan Gym with last week's losses, falling in four of its last six games, compared to the Titans' 5-5 mark at home and 4-2 in league games. Fullerton is shooting five points better at home (.384) and averaging almost six points more per game on offense (66.9) in Titan Gym compared to the .379 shooting percentage and 61.5 ppg on the road.