Cal State Fullerton Closes Out Big West Schedule With Trip Up the Coast
Feb. 21, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - With seeding for the Big West Conference Tournament up for grabs, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (13-13 overall, 7-5 in the Big West) heads up the coast for its final league contests of the season this weekend. The Titans travel to Santa Barbara to take on the Gauchos on Thursday (Feb. 22) at 7 p.m. before closing out their Big West slate at Cal Poly on Saturday (Feb. 24) for a 4 p.m. tip off.
This weekend's contests can be heard live over the Internet by visiting Cal Poly's (www.gopoly.com) official athletics website. The UCSB broadcast is available only to UCSB All-Access Pass holders.
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 SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos own a 26-game winning streak against the Titans dating back to the second round of the 1994-95 Big West Conference Tournament - a 97-86 victory on March 8... UCSB leads the all-time series 33-22, including a narrow 73-71 victory at Titan Gym on Dec. 30, 2006, earlier this year... The Titans are just 7-16 against the Gauchos in Santa Barbara... CAL POLY: Cal State Fullerton leads the all time series with the Mustangs by a 22-11 count dating back to the 1969-70 season... The Titans prevailed earlier this year, 64-49, to open up Big West Conference play at Titan Gym... Fullerton, which is 12-4 all-time against Cal Poly at home, is just 7-7 against the Mustangs in San Luis Obispo... The Titans have won five of the last seven meetings with the Mustangs overall.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with a 14-11 overall record and stands in second place in the Big West by a half a game over Cal State Northridge, trailing leader UC Riverside by three games. The Gauchos had won three in a row until a three-point loss to Cal Poly on Saturday (Feb. 17) in front of the hometown crowd. Junior Jenna Green is coming off a 29-point effort against the Mustangs and leads the team with 16.4 ppg and 7.3 rpg this season. Two other UCSB players are also averaging double figures as Green is joined by Jessica Wilson (13.3 ppg) and Chisa Ononiwu (12.7 ppg) in that group. UC Santa Barbara features the league's second-best offense at 69.0 ppg and also ranks second in field goal percentage (.420) and three-point percentage (.329).
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS
Cal Poly has played its way into the thick of things for a first-round bye for the Big West Tournament, winning their last six in a row and leading the Titans by percentage points for fourth place with two fewer conference games played. The Mustangs are 11-12 overall and 6-4 in conference play, defeating travel partner UC Santa Barbara, 71-68, on Saturday. Reigning Big West Player of the Week, Jessica Eggleston, leads the team in scoring at 13.8 ppg while also grabbing a team best 7.7 rpg and is joined in double figures by Megan Harrison, who is averaging 10.7 ppg. The Mustangs rank fourth in the league in scoring defense, allowing 67.5 ppg, and lead the league in steals at 11.39 per game.
With Charlee Underwood's three-game double-double streak snapped on Saturday against Long Beach State, sophomore Toni Thomas stepped right in to keep things going as she notched a pair of double-doubles this past weekend to extend her own streak to three straight games. In that span, Thomas is averaging 15.0 ppg and 10.7 rpg in that span while shooting almost 49 percent (18-for-37) from the floor.
FULLERTON SURPASSES WIN TOTAL
Cal State Fullerton's 12th victory of the year against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 10 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. Fullerton's seventh Big West win against UC Irvine on Thursday (Feb. 15) matches its total from last season (7-7) and is just one shy of helping the Titans match the most conference wins since 2003-04 (8-10).
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 24 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).
CHARLEE MOVES INTO A TIE FOR SEVENTH
Thanks to her 22 points this weekend, senior Charlee Underwood moved into a tie for seventh on Fullerton's all-time scoring list, matching Andrea Thieme's 1,290 points from 1995-99. Underwood will need to pick things up in the final games of the year if she is to reach Meg Gallagher as Underwood needs 132 points to reach sixth place.
Sophomore Toni Thomas extended her double-digit scoring streak to a season-long 15 consecutive games with her efforts against UC Irvine and Long Beach State, standing just one game shy of the 16-game streak with 10-or-more points that ran from Feb. 16, 2006-Dec. 9, 2007. Thomas, who has scored in double figures in every game but one this season (at San Diego on Dec. 16), is averaging 17.0 ppg and 8.9 rpg in that span while shooting just over 45 percent (92-for-204) from the floor and 81 percent (65-for-80) from the free throw line.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN
Underwood is 47-for-141 (.333) this season from three-point range, ranking among single-season leaders in both categories. Her 47 three-pointers made (aside from being a career high) rank sixth all-time - just two short of Joey Ray's 49 made in 1990-91. Her 141 attempts rank fifth on the single-season charts, seven short of Shayla Bradshaw's 148 attempts in 1995-96.
FRIAS ON FIRE
Junior Dayana Frias continues to shoot the lights out since joining the Titans' starting lineup in mid-January, averaging 13.1 ppg and shooting .429 (39-for-91) from the field over the course of her last eight games. She has also seen her playing time jump dramatically as she is averaging 29.2 minutes per contest compared to just over eight minutes per contest through her first 15 games played.
Stats have finally caught up with the junior sharpshooter as Frias, who went 7-for-11 from three-point range this weekend, vaulted to the top of the Big West three-point percentage rankings entering this week's game (Players must average at least one three-point basket made per team game this season to qualify... Frias is averaging 1.04).She leads the team at .415 (27-for-65) and stands ahead of UC Riverside's Kemie Nkele, who is second at .388 (33-for-85).
THOMAS STILL LEAGUE'S BEST
Sophomore Toni Thomas remains atop the Big West scoring race at 17.1 points per game entering Saturday's game - besting second-place Jenna Green of UC Santa Barbara by only 0.7 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 (17.1 ppg) over the Titans' four remaining games (three regular season and at least one game in the Big West Tournament), 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 513 points for the year.
PACE YOURSELF... IT'S A LONG SEASON
Charlee Underwood played in all 40 minutes of the Titans' win over Pacific on Feb. 8 - marking the fifth time that the Fullerton senior has not seen the bench in a game this season. Underwood, who has played 39 minutes twice and 38 minutes three times this season, is second on the team with 848 minutes played and leads the team at 33.9 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.
Fullerton has outrebounded its opponent in six of its last eight contests and nine times overall this season, but Saturday's game at Long Beach State marked the first time that the Titans had been beaten (8-1) when they held the advantage in the rebounds column.
The Titans are singing a happy tune this season when they have a "quartet" of players scoring in double figures as they did Thursday night at UC Irvine. Fullerton remained perfect at 6-0 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 (98 assists) is second in the Big West at 3.92 apg while Taylor (95 assists) ranks fourth in the league at 3.65 apg. The duo is a combined seven 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, during the 1994-95 season.
STILL NO. 1
Cal State Fullerton continues to sit atop the Big West Conference in free throw shooting at .730 entering this week's games. The Titans have shot better than 70 percent from the line in 16 of the team's 16 games this season (and eight times at 80 percent or better), but are only 9-7 in those games.
NOT NO. 1... BUT REALLY GOOD
Cal State Fullerton enters this week shooting a league-high .730 from the free throw line to rank No. 59 in the NCAA behind Wisconsin-Green Bay's nation-leading .812 from the charity stripe.
THOMAS STILL AMONG NCAA'S BEST
Thomas continues to rank among the NCAA's best in two different categories, entering the week ranked No. 64 in scoring and No. 73 in rebounding. She is one of two players from the Big West ranked among the nation's top 100 scorers (Jenna Green - No. 91) and one of four in rebounding.
Cal State Fullerton improved to 8-3 this season when it has a player tally a double-double thanks to its victory over UC Irvine on Saturday night. The Titans also had two double-doubles in the same game for the second time this year against the Anteaters after Underwood and Thomas accomplished the feat first against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 10.
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.
CHECK THOSE SHOES FOR SPRINGS
Senior Charlee Underwood grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds in the Titans' win over UC Irvine on Jan. 20, coming close to matching the single-game school record of 23 shared by three former Titans that has stood since 1980. Underwood's 19 rebounds were the most in a game for a Fullerton player since Erin Whiteside grabbed 21 boards in a win over San Jose State on Jan. 2, 2000.
BIG WEST'S BEST 1-2 PUNCH
Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas (17.1 ppg) and Charlee Underwood (14.6 ppg) each rank among the league's top 10 scorers - making them the best 1-2 offensive punch in the Big West, 71 points better than the UC Irvine duo of Angie Ned and Stephanie Duda (738 points, 14.6 and 12.7 ppg, respectively). Thomas and Underwood have combined to score 809 points (31.7 ppg) and has accounted for 48 percent of the team's points this season.