Feb. 24, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP OFF: With only two weekends remaining in the regular season, the battle for seeding for the upcoming Big West Conference Tournament heats up beginning this weekend. The Titans (12-15 overall, 6-7 in the Big West for a fifth-place tie) have only one game this week, but its a big one both in terms of basketball and emotion as they host first-place Cal Poly on Thursday night (Feb. 25) at 7 p.m. in the final home appearances for Fullerton seniors Toya Fontenot and Jasmine Scott. Pregame "Senior Night" festivites will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: This week's final home game will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran Titan broadcaster Patrick Alog will have the play-by-play live from Titan Gym. 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.
A LOOK AT THE BIG (WEST) PICTURE: Cal State Fullerton currently sits in a fifth-place tie with UC Santa Barbara with identical 6-7 marks, but would be the No. 6 seed had the tournament started this week after the Gauchos swept the season series from the Titans to earn the tiebreaker. Fullerton's first-round opponent (as of press time) would be No. 7 UC Irvine, which stands just a game back of both the Titans and Gauchos, who would face Pacific, which is tied with Cal State Northridge at 2-10, but currently owns the tiebreaker thanks to a 76-70 win in January with one head-to-head meeting remaining. Cal Poly (10-3) leads the league by half a game over UC Davis (9-3) and a full game over UC Riverside (9-4) with Long Beach State (8-5) two games back to round out the top four.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 24-15, but has lost the last two meetings, including a 76-73 overtime loss in San Luis Obispo earlier this year... the Titans have won seven straight against the Mustangs at home dating back to 2003 and are 14-4 overall at Titan Gym against Cal Poly with the location of one game in the series unknown.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS: Cal Poly enters the weekend with a 17-8 overall record and a 10-3 mark in conference play for first place... the Mustangs have won two straight and four of their last five, posting wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge in their last two outings... Cal Poly is 8-0 in conference games at home, but just 2-3 on the road, losing its last such outing at Long Beach State on Feb. 11... the offense runs through Kristina Santiago, who is averaging 19.5 ppg (20.5 ppg in Big West games) and 8.3 rpg while shooting over 55 percent from the field... Rachel Clancy is the only other Mustang in double figures, averaging 11.2 ppg while grabbing 5.4 rpg and shooting .479 from the floor (.457 from three-point range)... Cal Poly averages 72.6 ppg and shoots .452 from the floor while opponents are averaging just 66.4 ppg and shooting .396 from the field.
I'LL TAKE A DOZEN, PLEASE: Fullerton's win over Cal State Bakersfield last week gave the Titans 12 victories on the year - the most since they finished 16-16 overall during the 2006-07 season. The six non-conference wins are also the most since that season when Fullerton finished 9-9 in that category.
DOUBLE UP: Fullerton's 12 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 12 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 former Fullerton great Nancy Dunkle coached the Titans to a 16-9 mark in the first of her two seasons as head coach. The mark was set by Hall of Fame Head Coach Billie Moore, who was 17-1 in her first season at the helm of the Titans in 1969-70.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A POINT MAKES: Cal State Fullerton reached the 70-point mark for the 12th time this season in its win over Cal State Bakersfield - 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 9-3 this season when scoring at least 70 points compared to just 3-11 when scoring 69 points or fewer.
UP, DOWN, AND ALL AROUND: Cal State Fullerton's roller coaster ride to the end of its season continued last weekend with a 1-1 weekend against Cal State Bakersfield and UC Santa Barbara. The Titans have alternated wins and losses over its last eight contests, averaging 66.9 ppg (to the opponents' 66.4 ppg) and shooting .376 from the floor (to the opposition's .396). In the four wins, Fullerton is averaging 78.0 ppg and outscoring opponents by 8.5 ppg while shooting .431 from the floor. In the four losses, however, the Titans are averaging just 55.8 ppg and are being outscored by 7.4 ppg while shooting just .317 from the field.
OLIVIER DOUBLES UP AGAIN: Freshman Mya Olivier netted the second double-double of her career against Cal State Bakersfield last week, scoring 14 points and grabbing 14 rebounds (six on the offensive end) in the Titans' victory, falling just one point of her career high in scoring (15 vs. Sacramento State) and setting a new career-best on the boards. Olivier was 7-of-10 from the field - the second-best shooting night of her brief career, standing behind only her 7-of-8 night against Sacramento State en route to her career-high night.
SPONSORED BY IN-N-OUT: With Olivier's double-double, the Titans improved to 3-1 this season when accomplishing that feat and is 4-1 this year when you include Jasmine Scott's triple-double against Long Beach State on Feb. 4.
TWO FOR 20: In Fullerton's win over Cal State Bakersfield, sophomore Megan Richardson (28) and senior Jasmine Scott (22) reached the 20-point plateau in the same game for the second time this season, almost matching the effort against Seattle University on Jan. 27 when Scott went for 26 points and Richardson added 21 points in the win against the Redhawks.
LIGHTS OUT: Cal State Fullerton shot just under 51 percent from the floor in its road victory over Cal State Bakersfield, setting a season high at .508 (33-for-65) and posting its best shooting performance since the Titans hit .512 (22-for-43) at UC Riverside on Jan. 23, 2008.
CLOSE SHAVES: Cal State Fullerton's two-point win over UC Irvine on Feb. 10 at Titan Gym 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 27 contests have been decided by nine points or fewer, including nine of the team's 15 losses. Eight of the Titans' last 10 losses have been by single digits (two of those decided in overtime), including a pair of two-point losses and a one-point defeat.
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 7.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting just under 57 percent (37-for-65) from the floor. She has scored double figures five times in her 13 starts, including a pair of double-doubles. Over her last five contests, she has hit double figures four times, averaging 10.6 ppg (third on the team) and 6.6 rpg while shooting .656 (21-of-32) from the field.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: Cal State Fullerton is 12-8 this season when it has three or more players reach double figures, including a perfect 7-0 mark when the Titans have four (or more) score at least 10 points. However, when Fullerton's offense is held in check and only two or fewer players reach double figures, the Titans have yet to win again, going 0-7 in those contests this season.
IT'S A BUMPY ROAD: With two of its final three 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 4-9 in true road contests this season (compared to a 7-5 mark at home) and 1-5 in Big West play, averaging just 66.5 ppg and shooting .359 from the floor while allowing opponents to score 73.1 ppg and shoot .432 from the field in those 13 contests. The Titans have lost four of their last five on the road, snapping a four-game skid with their win over Bakersfield last week.
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 411 points (she scored 329 as a freshman) - the most points for a Titan in a single-season since Toni Thomas finished with 512 points as a junior in 2007-08. Richardson is averaging better than five points more than her rookie campaign when she averaged 11.0 ppg (she is averaging 15.2 ppg this season - good for third in the league) while her 740 career points are the most among active Titans.
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 4-4 in its last eight games and, in the Titans' last three losses to UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, and UC Santa Barbara, Richardson has been held to 8.8 ppg in those contests and shooting just .289 (13-of-45) from the field. In the four wins, however, against Seattle, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, and Cal State Bakersfield, Richardson has hit the jackpot, averaging 22.0 ppg and shooting .468 (29-of-62) 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. 26 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.
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 UC Santa Barbara, dropping an 12-point decision to the Gauchos and falling to 1-13 overall this season when trailing at the half, losing its last six straight. That's compared to an 11-2 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 third in the league in scoring offense at 67.6 ppg (No. 94 in the NCAA) bouyed by 12 games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15. Fullerton's 1,825 points thus far are the most in the league, ahead of second-place Cal Poly (1,814) by 11 points.
POINTS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Fullerton's 1,825 points this season mark the fifth consecutive year that the Titans have scored more than 1,800 as a team after going seven consecutive seasons under that mark. Fullerton is only 51 points away from matching last year's total (1,876) and will need 258 more points this season to match the 2006-07 squad which scored 2,083 points. Fullerton has topped 2,000 points in a season only eight times in 40-plus seasons, setting a school record with 2,455 points in 1990-91.
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 .748 on the year - 10 points better than second-place UC Davis (.738). Junior Lyndsey Grove is second in the conference while sophomore Megan Richardson is fifth in the Big West at .805 (95-for-118). On a national level, the Titans stand No. 27 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Illinois State's nation-leading 81.2 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 a school-record .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. 35 in the nation in that category and first in the Big West Conference. The 419 turnovers overall are the fewest in the league entering the week, Fullerton's +3.07 turnover margin (No. 44 in the NCAA) is second in the conference (UC Davis +4.48), and the Titans' 502 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 418 offensive rebounds and leads the league averaging 15.50 offensive rebounds per game. Individually, freshman Mya Olivier (5th - 2.5 pg), junior Jenna Breite (6th - 2.3 pg), senior Jasmine Scott (t10th - 1.9 pg) and junior Lyndsey Grove (t10th - 1.9 pg) 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 63.74 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, 60.42). 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 27 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 nine times.