March 9, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP-OFF: The road to the NCAA Tournament for the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (14-16 overall, 8-8 in the Big West Conference) makes its annual trek to the Anaheim Convention Center this week as the No. 6-seeded Titans open play in the 2010 Big West Conference women's basketball tournament in Anaheim, Calif. Fullerton will take on seventh-seeded UC Irvine in the tournament's first session on Wednesday (March 10) at approximately 2:30 p.m. or 20 minutes following the finish of the first game of the day, No. 5 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 8 Pacific.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: All of Cal State Fullerton's games from the Big West Conference Tournament will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Just as he has all season, Patrick Alog will have the play-by-play live from the Anaheim Convention Center. Click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the newly-redesigned FullertonTitans.com to access the links.
I SEE YOU: For the fourth consecutive season, video for every game of the 2010 Big West Conference women's basketball tournament will be streamed live over the Internet (on a subscription basis) thanks to Big West TV. Watch as the conference's best try to punch their tickets for the NCAA Tournament. For more information, please log on to www.BigWest.org/TV. The women's championship game on Saturday will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net-Prime Ticket. Check your local listings for channel information.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Every game from the Anaheim Convention Center will also feature live in-game statistics via CBS College Sports' Gametracker interface. Links for Cal State Fullerton's games will be available on the women's basketball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com or you can visit the Big West's tournament page at http://www.bigwest.org/sports/wbball/info/champs.asp.
TOURNEY AT-A-GLANCE: UC Davis clinched the Big West regular season title and the tournament's top seed after finishing the year with a 20-9 overall record and a 12-4 mark in conference play to finish a game ahead of Cal Poly (18-10, 11-5) and UC Riverside (14-15, 11-5)... the Mustangs are the No. 2 seed and join the Aggies with a double-bye into the semifinals... the Highlanders are the No. 3 seed and join No. 4 Long Beach State as the two teams with a bye into the quarterfinals.
TITANS AT THE TOURNEY: Cal State Fullerton will be making its ninth consecutive appearance in the Big West Conference Tournament and its 20th overall berth since the 1985-86 season. The Titans are 13-20 (.394) in the conference tournament, having won at least one game in each of the last three seasons and gaining the semifinal round twice in that span. This will be head coach Marcia Foster's first appearance in the Big West Tournament at the helm of a program, making three trips as an assistant/associate head coach at Cal Poly from 1999-2002 and six times as an assistant with the Titans. Fullerton is 1-2 all-time against Long Beach State in tournament play, 1-6 against UC Santa Barbara, 1-2 against UC Riverside, 2-1 against Pacific, 1-1 against Cal State Northridge, and 2-2 against UC Irvine.
"HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH?": Despite the Anaheim Convention Center's close proximity to Disneyland, being right across the street from the "Happiest Place on Earth" has not benefitted the Titans very much in recent seasons as Fullerton is just 6-9 (.400) in Big West Tournament games played at the arena. It will be the Titans' last chance tomake a good impression at the Anaheim Convention Center as the Big West Tournament bids adieu and moves to the Honda Center down the street beginning in 2011.
SO, WE MEET AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR THE LAST TIME: It's déjà vu all over again for the Titans at the Big West Tournament as they will open with UC Irvine for the second consecutive season in Anaheim. Fullerton, which defeated the Anteaters 61-43 in last year's tournament opener, has met UCI in the Big West Tournament three other times, defeating the Anteaters in the first round, 48-47, in 1988, falling to UC Irvine, 73-66, in the first round in 1994, and losing out to UCI, 69-67, in the 1995 semifinals.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters tournament play with a 9-20 overall record and a 6-10 mark in Big West play to earn the seventh seed... the Anteaters are on a two-game losing streak after falling to UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly in the final weekend of the regular season and have lost six of their last seven since defeating Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 30 at the Bren Center... first-team All-Big West Conference selection Mikah Maly-Karros leads the offense, averaging 19.6 ppg and 11.2 rpg while shooting .415 from the field... all-conference honorable mention choice Jade Smith-Williams and Rebecca Maessen are also in double figures, averaging 12.9 ppg and 10.5 ppg, respectively... Jazmyne White was named the Big West Freshman of the Year, ranking third in the conference in rebounding (6.8 rpg), fourth in offensive rebounds (2.55 pg), and ninth in steals (1.52 spg)... UCI has committed 640 fouls this season and ranks 329th out of 332 teams in personal fouls per game (22.1 pg)... the Anteaters are averaging 63.2 ppg (5th in the Big West) and shooting .375 from the field as a team (7th in the Big West) while allowing opponents to score 69.3 ppg (7th in the Big West) and shoot .426 from the floor (8th in the Big West).
THE SERIES: Despite previously published reports (stupid typos), the series between Orange County rivals is deadlocked at 30-30 after Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine split the regular season series in 2010 with each team winning on its home floor... the Titans have won eight of the last 10 in the series dating back to the 2005-06 season, including six consecutive victories from 2006-08... all four neutral site meetings have come at the Big West Conference Tournament, with that series also deadlocked at 2-2.
DON'T GET CAUGHT LOOKING AHEAD: The players and coaches won't do it, so we'll do it for them. A Fullerton victory over UC Irvine in the opener coupled with a win by No. 5-seeded UC Santa Barbara will set the Titans up for a quarterfinal match-up with No. 3 UC Riverside (14-15, 11-5) on Thursday at noon. Cal State Fullerton and UCR split the regular season series, 1-1, with each team winning at home. A win and a loss by the Gauchos to No. 8 Pacific will pit the Titans against fourth-seeded Long Beach State (13-16, 9-7) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., a team Fullerton swept in the regular season. A quarterfinal win in either of those games sets the Titans up against either No. 1 UC Davis (20-9, 12-4) or No. 2 Cal Poly (18-10, 11-5) - a pair of teams Fullerton split the regular season series with in 2010.
RICHARDSON NAMED FIRST-TEAM ALL-BIG WEST: Sophomore Megan Richardson's stand-out second season in a Titan uniform has netted the Manhattan Beach native a spot on the All-Big West Conference First Team the league announced prior to the start of the conference tournament. Richardson, who was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team a season ago, was named to the first team for the first time in her career after averaging 15.4 ppg (third in the league) while making a team-high 40 three-pointers and shooting just under 82 percent from the line.
GREAT.... SCOTT!!!: Not to be confused with another note in this release under the same name, senior Jasmine Scott also earned her first career all-conference honor on Monday, named to the All-Big West Honorable Mention Team after a breakout senior season. Scott, who had never averaged better than 6.7 ppg in her previous three seasons, finished the regular season third on the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg while joining her teammate, Megan Richardson, as the only two Titans to start all 30 games this season. Her 5.5 rebounds per game are second-best on the squad entering this week's contests while she led the team with three double-doubles on the year - including only the fourth triple-double in school history against Long Beach State on Feb. 4 (11 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists).
OLIVIER NAMED ONE OF BIG WEST'S TOP ROOKIES: Not to be outdone in her rookie season, Cal State Fullerton freshman Mya Olivier was named to the Big West Conference's All-Freshman Team after averaging five points and five rebounds per game while shooting just under 51 percent from the floor. After starting the season coming off the bench, Olivier muscled her way into the starting lineup near the beginning of the conference season, averaging 5.8 ppg and 5.3 rpg in Big West games and shooting 53 percent from the field.
IT'S BECOMING A HABIT HERE: Olivier's inclusion on the league's all-freshman team continues a tradition of sorts for the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball program as the Titans have had a representative on the all-freshman squad in each of the last three seasons and has had eight players so honored since 2000, joining such standouts as Tamara Quinn (2001), Andrea Adams (2003), Charlee Underwood (2004), Toni Thomas (2006), Lauren Chow (2008), Ashley Richie (2008), and Megan Richardson (2009). In all, Fullerton has had 15 rookies named to the league's all-freshman team since the conference began the list following the 1986-87 season, standing second only to perennial conference powerhouse UC Santa Barbara, which has had 21 freshman honored on the team.
TITANS HIT THE "MM"ARK: Cal State Fullerton's final two regular season offensive performances pushed it over the 2,000-point mark for only the ninth time in 40-plus seasons and the first since scoring 2,083 points in 2006-07. With 72 more points, the Titans will post the most points in a single-season since the 1994-95 squad (2,158), but will need some help catching the 1990-91 Fullerton team that set a school record with 2,455 points en route to the NCAA Tournament. At their current average of 67.1 ppg, the Titans will need seven games of at least that many points per contest to break the school record which equates to a Cinderella-esque run into the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
WINDEX WOMEN: Speaking of school records, the Titans have cleaned up on the boards this season to the tune of (what is believed to be) a school-record 464 offensive rebounds and is just 28 defensive rebounds shy of breaking the school mark in that category. The previous highs were/are 432 offensive boards in 1990-91 and 737 defensive rebounds in 2006-07. However, complete rebounding breakdowns are unavailable prior to the 1986-87 season.
NOTHING IS FREE: Cal State Fullerton enters this week's Big West Tournament as the best free throw shooting team in the league. And how do you keep that from hurting you as an opponent? Keep them off the line, of course. The Titans were held to a season-low eight free throw attempts in their loss at UC Davis to finish the regular season, a mark matched only one other time in 2010 with eight attempts in a loss at UC Santa Barbara. Fullerton did the best it could with what it was given, however, making seven of the eight and improve their season percentage to .748 entering the week - bettering second-place Long Beach State (.737) by 11 points.
WELCOME BACK, LYNDSEY: After enduring one of the most frustrating offensive stretches of her Fullerton career to this point, junior Lyndsey Grove found a groove against UC Davis in the Titans' regular season finale, leading the team with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor in their loss to the Aggies. It ended a stretch of five games that saw the Placentia native shoot just .142 (5-of-35) from the field and average just 2.6 ppg after starting the season hitting double figures in 21 of the team's first 24 games, including a pair of 20-point outings against Oregon (20 points) and Tulsa (a career-high 24 points).
"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 85 percent (102-for-120) from the line to rank second in the Big West behind only UC Davis' Heidi Heintz (.854). Grove's performance at the line this season ranks No. 33 in the NCAA and is second in the school record books, just behind Toni Thomas' single-season record of .854 set last season.
SOMEBODY ATE HER WHEATIES: Sophomore Megan Richardson ranks seventh in the Big West entering the league's postseason tournament, averging a team-high 32.33 minutes per game, while two teammates - Lyndsey Grove (31.0) and Jasmine Scott (31.0) - rank just outside the top 10. Richardson's cardio work on the court this season is a rare occurrence in recent years as her minutes are the most for a Titan player in a season since Charlee Underwood averaged 34.2 mpg (and, for that matter, Toni Thomas averaged 33.2 mpg) during the 2006-07 season.
A DIRTY DOZEN... AND TWO MORE FOR GOOD MEASURE: Cal State Fullerton clinched its 14th win of the season last weekend at Pacific, giving the Titans their most wins in a season since they finished 16-16 overall in 2006-07. The six non-conference wins are also the most since that year when Fullerton finished 7-8 in that category. The 14 wins this season continued a run that has seen the Titans post double-digit wins in each of the last five seasons - the longest since Fullerton accomplished the feat in 12 consecutive years from 1980-92.
FOSTER AMONG THE BEST: With 14 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.
EVEN STEVEN: Last weekend's split in Northern California gave the Titans an 8-8 mark in Big West Conference play to close out the 2009-10 season ¬- its fourth .500 finish in the last five seasons.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A POINT MAKES: Cal State Fullerton has reached the 70-point mark 13 times this season - the most since the Titans had 14 such contests in 2005-06 en route to a 11-17 overall record. It has been a magic number once again for Fullerton this season, which is 10-3 this season when scoring at least 70 points compared to just 4-13 when scoring 69 points or fewer.
LET'S GO HALVSIES: Leading at the break has been a good omen for the Titans this season as they are 13-3 overall this year when leading after the first half, but just 1-14 when they trail at the break. Fullerton's only win when they've trailed at halftime this season was a come-from-behind 67-60 victory over Long Beach State on Jan. 7 at the Walter Pyramid.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: Cal State Fullerton is 13-8 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 are a meager 1-8 in those contests with their only win against Cal Poly on Feb. 25 when Megan Richardson and Jasmine Scott finished with 19 and 13 points, respectively, en route to the win.
SPONSORED BY IN-N-OUT: It's what a basketball victory is all about. Cal State Fullerton is 4-1 overall this season when the Titans have a player post a double-double and are even better at 5-1 when you include Jasmine Scott's triple-double against Long Beach State on Feb. 4. Junior Jenna Breite (11 points, 10 rebounds vs. Portland State), freshman Mya Olivier (10 points, 11 rebounds vs. UC Santa Barbara and 14 points, 14 rebounds at Cal State Bakersfield), and Jasmine Scott (26 points, 12 rebounds vs. Seattle; 11 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists vs. Long Beach State; and 10 points and 11 rebounds against Pacific) have all accomplished the feat for the Titans this season.
HOME, SWEET HOME: Cal State Fullerton concluded the home portion of its schedule with an 8-5 mark at Titan Gym - the most home victories since the Titans finished 10-4 in 2006-07. Fullerton is 38-27 (.585) at home over the last five years, posting a .500 record or better at Titan Gym in four of those seasons.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Or at least by scoring the most points. Sophomore Megan Richardson has led the Titans in scoring in 17 of the team's 30 games this season with Fullerton finishing 11-6 in those contests. Only three other players have finished atop the scoring ledger for the Titans this season, but none with the same kind of success with leading the team to victory: Lyndsey Grove (8 games, 1-7 record), Jasmine Scott (4 games, 2-2), and Britt Peters (1 game, 0-1).
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 462 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 15.4 ppg this season - good for third in the league) while her 791 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. In its 14 victories this season, Fullerton has seen Richardson averaging 18.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting better than 43 percent from the floor, 41 percent from three-point range and over 88 percent from the line. However, in the 16 losses, Richardson drops to just 12.5 ppg and 3.1 rpg while shooting .314 from the floor, .232 from long distance, and (despite the inability to defense a free throw) just .733 from the line.
SHE CAN REBOUND, TOO: Aside from the scoring exploits that have made her so successful this season, Richardson can also hit the boards when needed, grabbing a career-high nine rebounds (and narrowly missing her first career double-double) to go with her 18 points in the Titans' win over Pacific on March 4. Richardson, who has led the team in rebounding three times this season, is fifth on the team at 3.7 rpg and has grabbed six or more rebounds six times this season.
UP, DOWN, AND ALL AROUND: Probably not the way the Titans wanted to carry momentum into the Big West Tournament, but a roller-coaster finish to the 2009-10 regular season had the Titans hitting their fair share of highs and lows. Fullerton, which won back-to-back games exactly once in its final 11 games en route to a 6-5 finish in those contests, averaged 74.5 ppg (to the opponents' 66.2 ppg) and shot .407 from the field (to the opponent's .376) in its six victories - which included four wins over conference opponents and five offensive performances of 70 points or more. In the team's five losses during that stretch, however, the Titans averaged just 55.0 ppg (to the opponent's 66.6 ppg) and shot .319 from the field (as compared to the opposition's .406 from the floor) while scoring no more than 65 points in those five contests.
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, 18 of Fullerton's 30 contests have been decided by nine points or fewer, including nine of the team's 16 losses. Eight of the Titans' last 11 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 6.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting just over 51 percent (38-for-74) from the floor. She has scored double figures five times in her 16 starts, including a pair of double-doubles. Over her last eight contests, she has hit double figures four times, averaging 7.1 ppg (fourth on the team) and 5.6 rpg while shooting .537 (22-of-41) from the field.
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 67.1 ppg (No. 94 in the NCAA) bouyed by 13 games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15. Fullerton's 1,895 points thus far are tied for the second-most in the league, trailing first-place Cal Poly (1,947) by 52 points.
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 week at .748 on the year - 11 points better than second-place Long Beach State (.737). Junior Lyndsey Grove (.850) is second in the conference while sophomore Megan Richardson is fifth in the Big West at .813 (104-for-128). On a national level, the Titans stand No. 27 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Drexel's nation-leading 80.6 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.
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 24 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.
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 15.8 turnovers per game to rank No. 51 in the nation in that category and first in the Big West Conference. The 474 turnovers overall are the fewest in the league entering the week, Fullerton's +2.50 turnover margin (No. 53 in the NCAA) is second in the conference (UC Davis +4.93), and the Titans' 549 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 464 offensive rebounds and leads the league averaging 15.47 offensive rebounds per game. Individually, freshman Mya Olivier (5th - 2.38 pg), junior Jenna Breite (7th - 2.28 pg), Jasmine Scott (t10th - 1.87 pg), and Lyndsey Grove (t10th - 1.87 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 63.60 field goal attempts per game and standing out as one of only three schools to average more than 60 attempts per game entering this week's contests (Pacific at 60.79 and Cal Poly at 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 28 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. The Titans' 1,908 field goal attempts are just 190 shy of the school record set in 1980-81 and are easily the most in the Big West this season, besting second place Pacific by 206 attempts.