Titans Tip-Off 2011-12 Season at Sac State
Nov. 8, 2011
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP-OFF: The 43rd varsity season of women's basketball at Cal State Fullerton officially gets underway this weekend as the Titans head north to the State capital for a Veterans Day clash with Sacramento State on Friday evening (Nov. 11) at 5 p.m. at the Hornets' Nest.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: For our Arizona fans, the game time for the Titans' contest at Northern Arizona on Dec. 4 has been moved to 1:05 p.m. PST.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Vimeo.com (vimeo.com/fullertontitans). In addition, the women's basketball team has established its own official Facebook fan page, just search for Cal State Fullerton Women's Basketball.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, select Cal State Fullerton women's basketball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of FullertonTitans.com.
I SEE YOU: For the sixth consecutive season, live streaming video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home regular season contests and selected road games will be available (on a subscription basis) live over the Internet courtesy the Big West TV platform. For a monthly 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 visit www.BigWest.org/TV or access the video player at www.fansonly.com/schools/bigw/allaccess/index.html.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: For the third consecutive season, Cal State Fullerton men's and women's basketball will feature live stats via CBS College Sports' Gametracker interface for all of the Titans' home games as well as select road contests. Links will be available on both the men's and women's basketball schedule pages at FullertonTitans.com.
TITANS HOLD OFF BIOLA FOR EXHIBITION WIN: Cal State Fullerton sophomore Alex Thomas finished with a game-high 18 points to lead two teammates in double figures and the host Titans overcame a rough shooting night to post a 59-50 exhibition victory over visiting Biola. Thomas hit 5-of-13 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line in the win while freshman Tailer Butler came off the bench to post 11 points and senior Megan Richardson added 10 more in the victory. Adijat Adams led the Eagles with a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds while Chelsea Hill led Biola with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor. Trailing by five points midway through the second half, Fullerton exploded for a 13-2 run over the next four minutes to build a six-point lead, but the result was still in doubt as the Titans struggled from the field in the period, hitting just 6-of-28 (.214) after the break. Fullerton finished 7-for-8 from the line over the final five minutes of the contest to offset 2-for-5 from the field in the same stretch, but it was enough to hold off the Eagles, who got no closer than five points with 2:32 remaining in the contest.
SACRAMENTO STATE BRIEFLY: The Hornets return two starters and eight letter winners overall from last season's squad that finished 4-25 overall and 1-15 in the Big Sky Conference for ninth place... Sacramento State blasted visiting Dominican University, 121-56, in an exhibition on Nov. 7 in its only preseason tuneup... junior forward Kylie Kuhns, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds against Dominican, leads the returners under third-year head coach Jamie Craighead, after averaging 15.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last season to rank among the nation's best on the boards... she is part of a formidible front line for the Hornets which includes 6-foot-2 center Natasha Torgerson (6.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and 6-foot-4 sophomore transfer Megan Kritscher, who averaged 1.4 ppg and 1.2 rpg in 2009-10 at UC Santa Barbara... senior wing Emily Christensen also returns after suffering a season-ending injury in last year's season opener, averaging 14.1 ppg and 6.9 rpg as a true junior two years ago.
SERIES NOTES: Cal State Fullerton is 6-1 all-time against Sacramento State, having won the last two with the Hornets, including a 100-74 victory at home last season... the Titans' only loss in the series came in 1997 by a 79-75 score at Titan Gym in the closest result of the seven-game series... Cal State Fullerton has never lost to Sacramento State on the Hornets' home floor (3-0), last posting a 90-68 win in 2009.
FOR OPENERS: Cal State Fullerton is 25-17 overall in regular season openers dating back to the 1969-70 season, having won three of the last five, but looking to bounce back after dropping an 80-70 decision at Eastern Washington last season... the Titans are just 11-11 when opening the season on the road (compared to 14-6 at home) and have lost seven of their last nine such openers... Fullerton has opened the season against Sacramento State once in the history of the two programs, downing the Hornets, 71-63, in Sacramento to start the 1996-97 campaign.
DOUBLE-DIGIT DOMINATION: You know the old saying, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes?" We'd like to add a third -- senior Megan Richardson and double digit points. The Titans spectacular scoring guard has reached double digits in points in 65 of her 92 career games (71 percent), including 19 career 20-point contests and a 33-point effort against Cal Poly on Jan. 13, 2011. She is one of only three active Fullerton players with at least 10 career double-digit games (Lauren Chow and Mya Olivier) and is one of two active Titans who have reached 20 points in their collegiate careers (Chow).
THOMAS BRILLIANT IN EXHIBITION WIN: Alex Thomas' 18-point outburst against Biola would have set a career high in scoring for the sophomore had the stats counted, surpassing her previous best of 11 points set at Pacific on Jan. 2, 2011. Hopefully its a sign of things to come for Thomas, who appeared in all 30 games for the Titans last season (including 12 starts) and reached double figures in scoring only twice against the Tigers and Long Beach State on Jan. 19 (10 points).
THE BUTLER DID IT: Freshman Tailer Butler (Los Angeles, CA/Narbonne HS) had herself a nice debut for the Titans in their exhibition against Biola, coming off the bench to hit 4-of-7 from the floor (including a trio of three-pointers) to finish with 11 points in 26 minutes. Two of her buckets were huge against the Eagles as a jumper in the first half tied the game at 15 after Fullerton had fallen behind by eight points in the early going and she later hit a three-pointer to cap a 9-2 run with just over eight minutes to play that gave the Titans the lead for good.
NO NAP FOR THIS "KAT": Another freshman also made a big impact in her first appearance with the Titans as Kathleen Iwuoha (Rancho Cucamonga, CA/Rancho Cucamonga HS) made her presence felt on the boards. Iwuoha matched sophomore Jasmine Grayson for the team lead with eight rebounds, including a game-high six on the defensive glass, to go along with three points and a game-high four steals in 28 minutes.
TITANS TABBED FIFTH IN BIG WEST MEDIA POLL: The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the 2011-12 Big West Conference race according to a vote of league media members released by the conference office on Oct. 19. The Titans received 107 points to finish just ahead of Orange County rival UC Irvine, which was sixth with 91 points. Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara each received 11 first-place votes, but the Mustangs finished atop the poll with 200 points overall, just nine points ahead of their Central Coast neighbors. UC Davis, which received two first-place nods, and UC Riverside round out the top four with 169 and 120 points, respectively. Cal State Northridge (73 points) in seventh, Pacific (66 points) in eighth, and Long Beach State (63 points) in ninth finish out the poll.
SO, HOW `BOUT THOSE TITANS?: Cal State Fullerton returns three starters and seven letter winners overall from last season's squad that finished 9-21 overall and 5-11 in the Big West Conference for a seventh-place tie. The Titans were the No. 8 seed in last year's conference tournament, falling to Cal Poly, 73-70, in San Luis Obispo in the first round - snapping a streak of four-straight seasons of advancing to at least the second round of the league tournament. Fullerton returns three of its top four scorers from a season ago, led by senior Megan Richardson, who averaged 14.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game en route to her second-straight All-Big West First-Team honor. Sophomore Mya Olivier (7.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, .450 FG%) returns after missing all but eight games due to a season-ending knee injury as does senior guard Lauren Chow, who averaged 7.1 points and 1.9 rebounds while pacing the team with 98 assists.
RICHARDSON EARNS PRESEASON HONORS: Senior guard Megan Richardson was one of six players voted to the league's preseason all-conference team for the second consecutive season, joining other Big West standouts Abby Bloetscher and Kristina Santiago from Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge's Jasmine Erving, UC Riverside's Tre'Shonti Nottingham, and UC Santa Barbara's Emilie Johnson. Richardson, who was also selected as an alternate to represent the United States on this fall's Pan American Games team, tied for third in the league in scoring, ninth in the league in assists (3.00 apg), fourth in free throw percentage (.837), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0), and fifth in minutes (32.0 mpg) a season ago.
AN HONOR, INDEED: Richardson's first-team nod in 2011 makes her just the fourth Titan in school history to earn a pair of All-Big West First-Team honors in a career, joining Genia Miller (first-team selection from 1988-91), Claudette Jackson (1990-92), and Toni Thomas (2006-08).
BY THE NUMBERS: Cal State Fullerton returns just 53 percent of its 1,958 points scored, 40 percent of its rebounds, 52 percent of its field goals made, 54 percent of its three-pointers made, 57 percent of its free throws made, 69 percent of its assists, and 56 percent of its steals from a season ago. What does that all mean? We don't know, but numbers are fun.
MILLENIUM WATCH - Lauren Chow: The Titans' redshirt senior is just 49 points away from becoming the 21st player in school history to reach 1,000 career points, entering the 2011-12 campaign with 951 career points. Last season, Megan Richardson and Lyndsey Grove both reached the milestone with standout games against UC Irvine (Jan. 5) and Long Beach State (Jan. 29), respectively. As Chow looks to climb the scoring ladder, she has her sights set on Joey Ray, who ranks 20th on the list with 1,004 career points from 1988-92.
SPEAKING OF POINTS: Richardson needs just two points to pass Marlene Kline (1979-83) for 10th place on the school's all-time scoring list, but would need to nearly double her current career total to match Genia Miller's career record of 2,415 points. Richardson's 1,258 career points are the most for a Titan since Toni Thomas finished with 1,786 career points in 2009.
IRON WOMEN: Chow stands four games away and Richardson is nine games away from playing in 100 career contests -- something only 33 players in the history of the program has accomplished. Last season, Ashley Richie set the all-time record with 122 career games while teammate Lyndsey Grove was right behind her, finishing her career with 119 appearances to both break Genia Miller's previous record of 118 games that had stood since 1991.
THAT'S FRESH: Half of Cal State Fullerton's roster this season will have never stepped on the floor at the Division I level as the Titans welcome seven freshmen to the roster in 2011-12 -- the highest total since the 2009-10 squad featured the same number in a class that included current Titans Mya Olivier, Alicya Crisp, and Lauren Bushong.
TOURNEY TESTED: The Titans will face a schedule loaded with postseason participants in 2011-12 as they will face three (with a fourth possible depending out the outcome in Dallas during Thanksgiving weekend) NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago (Arizona State, Gonzaga, and Big West rival UC Davis) as well as five WNIT teams from 2011 in Nevada, Pepperdine, Cal Poly, UC Riverside, and UC Santa Barbara.
CONFERENCE CALL: Along with their requisite slate of eight home-and-home contests against their Big West Conference bretheren, the Titans will take on a diverse schedule that features four West Coast Conference opponents (Pepperdine, LMU, Gonzaga, and San Francisco), two -- perhaps three -- from the WAC (Nevada, Fresno State, and San Jose State), two from the Big Sky (Sacramento State and Northern Arizona), one from Conference USA (SMU), as well as Division I Independent Cal State Bakersfield. Fullerton may also face an Ohio Valley Conference school in Tennessee State depending on how things shake out at SMU's Thanksgiving Tournament in Dallas.
THE ROAD MOST TRAVELLED: Including this weekend's exhibition, the Titans will play three of their first four games within the friendly confines of Titan Gym. That home court advantage won't last for very long, however, as fans will be hard-pressed to catch Fullerton live locally before the end of the year. Following their game against LMU on Nov. 21, the Titans will compete eight of their next 10 on the road save for home contests against national power Gonzaga (Dec. 2) and Nevada (Dec. 10). The road has been unkind to Fullerton as of late as the Titans were just 3-14 in true road contests last season, having lost their last six straight dating back to a 77-65 win at Long Beach State on Jan. 19.
YOU CAN'T TEACH TALL: This year's Titan squad could be one of the longest in recent memory, featuring six players listed at six-feet or taller -- the tallest Fullerton squad since the 2007-08 squad listed seven players taller than six-foot.
THE STREAK CONTINUES: We know we're tempting fate here, but senior Megan Richardson is on a streak. Richardson enters the 2011-12 season having made her last 22 consecutive free throws dating back to last season, not missing since the second half of the Titans' contest at UC Riverside on Feb. 5, 2011. The Manhattan Beach native shot .837 from the line as a junior last season -- the third-best single-season performance in school history -- and, if her career ended today, her mark of .819 (258-for-315) over the last three seasons would be the program's second-highest mark behind only Lyndsey Grove's school-record .828 (256-for-309) performance from the line from 2007-11.