Nov. 9, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - Coming off a pair of exhibition victories, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team now turns its focus to the start of the 2007-08 regular season which opens this weekend in Orem, Utah, as the Titans travel to face Utah Valley State on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 10) at 2:05 p.m. PST.
Saturday will mark the season opener for Cal State Fullerton, which embarks on its 39th varsity campaign.
CATCH THE GAME: Gametracker livestats will be available for Saturday's game in Utah. Fans can access the link by visiting the women's basketball schedule page and clicking on the Gametracker logo on the right-hand side. Live free audio, with a possible video link, will also be available by visiting UVSC's website at http://wolverinegreen.cstv.com/multimedia/utva-multimedia.html.
SERIES RECORDS: The Titans and the Wolverines have met only once before, an 84-63 victory for Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 26, 2006, at Titan Gym. In that game, then freshman Toni Thomas scored a then career-best 27 points and was joined by Andrea Adams (18 points) and Charlee Underwood (15 points) in double figures.
IN THE BEEHIVE STATE: Cal State Fullerton is 4-5 all-time in games played in the state of Utah, posting a 2-1 record against former conference rival Utah State, 1-1 against BYU, and 0-1 against both Southern Utah and the University of Utah. The Titans also defeated UNLV in Provo, Utah, on Jan. 7, 1977, and fell to Arizona State in Provo on Dec. 28, 1985 - both as part of the BYU Cougar Classic. Fullerton is 13-7 all-time against schools from the "Beehive State."
ABOUT THE WOLVERINES: Utah Valley State officially opens its 2007-08 regular season on Friday (Nov. 9) as the Wolverines take on Mesa State. UVSC won its only exhibition contest of the year, defeating Eastern Oregon, 85-59, behind a 20-point outing by junior guard Sandy Marvin. Robyn Fairbanks added 17 points and was joined in double figures by Julie McMurray (14) and Lauren Smith (10). The Wolverines return 13 letterwinners and four starters off last season's squad that finished 15-13 overall.
FOR OPENERS: Cal State Fullerton is 23-15 all-time in season openers dating back to the 1969-70 season, but is just 10-9 when opening the year away from home where the Titans are 12-5. Fullerton is 0-1 when opening at a neutral site and the location of one game (vs. Arizona State in 1977-78) is unknown. The Titans will open the season on the road for the fourth straight year, posting a 1-2 record in their three previous road openers.
EXHIBITIONS KIND TO THOMAS: Junior forward Toni Thomas had an excellent pair of performances against Point Loma Nazarene and Cal Poly Pomona in exhibition outings, averaging 20 points and shooting 52 percent (13-for-25) from the field to lead the Titans in scoring in both victories.
IT'S NOT SO BAD: Despite losing almost 60 percent of their scoring from last season's team, the Titans' may not be in such bad shape offensively after all. Fullerton topped the 80-point plateau in each of its exhibition wins - a mark the Titans reached only twice last season in wins over Colorado and Cal State Northridge. A lot had to do with the hot hands of the Fullerton shooters as the Titans shot better than 50 percent in three of the four halves they played - including a 58.6 percent clip in the first half at Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. 6.
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED: Cal State Fullerton will make the transition from one of the eldest, most experienced teams in the nation to one of its youngest as the Titans' roster features seven freshmen and four sophomores for the 2007-08 campaign.
CLOSING ON A MILESTONE: After only two seasons in a Titan uniform, junior forward Toni Thomas has her sights set on becoming one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the program, needing only 86 more points to become the 17th player in Cal State Fullerton history to reach 1,000 career points. In addition to those points, with 39 more rebounds, Thomas will become the 10th player in school history to join the 1,000-point, 500-rebound club.
QUICKLY NOW: Should Thomas reach the 1,000-point milestone this season, she would be one of only nine players to reach the plateau in their first three seasons. Claudette Jackson (1990-92) was the fastest to accomplish the feat in school history, scoring 1,100 points in just two seasons after transferring from Golden West College in nearby Huntington Beach, Calif.
STREAK ON THE LINE: Thomas brings to Utah with her a streak of 21 straight games with double-digit points dating back to Dec. 18, 2006, after having scored 10-or-more points in every game but one (at San Diego) last season. For her career, Thomas has scored in double figures in 50 of her 60 career games, including 16 outings of 20 points or more and 15 double-doubles.
DAY-O: After competing in the shadow of one of the best point guards in the history of the program during her first two years, junior Daviyonne Weathersby finally gets her chance to shine in 2007-08. Weathersby, who has appeared in 39 games and averaged just 6.4 minutes per game over the past two seasons, got off to a stellar start in Fullerton's two exhibitions, dishing out nine assists against Point Loma Nazarene and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field combined.
"CHOW"-ING DOWN: Freshman guard Lauren Chow is making a great impression on the coaches in the early-going, feasting on opposing defenses in the Titans' two exhibitions. Chow averaged 13 points and hit on 62 percent (8-of-13) of her shots in the wins over Point Loma Nazarene and Cal Poly Pomona.
COACHES MEDIA PICK TITANS SIXTH: In a repeat of last year's preseason prognostications, the Titans are picked to finish sixth in the Big West Conference according to a poll of the league's coaches and media during the league's annual media day in Irvine on Oct. 24. Fullerton received 24 points from the coaches to trail Long Beach State, which was picked fifth with 37 points. The media gave the Titans' 43 points to finish behind the 49ers and league newcomer UC Davis, who were picked in a dead heat for fourth place with 53 points. Defending champion UC Riverside was picked to defend its title by both the coaches and media.
PRESEASON LAURELS FOR THOMAS: Junior forward Toni Thomas was named to the preseason all-conference team, joining Long Beach State's Karina Figueroa, UC Santa Barbara's Jenna Green and Jessica Wilson, and UC Riverside's duo of Seyram Gbewonyo and Kemie Nkele. Thomas was a first-team all-conference and all-tournament team honoree as a sophomore last season, leading the league in scoring (17.5 ppg) and finishing fourth in the conference in rebounding (8.3 rpg).
ROAD WARRIORS: The Titans will open their 2007-08 season seemingly living out of their suitcases as 11 of Fullerton's first 15 regular season games will be played away from the friendly confines of Titan Gym where they posted a 10-4 record last season and have won 19 of their last 26 games.
SOLID BLOCK TO BUILD ON: Fullerton is coming off one of its most successful seasons in recent history as the Titans' 16 wins and .500 winning percentage last year were the highest for the program since the 1990-91 squad finished 25-8 (.758) en route to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
JUST WIN, BABY: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah became the winningest coach in school history with last season's win over San Jose State on Nov. 11 and enters this, her 28th year as a head coach, among the top 50 winningest active coaches in the nation, ranking No. 35 with 419 career wins.
CALIFORNIA GIRLS: It's only fitting that in the all-California Big West Conference that Cal State Fullerton has a roster made up entirely of California players. The Titans are one of two schools (UC Davis being the other) in the league with such a roster.