Home Sweet Home: Titans Host Toreros in 2005-06 Home Opener

Home Sweet Home: Titans Host Toreros in 2005-06 Home Opener

Nov. 28, 2005


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The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball squad (0-4 overall in 2005) hopes the home court advantage works in its favor this week as the Titans play in front of the hometown faithful for the first time this season, looking for their first victory. Fullerton hosts San Diego of the West Coast Conference on Thursday night (Dec. 1) in a 7 p.m. tip-off at Titan Gym.

Thursday night's tilt with San Diego will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Todd Reeves will handle the play-by-play duties from Titan Gym.

The Toreros come into Thursday night's contest with a 2-3 overall record, downing Penn by a 70-59 tally in their last outing. USD also defeated cross-city rival San Diego State, 67-57, for its other win this season.

Senior guard Tiara Harris leads San Diego offensively, averaging 12 points and just under two rebounds per game on the season. She is shooting .479 from the field and an almost perfect .857 (12-of-14) from the free throw line.

Junior center Sabine Loewe is the only other Torero in double figures, averaging 10.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg thus far.

Cal State Fullerton narrowly leads the all-time series with San Diego by a 7-6 margin, winning the last meeting between the two schools, 76-74, on Dec. 14, 2002 at Titan Gym. Fullerton is 4-3 all-time at home against USD. The Titans are 29-35 (.453) all-time against West Coast Conference teams, losing the last four to current conference members sinice their last win over the Toreros in 2002.

Fullerton senior Amber Pruitt was named to the all-tournament team at this past weekend's La Quinta Inn & Suites Thanksgiving Tournament.

The veteran post player averaged 14.5 points and five rebounds for the Titans off the bench, including an 18-point, 8-for-12 shooting effort against Army in the consolation game on Saturday.

For the season, Pruitt currently leads the team in scoring at 12.8 ppg and ranks second on the squad at 4.5 rpg. She is shooting better than 54 percent from the floor and 68 percent from the free throw line in four games.

Freshman forward Toni Thomas has made quite a splash in her first two contests in a Titans' uniform. Playing well above her 5-foot-11 frame, Thomas is tied for second on the team in scoring at 12.3 ppg and leads the squad on the boards with 30 rebounds overall and 7.5 per game.

Last weekend in Flagstaff, Ariz., Thomas tallied her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Northern Arizona.

She had scored in double figures in each of her first three Division I contests until being held to just eight points in Saturday's contest against Army.

The rough start to the Titans' 2005-06 season continued in the high altitude of Flagstaff, Ariz., this past weekend as Fullerton lost both of its games against host Northern Arizona and Army at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Thanksgiving Tournament.

Fullerton led at halftime in both contests, but furious second-half rallies brought the opposition all the way back for a pair of wins.

Leading by two against NAU, the Lumberjacks closed out the game by hitting 10-of-11 from the free throw line in the final six minutes to hold off the Titans, who lost despite shooting 44 percent overall and 56 percent in the first half.

Against Army, the Titans again had the hot hand, shooting 51 percent for the game, but the Black Knights used an 11-3 run midway through the second half to propel them to the win. Army shot 59 percent in the second half and was led by Cara Enright's game-high 25 points.

It took a while, but the Titans will be glad that junior Charlee Underwood has found her scoring touch.

After scoring just two points in Fullerton's opener at Colorado, Underwood has scored in double figures in each of her last three contests, including averaging 15.5 points this past weekend at Northern Arizona.

Underwood hit of 12-of-25 (.480) from the field, including an 18-point, 7-of-11 shooting performance against Army.

The Titans may be winless thus far this season, but it isn't for a lack of shooting. In eight halves of basketball this season, Cal State Fullerton has shot 40 percent or better in five of them - including a season-best .594 in the first half of Saturday's loss to Army. The Titans have shot better than 50 percent in a half twice this season, including 56 percent in the first half against Northern Arizona. Overall, the .508 field goal percentage against Army was the highest single-game percentage for the Titans since shooting .537 against Cal State Northridge at Titan Gym on March 6, 2004.

Despite being 0-4 on the season, Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West Conference in field goal percentage (.417), free throw percentage (.727), and has the third-best scoring offense in the league at 68.8 points per game. Individually, three Titans rank in the top 10 in field goal percentages with senior Amber Pruitt's .543 ranking third in the league, Charlee Underwood's .487 ranking in a tie for fifth, and freshman Toni Thomas ranking seventh by mere percentage points at .486 for the season.

Senior post Amber Pruitt is closing in on a milestone in her career as she looks to become the 15th player in the history of the program to reach the 1,000 career point plateau. With her 51 points this season, Pruitt now ranks 18th on the all-time scoring list with 796 career points, just 65 points behind Amy Torczon (1984-88) for No. 17. If she makes it, Pruitt would be the second player in the last three years to reach 1,000 career points joining Tamara Quinn, who finished with 1,109 career points in 2004 to rank 10th on the list.

Cal State Fullerton rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit behind Tamara Quinn's 22-point effort to pull out a 76-74 victory over the Toreros at Titan Gym.

Quinn hit a pair of free throws with 3:35 remaining to break a 69-69 tie and she scored the Titans' final eight points on the night to propel the home team to the win.

Tiara Harris had a chance for the tie in the closing seconds, hoisting a three-pointer with just over one second left, but was fouled in the attempt, sending her to the line.

After missing the first free throw, she made the second and intentionally missed the third, hoping for a rebound and put-back. However, the Titan post players tied up the shooter as time expired.


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