Dec. 2, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - A nationally ranked team will visit Titan Gym for the first time in five years this week as the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (2-3 overall) looks to snap a two-game losing skid. The Titans will host No. 16-ranked Vanderbilt on their home court in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on Thursday night (Dec. 4) at 7 p.m.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: For those fans who won't be able to make it out to the game this weekend, Friday night's contest will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Patrick Alog will have the play-by-play from Titan Gym.
I SEE YOU: For the third consecutive season, video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home women's basketball games and selected road contests will be streamed live over the Internet (on a subscription basis) thanks to Big West TV. For a monthy subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95, fans can catch all the exclusive action from Titan Gym and points beyond. For more information, log on to www.BigWest.org/TV.
IN THE RANKINGS: Vanderbilt is ranked No. 16 in the nation according to the Dec. 1 Associated Press poll and No. 16 in the country according to the USA Today/ESPN.com coaches poll released on Tuesday. Cal State Fullerton is unranked.
THE LAST TIME...: The last time a nationally ranked team visited Titan Gym was in 2003 as No. 22 UC Santa Barbara handed Fullerton a 69-33 defeat on Jan. 4.
SCOUTING THE COMMODORES: Vanderbilt enters the week with a 6-1 overall record and will meet Radford on Tuesday night (Dec. 2) before heading west to take on Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside... The Commodores have won their last two outings by large margins since a loss at Michigan on Nov. 23, defeating Davidson (82-50) and Virginia Tech (72-43) over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend... Christina Wirth leads a trio of double-digit scorers at 15.6 ppg to go with 12 steals and 4.4 rpg... Hannah Tuomi (13.1 ppg) and Merideth Marsh (11.0 ppg) are also in double figures thus far.
SERIES VS. VANDERBILT: Thursday night's contest will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools in women's basketball... The Commodores will be the Titans' second against an SEC power in their last three games... Fullerton is 3-2 all-time against SEC schools, losing its last two... The Titans are 1-0 against Alabama, 1-0 against LSU, 1-0 against Mississippi State, 0-1 against Tennessee, and 0-1 against Georgia.
THOMAS REACHES 1,500 CAREER POINTS: With her 14th point against UNLV on Saturday, senior forward Toni Thomas became the sixth player in the school history and the 26th in the history of the Big West Conference to reach 1,500 points for a career. Thomas, who has posted seasons of 500-plus points in each of the last two years, currently stands just 59 points behind Nancy Dunkle for fifth place on the school's all-time scoring list.
LONG DISTANCE: Cal State Fullerton's long-range attack kept the Titans in their contest against Georgia last week as they finished with more three-pointers made (12) than two-point baskets (10) for the game. The 12 trey's were just two shy of the school record set against Iowa State in 2006 while the 30 attempts were just five shy of the record for a single game.
SPEAKING OF DIALED IN: All five of Toni Thomas' baskets against Georgia were from beyond the arc as the senior set a career-high for trey's in the game in nine attempts, accounting for 15 of her team-high 19 points in the contest.
DAY-O: Standing at just 5-foot-2, senior guard Daviyonne Weathersby probably isn't one of the Titans you'd think would be banging around inside with post players measuring almost a foot taller. However, that's just what the veteran backcourt player did this past weekend in Las Vegas, battling her way to eight rebounds in each of her outings against Georgia and UNLV, falling just two boards shy on both occasions of her career high of 10 rebounds set on Feb. 2, 2008, against Cal State Northridge. For the year, Weathersby is averaging 5.0 rebounds per game to stand second on the team behind fellow senior Toni Thomas (6.0 rpg).
FOR DESSERT?: It's safe to say a basketball turnover probably wouldn't taste very good as a meal-ender, but on the court, its a sweet statistic for the Titans. Fullerton's defense has forced its opponents into 129 turnovers (second overall in the Big West) on the season, turning them into 125 points for the "good gals." The Titans have forced 25-or-more turnovers in four of their five contests this season with a fifth game tally of 19 turnovers. On the other hand, the Titans have also done a great job of taking care of the ball themselves, committing only 87 turnovers while notching 54 steals to rank first overall and second in the league with 10.80 spg.
HOME COOKIN': The Titans bring a perfect 2-0 record into Thursday's game at historic Titan Gym this season, continuing a trend that has seen them post a 27-13 (.675) mark at home over the past four seasons. Overall, Cal State Fullerton is 218-220 (.498) at home in the history of the program with the home records of two seasons (1969-70 & 1971-72) unknown.
FIRST TIME JINX?: Cal State Fullerton and Vanderbilt will meet for the first time in the history of the two programs on Thursday night - the second "first time" opponent for the Titans this season following last week's game against Georgia. Fullerton has dropped its last six games when meeting an opponent for the first-time ever dating back to a win over Utah Valley on Jan. 26, 2006, and are 3-7 in its lat 10 such games dating back to the 2004-05 campaign.
GREAT SCOTT!!: Junior Jasmine Scott set a career-high with her 10 rebounds against UNLV last Saturday and narrowly missed her first career double-double with nine points in the Titans' loss to their former Big West rivals. With the performance, she became the fourth different player to lead or co-lead the team in five games this season.
DOUBLE VISION FOR TONI: With point totals of 19 and 14 against Georgia and UNLV, respectively, this past weekend, senior forward Toni Thomas emerged as the only Titan player to score in double-digits in all five games for Fullerton to start the season. Thomas, who is averaging a team-high 14.8 ppg, has scored in double figures in 80 of her 95 career games in a Titan uniform.
SO WOULD THAT BE QUADRUPLE VISION?: With her 16-point, 12-rebound performance against Saint Mary's, Thomas logged her 22nd career double-double - a total that ranks fourth on the school's all-time list thanks to a thorough scouring of box scores dating back to the early 1980's by sports information intern Nick Longo. Thomas stands just four double-doubles behind Claudette Jackson (26) for third place and 10 back of Erin Whiteside for second. The school record is held by Eugenia Miller-Rycraw, who accumulated 59 double-doubles in her brilliant four-year career at Cal State Fullerton.
CHOW TIME: After tallying just nine assists in her first three games of the year, sophomore guard Lauren Chow dished out an extra helping of offense over Thanksgiving weekend, averaging six assists per game against Georgia and UNLV. Her 21 assists lead the team this season and her 4.20 apg ranks third in the Big West entering this week's games.
SCORING TRIO BACK AT IT: At the end of last season, three Titans were ranked among the league's top 15 scorers: Toni Thomas (17.1 ppg), Lauren Chow (12.5 ppg), and Ashley Richie (10.5 ppg). Well, the tremendous trio is back at it as they stand, once again, among the league's top scorers. Thomas, who has led the league in scoring in each of the last two seasons, is seventh in scoring at 14.8 ppg, Chow is 10th at 11.2 ppg, and Richie is 14th at 10.2 ppg entering this week's games.
WOMEN OF "STEAL": Weathersby (2.60 spg) and Scott (1.60 spg) both enter the week ranked among the Big West Conference's top thieves, standing second and eighth, respectively, in the league in swipes. Weathersby is one of three players in the league with double-digit steals thus far as her 13 swipes overall stand second only to Cal Poly's Tamara Wells (14).
NO SUCH THING?: Everyone knows there's no such thing as a free lunch... but there are a couple Titans who are proving there are such things as free points. Seniors Toni Thomas and Daviyonne Weathersby both rank among the league's top free throw shooters thus far this season, standing at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively, entering this week's contests. Sophomore Lauren Chow, who has hit 9-of-10 (.900) from the line this year, would stand second in the league, but doesn't meet the league minimum of two free throws made per team game.