Dec. 4, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (2-6 overall in 2006-07) closes out its four-game homestand this week with a pair of Colorado teams making return trips to Orange County. The Titans open the week against Big 12 power Colorado on Thursday night (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. two days before a Saturday afternoon (Dec. 9) tip against Northern Colorado at 2 p.m. Fullerton opened last season with back-to-back road games at Colorado (the Buffaloes won, 100-71) and at UNC (the Bears won, 88-64).
Both of Cal State Fullerton's contests this week against Colorado and Northern Colorado can be heard live over the Internet by logging on to www.FullertonTitans.com and clicking on the graphic on the right-hand side of the main page.
BIG WEST TV IS BACK!
Live streaming video for all Cal State Fullerton home games and select road contests will be available once again during the regular season through a partnership with the Big West Conference and CSTV. The subscription video service is \$79.95 for the entire season or \$9.95 per month. For more information, please visit the Big West website at www.bigwest.org/tv.
COLORADO: The Buffaloes lead the all-time series, 4-0, including last season's victory in Boulder... Colorado won its only visit to Titan Gym, 77-63, on Dec. 30, 1987... NORTHERN COLORADO: The Bears won the only meeting between the two schools, 88-64, on Nov. 20, 2005, in Greeley, Colo.
A QUICK LOOK AT COLORADO
The Buffaloes are 5-3 overall entering this week's action after having a three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday with a 76-57 home loss to USC... junior forward Jackie McFarland leads the offense, averaging 20.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest in her eight starts this season while also shooting 68 percent from the floor... McFarland has scored in double figures in every game for Colorado this season, including six double-doubles to start the year... senior guard Jasmina Ilic is also averaging 12.4 points per game this season.
A QUICK LOOK AT NORTHERN COLORADO
The Bears are 2-5 overall on the year, emerging with a 62-56 win over the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs on Nov. 29... UNC will host Colorado State on Wednesday before meeting the Titans... senior forward Heather Barbour and sophomore guard Whitley Cox are both averaging double figures offensively at 13.9 and 11.8 points per game, respectively... Barbour leads the team with 5.4 rebounds per game and is shooting just under 41 percent from the floor this season.
UNDERWOOD REACHES MILESTONE
Senior forward Charlee Underwood became the 16th player in the history of the Fullerton women's basketball program to reach 1,000 career points with her 15-point night against Fresno State. The milestone basket came with 9:29 remaining in the game as she slashed to the basket for a lay-up to give the Titans a four point lead. Underwood, who later added 24 points against UCLA on Nov. 30, now has 1,027 points for her career, putting her into 15th place on the all-time scoring list - just 52 points behind Terri Withers (1981-85) and Amber Pruitt (2002-06) for sole possession of No. 13 all-time.
VS. THE BIG 12
The Titans are 6-21 all-time against the Big 12 Conference, including an 0-2 mark this season after losses at Iowa State and Nebraska. Colorado is the first Big 12 team to visit Titan Gym since Kansas on Nov. 27, 2002 (the Jayhawks won that game, 66-56).
VS. THE BIG SKY
Fullerton is 9-17 against Big Sky Conference opponents, including an 0-1 mark this season after falling to Montana State on Nov. 24. The Titans have played at least one Big Sky opponent every year since the 1994-95 season and have lost 11 of the last 12 to that conference's schools
THOMAS VAULTS TO TOP OF BIG WEST
Sophomore Toni Thomas' strong start to the 2006-07 season has vaulted her to the top of the Big West Conference scoring race as she paces the league with 16.8 ppg - ahead of UC Santa Barbara's Jessica Wilson, who is second at 16.3 ppg. Thomas also ranks among the conference's best in eight other categories including rebounding (6th), field goal percenatage (4th), free throw percentage (9th), 3-point percentage (4th), and minutes played (7th).
WHAT SOPHOMORE SLUMP?
Two more games for sophomore Toni Thomas, two more double-digit scoring performances for last year's Big West Conference Freshman of the Year. Thomas had 15 and 25 points in last weekend's games against Fresno State and UCLA, respectively, to extend her streak of games with 10-or-more points to 14 straight dating back to last season, including all eight of the Titans' contests this season. In that 12-game span, Thomas is averaging 17.1 ppg and 9.2 rpg while shooting better than 51 percent (95-for-186) from the field to go with five double-doubles.
TUPOU CONTINUES TO SHINE
Redshirt sophomore Salote Tupou has seemingly found a place in the Titans' starting lineup as she has grown by leaps and bounds since starting her first game at Montana State on Nov. 24. Tupou, who scored a career-high 11 points against UCLA, has scored in double digits twice this season (after scoring eight points in 10 games in all of last season) and is averaging better than seven points per contest in each of her four starts this year.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
Borrowing a line from the great Jimi Hendrix. Not only are the Titans the most experienced team in the Big West Conference with eight upperclassmen, they are among the nation's best in a survey of schools conducted by University of Florida women's basketball SID Kathy Cafazzo. According to the schools that responded to the survey, Cal State Fullerton's roster ranks tied for No. 9 in the nation 24 combined years of experience (South Carolina leads with 28) and No. 14 in the country according to the number of combined starts with 250 (James Madison leads with 365 combined starts by its 14-woman roster).
DISHING IT OUT
Senior India McDaniel has been the Titans' playmaker over the course of the last three games, averaging six assists per game (after notching just eight assists in the team's first five games combined), including a career high-tying seven assists on Nov. 28 against Fresno State. McDaniel is currently tied with Audrey Taylor for the team lead with 26 assists and the duo ranks tied for fourth in the Big West with 3.25 apg.
THOMAS ON IMPRESSIVE PACE
Should sophomore Toni Thomas keep up her current scoring pace (16.8 ppg) over the next 22 games, she would be in line to become the first Titan player to score 500 points in a single season since Koko Lahanas led the nation in scoring with 778 points (26.8 ppg) in 1994-95. Thomas' current pace would put her at 504 points for the year.
ON THE LINE
Senior guard India McDaniel has provided the Titans with a certain element of consistiency this season, scoring in double figures in four of the team's eight contests and ranking third on the team in scoring at 8.9 ppg this season. However, the majority of her time on the floor has spent at the free throw line as she has gone to the charity stripe a Big West Conference-high 60 times this season (UC Santa Barbara's Jessica Wilson and Cal Poly's Bria Fields are second with 31) and is shooting .683 from the line this season.
Senior Charlee Underwood and Toni Thomas became the first Titan teammates to score 20 points in the same game since the 1998-99 season when Erin Whiteside and Niesha Cleveland had 22 and 28 points, respectively, to lead Fullerton to an overtime win over Oakland University in the season opener on Nov. 16.
SHARPSHOOTER Toni Thomas???
Known by many to be one of the Titans' best post players, sophomore Toni Thomas has taken a page out of the playbook of former Titan Amber Pruitt, whose shooting touch allowed the former Fullerton all-conference player to step back and hit a long-range shot. Thomas, who hit five three-pointers in all of last season, has already hit nine in eight games this season and enters the week ranking fourth in the Big West with a .450 (9-for-20) three-point percentage.
LONG DISTANCE PLAN
Fullerton's 14-of-35 shooting from three-point range on Nov. 15 on the road at Iowa State set school single-game records for three-point shooting, surpassing the previous marks of 13 three-pointers made against Nevada (Feb. 26, 1994) and 32 attempts (four times, last vs. Nevada, Jan. 8, 1994).
COACHES & MEDIA PICK TITANS SIXTH
Cal State Fullerton was picked to finish sixth in the Big West Conference this season in a poll of media members and league coaches conducted at the conference's annual media day event at the Irvine Hilton Hotel on Oct. 25. UC Riverside was the slight favorite by a single point over UC Santa Barbara according to the coaches with the Gauchos and UCR flip-flopping spots in the media poll. Both groups had Long Beach State third, Cal State Northridge fourth, Cal State Fullerton sixth and Pacific eighth. Cal Poly and UC Irvine were interchanged at fifth and seventh with the coaches favoring UCI and the media leaning toward the Mustangs.
Fullerton is the only team in the Big West Conference with a roster comprised entirely of Californians. Taking this theme one step further, the Big West Conference is the only conference in the nation, at any level, with its membership completely contained in a single state.
DIFFICULT SLATE FOR TITANS
The Titans' 2006-07 non-conference schedule will be one of the most difficult in recent memory. Two of the opponents are already receiving preseason accolades as UCLA (Nov. 30) is ranked No. 23 and Drake (Nov. 19) is receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Preseason top 25. In addition, three of Fullerton's first six games (with the possibility of a fourth) will be against schools that finished among the top 120 of last year's RPI standings: Iowa State (70), Nebraska (73), Drake (104), and Texas-Arlington (119). The home schedule then kicks off against a pair of postseason squads as Fresno State (final RPI of 80) visits on Nov. 28 after making the second round of the WNIT and the Bruins (final RPI of 21) come calling after a second-round NCAA appearance.