Women's Basketball Closes Out Homestand With Non-Conference Clash vs. Nevada

Women's Basketball Closes Out Homestand With Non-Conference Clash vs. Nevada

Dec. 5, 2005


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The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball squad (0-5 overall in 2005) looks to get in the win column for the first time this season on Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. as the Titans host Nevada-Reno at Titan Gym before kicking off a three-game road swing this weekend at Fresno State.

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

The Wolf Pack enter this week's contest with the Titans with its own struggles to start the 2005-06 season, opening with a 1-5 record and winning their first game last Saturday, 79-59, over Northwestern Louisiana.

Freshman guard Brandi Fitzgerald, who prepped nearby in Moreno Valley, Calif. (Canyon Springs HS), leads Nevada offensively at just over 12 points per game and is second on the squad at 4.7 rebounds per game. She is shooting .421 from the floor and .697 from the free throw line.

The Wolf Pack lost their first five contests by an average of 13.8 points, but two of those were by eight points or less, including a four-point loss to Portland State in the season opener.

Nevada leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 9-5, having won each of the last nine meetings after the Titans had jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the series. The two schools met iin last year's season opener, a 71-56 Wolf Pack victory in the opener of the John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic in Reno. However, prior to that meeting, the two teams had not met on the court since the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament in 1998 in Reno. Fullerton is 70-59 all-time against current members of the Western Athletic Conference, but has lost the last five meetings against that league since an 86-77 win over San Jose State in 1999.

Fullerton's rough start to the 2005-06 season continued down a rocky road as the Titans lost their fifth straight game to begin the year, 64-46, to visiting San Diego.

Junior Charlee Underwood led the way, scoring 12 of her game-high 17 points in the second half to lead the way for the Titans, who also had Amber Pruitt score in double figures, tallying 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting off the bench.

An 18-9 run to close out the first half erased a two-point Fullerton advantage for a 33-24 USD lead at the break. The Toreros used a 17-0 run over four minutes in the second half to put the Titans away.

USD shot just under 46 percent for the game to Fullerton's 35 percent. The Titans turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 24 Torero points.

For the first time in her brief Division I career, the Titans' leading scorer, freshman Toni Thomas, was held to without a point in last Thursday's loss to San Diego.

Thomas, who did grab a team-high seven boards against the Toreros, entered the game averaging 12.8 ppg and had scored in double figures in three of her first four career games.

However, not all the news is bad.

She still ranks third on the team in scoring at 9.8 points per game (12th in the Big West) and continues to lead the team in rebounding at 7.4 boards per contest (tied for fifth in the Big West).

Her .750 free throw percentage ranks tied for sixth in the league and Thomas leads the league in offensive rebounds at 3.8 per game.

Alright, so it took her one game to get going, but now can she be stopped?

Titan junior Charlee Underwood has tallied double figures in each of her last four games, averaging 16 points during that span, including a season-high 18 points in a loss to Army.

She currently ranks third in the Big West Conference in scoring at 13.2 points per game, third in field goal percentage (.491), and is leading the league in three-point percentage (.636) in the early going.

Despite an off night against San Diego, Cal State Fullerton continues to lead the Big West in free throw percentage (.722), while ranking third in both scoring offense (68.8 points per game) and field goal percentage (.405). Individually, two Titans rank in the top 10 in field goal percentages with senior Amber Pruitt's .543 ranking second and Charlee Underwood's .491 ranking third. Among free throw leaders, freshman Toni Thomas ranks in a tie for sixth at .750 and Pruitt right behind her in eighth place at .684.

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 63 points this season, Pruitt now ranks 18th on the all-time scoring list with 808 career points, just 53 points behind Amy Torczon (1984-88) for No. 17. If Pruitt reaches 1,000 points, she would be the second player in the last three years to reach that plateau joining Tamara Quinn, who finished with 1,109 career points in 2004 to rank 10th.

Cal State Fullerton sophomore Charlee Underwood scored 14 points and led two other Titans in double figures, but it wasn't enough as host Nevada defeated Fullerton, 71-56, in the opening round of the John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic in Reno, Nev.

It was the season opener for both teams as the Titans fell to 0-1 and the Wolf Pack improved to 1-0. Nevada will take on Colorado in the championship game on Saturday (Nov. 20) at 6 p.m. while the Titans will take on Loyola Marymount at 1 p.m.

Underwood was joined in double figures by freshman Dayana Frias, who had 13 points in a successful debut, and junior Amber Pruitt who had 11 points and eight boards.

Nevada was led by Talisha Anderson's 15 points. Wolf Pack teammates Meghan McGuire and April Bankston were also in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Nevada came out swinging after the Titans scored the first points. Fullerton was up by one at the 16:24 mark, and that would be the last time they would not be trailing the Pack all night. Nevada built its lead throughout the half up to as high as 19 before the intermission. Fullerton then closed it in to nine at the break, but that didn't last too long as Nevada again building getting its biggest lead of the night at 20 with 5:01 left to play. The Wolf Pack outrebounded the Titans 40-29 and forced the Titans into 22 turnovers on the night. Nevada hit on just under 46 percent of its shots from the floor to the Titans' 41 percent.


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