Dec. 13, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - Winners of its last two straight and three of the last four, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (4-6 overall in 2006-07) will be faced with a busy week as the Titans close out the non-conference portion of their schedule.
After spending the week in the classroom busy with final exams, Fullerton will face a schedule that features three games in a five-day span beginning this weekend with a road contest on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 16) at 1 p.m. at the University of San Diego. The Titans then return home to kick off another four-game homestand with contests against San Francisco on Monday (Dec. 18) at 7 p.m. and Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday (Dec. 20) at 4:30 p.m. in a doubleheader with the Fullerton men's team.
All three of Cal State Fullerton's upcoming contests at San Diego and at home against San Francisco and Cal State Bakersfield 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.
THOMAS NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Toni Thomas was named the Big West Conference women's basketball player of the week on Monday after averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds per game in the Titans' wins over Colorado and Northern Colorado. Thomas shot just under 43 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the free throw line for the week while matching a career-high with 27 points in each of Fullerton's two games.
SAN DIEGO: The series with the Toreros is all tied up at 7-7 with USD coming out on top in the last meeting between the two schools, 64-46, at Titan Gym on Dec. 1, 2005... Fullerton's last win in the series came almost four years ago to the day on Dec. 14, 2002, as the Titans posted a 76-74 win at home... Cal State Fullerton is 3-3 against USD on the road, last visiting the Toreros on Jan. 3, 2001 - a 58-45 San Diego victory... SAN FRANCISCO: The Dons lead the all-time series by a 7-2 count, including posting wins in each of the last five meetings... USF defeated the Titans, 70-63, last season at Memorial Gym... Both of Fullerton's wins in the series have come at Titan Gym, the last coming on Nov. 27, 1987, in a season-opening 79-54 win at the Titan Converse Classic... CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD: The meeting will be the first in women's basketball between the two schools.
A QUICK LOOK AT SAN DIEGO
The Toreros are 7-2 entering the weekend after snapping a two-game losing streak by downing Cal Poly, 74-69, on Saturday... USD's only two losses came at Boise State (47-29) and at home against Long Beach State (53-37)... Amber Sprague (14.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Kelly Winther (10.3 ppg) lead the Dons, who are allowing just over 58 points per contest... The Toreros won six straight to start the season by an average of 12.5 ppg.
A QUICK LOOK AT SAN FRANCISCO
The Dons are 3-6 overall and will meet Fresno State on Dec. 16 before facing Cal State Fullerton... USF has lost two straight at Cal Poly (60-38) and at home against Boise State (80-58) while posting wins this season over Colorado State (62-51), Southern Illinois (67-60), and in overtime against San Jose State (53-48)... Dominique Carter (14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Nickie Warren (10.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) lead an offense that has averaged just 55.3 ppg this season.
A QUICK LOOK AT CAL ST. BAKERSFIELD
The Roadrunners are 4-2 overall this season, including their first-ever win over a Division I opponent on Dec. 8 at Texas-San Antonio. (77-66)... Cal State Bakersfield is currently in the first season of transitioning to the Division I level... The Roadrunners have played five of their first six games away from home this season, posting a 3-2 record... Cal State Bakersfield will meet San Diego on Dec. 12 before taking on Cal State Fullerton... CSUB has three players in double figures led by Jessi Loring's 11.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg... Krista Arase (11.3 ppg) and Kelley Tarver (11.0 ppg) are also in double digits.
VS. THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE
Cal State Fullerton is 29-37 all-time against the West Coast Conference and has lost the last six straight games against conference members dating back to a 76-74 home win over San Diego in 2002. The Toreros and Dons will be the first WCC opponents for the Titans this season.
SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR?
Toni Thomas, the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year last season, continues her torrid sophomore season in 2006-07, twice matching her career high with 27 points against both Colorado and Northern Colorado last week to extend her double-digit scoring streak to 16 consecutive games dating back to last season. In that span, Thomas is averaging 18.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg while shooting just under 50 percent from the field (113-for-228).
THOMAS STILL ATOP BIG WEST
Sophomore Toni Thomas continues to stand atop the Big West Conference scoring race as she paces the league with 18.8 ppg - ahead of UC Santa Barbara's Jenna Green, who is second at 16.1 ppg. Thomas also ranks among the conference's best in eight other categories including rebounding (4th), field goal percenatage (4th), free throw percentage (6th), 3-point percentage (4th), and minutes played (5th).
TITANS IN THE NCAA
Sophomore Toni Thomas ranks No. 37 in the nation in points per game (18.8)... India McDaniel ranks No. 85 in the nation in assists per game (4.40)... Charlee Underwood ranks No. 41 in the nation in three-point percentage (.444) and No. 78 in three-pointers made (2.2 per game).
TAYLOR REACHES ASSISTS MILESTONE
With her three assists on Saturday against Northern Colorado, senior guard Audrey Taylor became just the ninth Titan to notch at least 300 assists in a career and currently stands ninth on the school's all-time list with 301 - just 31 behind Marissa Frial (332 assists from 1991-95) for eighth place.
SPEAKING OF ASSISTS...
Senior India McDaniel has been dishing it out in her last five games, averaging 7.20 assists per contest (after notching just eight assists total in the team's first five games), including a career-best 11 assists to go with 17 points in a win over Colorado on Dec. 7 for her first career double-double. McDaniel enters this week leading the Big West Conference at 4.40 apg and 44 assists overall.
UNDERWOOD PICKING UP STEAM
While most of the offensive attention has been directed at the success of Toni Thomas this season, senior Charlee Underwood has been picking up the pace on the offensive end as of late. Underwood is scored in double figures in each of her last four games, averaging 18.5 ppg in that span while shooting .528 (28-for-53) from the field and .500 (11-for-22) from three-point range. This comes after a slow three-game stretch prior to the streak that saw Underwood score just 17 points total.
BIG WEST'S BEST 1-2 PUNCH
Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas (18.8 ppg) and Charlee Underwood (15.1 ppg) each rank among the league's top five scorers - making them the best 1-2 offensive punch in the Big West. The duo has combined to score 324 points (16.95 ppg) to stand ahead of the second place pair from UC Santa Barbara in Jenna Green (16.1 ppg) and Jessica Wilson (14.1 ppg), who have combined to score 258 points (15.1 ppg) this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
After struggling to a 1-5 mark on the road to start the season, the Titans were happy to see Titan Gym as Fullerton has posted a 3-1 mark at home, continuing a trend that has seen the Titans win 13 of their last 17 (.765) dating back to the 2004-05 season.
MORE ON THE COMFORTS OF HOME
Over the last four games - all of those at Titan Gym - Fullerton has averaged 74.8 points per game while holding the opposition to just 70.0 ppg en route to a 3-1 record. Compare the Titans' home average to that of their first six contests away from home that saw Cal State Fullerton average just 56.8 points per game while posting a 1-5 mark.
THOMAS KEEPS UP IMPRESSIVE PACE
Should sophomore Toni Thomas keep up her current scoring pace (18.8 ppg) over the Titans' 20 remaining 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 564 points for the year - which would rank eighth on the single-season list.
OFFENSE PICKING UP
Cal State Fullerton enters this week's play ranked third in the Big West in scoring offense (64.0 ppg), first in three-point percentage (.356), second in free throw percentage (.701), and third in field goal percentage (.395).
Fullerton sophomore Toni Thomas and sophomore India McDaniel have been workhorses for the Titans this season, ranking fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Big West Conference in minutes played. Thomas is averaging 34.7 minutes per game while McDaniel is close behind at 34.1 minutes per game. In addition, McDaniel has gone the distance in a single game twice this season, playing all 40 minutes against Montana State (Nov. 24) and Colorado (Dec. 7) while senior Charlee Underwood played all 40 minutes against Northern Colorado (Dec. 9).
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).
LIGHTING UP TITAN GYM
The 89 points scored by the Titans on Dec. 7 against Colorado were the most for a Fullerton squad since the Titans put up 96 points in a victory at Long Beach State on Feb. 22, 1998 (96-87). The 49 second-half points against the Buffaloes was also a season-high (in either half) for Fullerton and the most since the Titans scored 52 in the second half against Pacific on Feb. 16, 2006.
Cal State Fullerton's four victories against non-conference opponents this season are the most for a Titan squad since the 1996-97 squad posted five wins before the start of Big West play.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE, NO TROUBLE
Cal State Fullerton improved to a perfect 3-0 this season when a Titan logs a double-double thanks to Toni Thomas' 27-point, 11-rebound effort that helped lift Fullerton to a 12-point win over Northern Colorado. Thomas also had a double-double in the season-opening win over San Jose and senior India McDaniel logged her first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the Titans' win over Colorado on Dec. 7.
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.
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 on Feb. 26, 1994) and 32 attempts (four times, last vs. Nevada, Jan. 8, 1994).
UCLA GAME DRAWS TOP CROWD
The clash between Southern California rivals Cal State Fullerton and UCLA drew 672 fans to Titan Gym - the largest Titan Gym crowd for a women's basketball game (not including doubleheaders with the men's team) since the Titans defeated Louisiana Tech, 84-80, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in front of 813 fans on March 13, 1991.
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.
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.
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.