Dec. 27, 2009
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP OFF: Following a festive holiday weekend, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team hits the road for a pair of contests as the Titans (4-6 overall) ring in the new year in the state of Oklahoma. Fullerton opens the brief roadswing on Monday (Dec. 28) at the University of Tulsa before heading to Norman, Okla., for a match-up with No. 13/15 Oklahoma on Wednesday (Dec. 30). Both games are scheduled to tip at 5 p.m. PST.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: There will be no Cal State Fullerton broadcasts of this week's contests.
I SEE YOU: For the fourth consecutive season, video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home regular season contests and selected road games will be streamed live over the Internet (on a subscription basis) courtesy the Big West TV platform. For a monthy subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95, fans can catch all the exclusive action from the comfort of their home computers. For more information, please log on to BigWestTV.org.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: For the first time this season, Cal State Fullerton men's and women's basketball will feature live stats via CBS College Sports' Gametracker for all of the Titans' home games and select road contests. Links will be available on both the men's and women's basketball schedule pages at the redesigned FullertonTitans.com.
SERIES RECORDS: Both meetings this week with the Golden Hurricane and the Sooners will be the first between the programs in women's basketball... the Titans are 5-3 all-time against Conference USA opponents: 1-0 vs. East Carolina, 1-2 vs. Houston, 1-0 vs. Marshall, 1-0 vs. Memphis, 1-1 vs. UTEP... Fullerton has won four of the last five meetings with C-USA after having its four-game winning streak snapped in 2007 at UTEP (78-71)... the Titans are 7-22 against the Big 12: 0-2 vs. Baylor, 1-4 vs. Colorado, 0-1 vs. Iowa State, 2-2 vs. Kansas, 0-2 vs. Kansas State, 0-3 vs. Missouri, 2-5 vs. Nebraska, 1-0 vs. Oklahoma State, 0-2 vs. Texas, 1-0 vs. Texas A&M, 0-1 vs. Texas Tech... Fullerton last posted a win over a Big 12 squad in 2006, handing Colorado an 89-77 loss at Titan Gym to snap a 14-game losing streak against the Big 12.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN HURRICANE: Tulsa enters the week with a 3-5 overall record, but has struggled as of late, losing its last four straight contests, including an overtime 74-69 loss to Oral Roberts at home in its last outing on Dec. 12... senior forward Larrissa Williams paces the offense, averaging 14.1 ppg, and is the team's leading rebounder at 8.3 rpg... Williams also shoots .432 from the field... freshman guard Taleya Mayberry is also in double figures, averaging 12.0 ppg, and leads the team with 25 assists... Tulsa is shooting .379 as a team and averaging 64.8 ppg while allowing opponents to shoot .360 from the field and average 67.9 ppg.
SCOUTING THE SOONERS: Oklahoma enters the week ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press poll (as of Dec. 21) and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll (as of Dec. 22)... the Sooners are 9-2 overall, having won their last five-straight games, including a 67-58 win over Creighton on Dec. 20... Oklahoma's only losses this season have come against Georgia (62-51) and then-No. 5 Notre Dame (81-71)... the Sooners feature a quartet of starters in double figures as the Sooners list only 10 players on the roster... Danielle Robinson leads the way at 16.1 ppg and is shooting a robust .524 from the field while leading the team in assists (59)... Nyesha Stevenson (13.5 ppg), Abi Olajuwon (11.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg), and Amanda Thompson (10.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg) join Robinson in double figures... a fifth player is also in double figures as Whitney Hand is averaging 13.4 ppg in five games, but will miss the rest of the year after suffering a torn ACL vs. San Diego State on Nov. 27... Oklahoma, which is 4-0 at home in 2009-10, is shooting .449 from the floor as a team and averaging 78.1 ppg while holding opponents to a .366 percentage from the field and 65.6 ppg.
BIG WEST OPENERS LOOMING IN THE NEW YEAR: Following the Titans' trip to Oklahoma, Cal State Fullerton returns home for a pair of games to open the 2010 Big West Conference season on Saturday (Jan. 2) at 5 p.m. as the Titans host UC Davis before welcoming in Pacific on Monday (Jan. 4) at 7 p.m... the Titans are 9-15 all-time in Big West openers since the 1985-86 season, having won their last three straight by an average of 15 points, including a 76-49 win over UC Irvine last season... Fullerton is 5-6 all-time when opening the conference season at home, having won three of its last four... the Titans have never opened conference play against UC Davis, which officially joined the league in the 2007-08 season, but are 1-1 against Pacific with a 67-66 loss on the road in 1987-88 and an 82-66 win at home in 1988-89... Fullerton has gone to overtime four times in a Big West opener, posting a 1-3 record in those contests, but has not played extra time since the 2004-05 season in an 80-74 loss to Cal State Northridge at home.
O-O-O-O-KLAHOMA: You had to know one of those was coming. Cal State Fullerton has played three schools from the state of Oklahoma in its history, but this week's games will be the first time that the Titans will actually play a game IN the state of Oklahoma. Two of the previous opponents (Eastern Oklahoma in 1981 and Phillips University in 1972) were met on a neutral court while Fullerton posted a 64-62 win over Oklahoma State at Titan Gym in 1985.
"HELLO! MY NAME IS...": With first-ever meetings against Tulsa and Oklahoma this week (along with an inaugural meeting with Seattle University looming on Jan. 27, 2010), the Titans will be looking to buck a recent trend that has seen them leave the arena with nothing more than a friendly handshake. Fullerton has lost seven straight, and nine of its last 10 meetings, with "first-time" opponents dating back to the 2005-06 season, posting its only win in that stretch against Utah Valley with an 84-63 victory on Jan. 26, 2006, at Titan Gym. The Titans have already gone 0-2 this season in such games, falling in first-ever meetings with Oregon (117-69) on Nov. 27 and Wisconsin (57-44) on Nov. 29 at the World Vision Invitational in Eugene, Ore.
THIS IS BIG SKY COUNTRY: Thanks to its victory over Eastern Washington on Dec. 21, Cal State Fullerton completed a clean sweep of its Big Sky Conference schedule following previous wins over Sacramento State and Portland State. The wins extended the Titans' winning streak against Big Sky opponents to four straight games, reversing a dismal stretch that saw them win just once in their previous 13 meetings with league members.
EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT EXCITEMENT: Don't leave early, you could miss something. Cal State Fullerton finally got into the win column after dropping three close contests, holding off Eastern Washington to post a three-point victory at Titan Gym. It was the fourth-straight game decided by six points or fewer as Fullerton has had to sweat out its last four results decided by a combined 14 points. Overall this season, seven of the Titans' 10 games have been decided by eight points or less with Fullerton posting a 3-4 mark in those contests.
GREAT SCOTT!!!: Senior guard Jasmine Scott had the hot hand against the Eagles last week, setting a season-high with 19 points while adding four rebounds in 31 minutes to help the Titans to victory. Scott hit her first six shots of the game en route to a 7-for-9 shooting night that included three, three-pointers and a pair of free throws. Scott, who narrowly missed matching her career high of 22 points set against Long Beach State in the first round of the 2008 Big West Conference tournament, surpassed her previous season-best of 14 points set against Portland State and set new season standards for field goals made and tied a career-high with her trio of three-pointers.
SMOOTH "JAZZ": Scott has also been one of the Titans' most consistent scorers over the last month, reaching double figures in four of the team's last six games and averaging 11.7 ppg to go with 6.0 rpg during that stretch. She has also had the hot hand over the last six games, shooting .481 (25-for-52) from the floor and .450 (9-for-20) from three-point range.
MEGAN BEING MEGAN: After being held to just five combined points against Portland State and Wisconsin, sophomore Megan Richardson returned to her scoring ways during the team's four-game homestand, averaging 16.8 ppg while continuing her mastery at the free throw line, hitting 21-of-24 (.875) against a quartet of opponents. Richardson hit double figures in all four contests and has scored 10-or-more points in eight of the team's 10 games overall this season, leading the team in scoring six times. The run included a season-high 24 points against BYU on Dec. 12 - the second time that she has reached 20 points this season and the fifth time in her career. The Manhattan Beach native enters the week ranked fourth in the league in scoring overall at 14.7 ppg.
LET'S GO HALVSIES: Leading at the break has usually led to great things for the Titans this season as Fullerton improved to 4-1 overall in 2009-10 when taking a lead into the locker room at halftime. The Titans' lone loss came against BYU despite leading by a point, 29-28, following the first 20 minutes of play.
TITANS GET THEIR GROOVE BACK: Cal State Fullerton's 72 points against BYU on Dec. 12 were the most since the Titans had 79 points in a win over Portland State and marked the fifth time in nine games this season that they have topped the 70-point plateau. Compare that to last year's pace that saw Fullerton reach 70 points six times over the course of the 30-game season. The Titans' offensive efforts have translated to some success this season as Fullerton is 2-1 this year when scoring between 70-79 points.
SPEAKING OF GIVING MOODS: Fullerton hasn't been one to just hand the ball over to its opponents this season, committing a Scrooge-esque 16.0 turnovers per game - an average that ranks No. 34 in the nation (as of NCAA stats of Dec. 20) and first in the Big West Conference. The 160 turnovers overall are the fewest in the league entering the week and Fullerton's +3.0 turnover margin is second in the conference and No. 61 in the nation (as of NCAA stats of Dec. 20) while the Titans' 190 turnovers forced are fifth-best in the league. Cal State Fullerton is also one of only three teams with a positive turnover margin (trailing only league-leading UC Davis at +4.5).
STEADY AS SHE GOES: Cal State Fullerton junior Lyndsey Grove has been one of the Titans' most consistent players thus far this season, scoring double figures in eight of the team's 10 games this season - including tying her career high with 20 points against Oregon on Nov. 27 - and averaged 11.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game over her last four games while shooting .429 (15-for-35) from the field. Grove enters the holiday week ranking eighth in the league in scoring (13.4 ppg) and 15th in rebounding (4.7 rpg) while her .461 field goal percentage ranks just outside the top 10.
OR YOUR POINTS ARE FREEEEE: The Titans, who led the Big West Conference in free throw percentage a season ago, have continued to be one of the most accurate at the line this season, leading the league at .767 entering the week. Junior Lyndsey Grove ranks fifth in the conference at .827 (43-for-52) while sophomore Megan Richardson is seventh at .820 (41-for-50). On a national level, the Titans stand No. 17 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Marist's nation-leading 83 percent (as of NCAA stats of Dec. 20).
SOMEONE HAS A CASE OF THE MONDAY'S: Nobody likes Monday's - especially, as of late, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team. Monday's contest against Tulsa is the third of four games to kick-off a week for the Titans this season, who snapped a three-game Monday losing streak with their win over Eastern Washington last week. Fullerton, which has already dropped a 64-58 Monday decision to San Diego on Dec. 7, has just one Monday contest remaining against Pacific on Jan. 4 to help ring in the New Year.
DOWNRIGHT OFFENSIVE: And we mean that in a good way. The Fullerton offense, which averaged 62.5 ppg last season (third-best in the league), has kept the momentum going in 2009, entering the week ranked third in the league in scoring offense at 67.6 ppg bouyed by five games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15.
HENDERSON TO REDSHIRT 2009-10 SEASON: Cal State Fullerton forward Latrice Henderson, one of seven freshmen on the roster for the Titans, will redshirt the 2009-10 season. The 5-foot-8 rookie out of Anaheim Magnolia HS was a four-year letter winner for the Sentinels, helping them to a quartet of Orange League titles and earning a pair of All-CIF honors as a freshman and senior. Henderson averaged 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season, helping lead Magnolia HS to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section tournament.
WINDEX WOMEN: The Titans have done a good job of cleaning up on the boards in 2009-10, despite outrebounding their opponents just three times in nine games. Fullerton ranks fourth in the Big West Conference in rebounding at 36.7 rebounds per game while also standing second in the league in offensive rebounds (14.1 rpg) and seventh in defensive rebounds per game (22.6 rpg). Aside from junior Jenna Breite's league-best 8.1 rpg, junior Lyndsey Grove (4.7 rpg) also ranks among the conference's top 15, standing at No. 15 entering this week's games.