Busy Week Continues as Fullerton Hosts Cal State Northridge, Pacific

Jan. 5, 2006

FULLERTON, CA -

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TIP-OFF
The new year hasn't brought any rest or relief for the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (2-10 overall, 0-2 in the Big West Conference) as the Titans continue a stretch that will see them play four games in the span of a week.

After playing nine of its first 12 games on the road, Fullerton opens its longest homestand of the season thus far this weekend as the Titans host a pair of conference foes.

Cal State Fullerton opens against Cal State Northridge on Saturday (Jan. 7) at 2 p.m. before hosting Pacific on Monday (Jan. 9) at 7 p.m.

ON THE AIR
Both of this weekend's games can be heard live on the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com.

SCOUTING NORTHRIDGE
Cal State Northridge enters the weekend with a 3-9 overall record and an 0-1 mark in Big West play after a loss to Pacific on Jan. 4. The Matadors have lost their last two after back-to-back wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Portland back in December.

Offensively, three Northridge players are averaging in double figures: Jazelle Burries (11.5 ppg), Krisztina Fuleki (11.3 ppg), and LaJoyce King (10.4 ppg).

However, Northridge has been without the services of three-time All-Big West first-teamer Ofa Tulikihihifo, who has missed the entire season thus far recovering from a stress fracture in her left leg.

SCOUTING PACIFIC
Pacific enters the weekend with a 4-8 overall record and a 1-0 mark in Big West play after a 58-56 victory over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 4. The Tigers have won three of their last four after opening the season 1-7 overall.

Sophomore guard Kelsey Lavender leads Pacific offensively, averaging 10.4 points and 2.73 assists per game. Senior center Tina Sanerivi, one of two players who has started all 12 games for the Tigers, is the only other Pacific player in double figures, averaging 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Senior forward Carolina Ruiz leads the team on the boards, averaging better than eight rebounds.

The Tigers are coached by interim head coach Karen Weitz, who took over the team after Craig Jackson announced his resignation on Dec. 5.

SERIES NOTES
&\#149; CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: Cal State Fullerton has won 25 of the 28 meetings with Cal State Northridge dating back to the 1970-71 season... the two schools split the season series last year with each team winning on the other's home court... the Titans have won seven of the eight meetings with the Matadors since Northridge entered the Big West Conference in 2001... Fullerton is 10-2 against Cal State Northridge at home and 13-1 on the road with the location of two games unknown.

&\#149; PACIFIC: Pacific leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton by a 28-14 margin dating back to the 1981-82 season... the Titans' win in Stockton last season snapped a 15 game overall losing streak to the Tigers dating back to an overtime win in 1998 and a 12-game losing streak at Pacific dating back to 1993... Fullerton is 8-12 all-time against Pacific at home in the series.

FRESHMAN FINDS HER GAME
After scoring in double figures in each of her first three collegiate contests, freshman forward Toni Thomas seemed to slip into a slump, reaching double figures just once ini her next seven. Against Cal Poly on January 2, Thomas regained her stroke, torching the Mustangs for a career-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 8-of-12 from the free throw line. It was the second 20-point scoring performance for a Titan this season after senior Amber Pruitt scored 24 points in a win over Montana State on Dec. 19.

PRUITT CLIMBS ALL-TIME SCORING CHART
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. Thanks to her 16 points against Cal Poly, Pruitt moved into 17th place on the all-time scoring list with 875, passing Amy Torczon (1984-88) and standing just 73 points behind Koko Lahanas (1993-95) for 16th all-time.

Should Pruitt reach 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.

UNDERWOOD CONTINUES TO LIGHT IT UP
Junior forward Charlee Underwood extended her double-digit scoring streak to five straight games thanks to 15 and 13-point efforts against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara to open Big West Conference play. Underwood has scored in double figures in 10 of the Titans' 12 games this season and is averaging 12.8 points during her most recent streak. Underwood is shooting 47 percent from the field in her last five games (25-for-53).

LOOKING FOR THAT CERTAIN, SPECIAL...
Someone? How about five someones? In it's 12 games this season, the Titans have used 10 different starting lineups, with only Charlee Underwood (11 starts), Amber Pruitt (10 starts), and India McDaniel (10 starts) being the most consistent names in Fullerton's starting five.

TITANS HIT THE BOARDS
Fullerton put its collective noses to the grindstone -- or the backboard as the case may be -- this past weekend, outrebounding both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara in back-to-back games. The games marked the first times this season Fullerton had held an advantage on the boards after failing to do so in the first 10 games of the year.

TITAN TANDEM IN THE TOP TEN
Fullerton's offense this season has run primarily through the talented duo of junior Charlee Underwood and senior Amber Pruitt - who rank third and fourth, respectively, in the Big West Conference this week in scoring at 11.9 and 11.8 points per game. Freshman Toni Thomas joins the duo among the league's leaders, coming in at 9.4 points per game, good for No. 14 in the conference.

ROAD WOES
The long and winding road trip finally came to an end on Jan. 4 as the Titans will get two precious weeks at home after playing nine of their first 12 games away from Titan Gym to start the season. Fullerton, which has yet to get a victory away from home this season (0-8) is averaging just 61.4 points per game while allowing just over 79 points to the opposition. However, not all the news is bad as three Titans are averaging double digits in front of hostile crowds: Toni Thomas (11.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Amber Pruitt (10.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg), and Charlee Underwood (10.4 ppg).

SPEAKING OF LIGHTING IT UP
Cal State Fullerton's 85 points in its victory over Montana State on Dec. 19 marked the highest single-game point total for the Titans since putting up 86 in a nine-point win over San Jose State on Jan. 2, 2000.

NON-CONFERENCE WOES
Fullerton's win over Montana State was something of a rarity for the Titans' program in recent years, marking only the 11th non-conference victory for Cal State Fullerton in the last eight years. The Titans are 11-77 (.125) in non-conference games since 1998-99 and they haven't won more than two such games in a single-season during that span.