Jan. 13, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP OFF: The only unbeaten team in Big West Conference play left standing, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (8-8 overall, 4-0 in the Big West) hits the road this week, looking to keep the good times rolling. The Titans face one of their biggest tests of the year on Thursday night (Jan. 14) at 7 p.m. as they take on third-place Cal Poly (9-5, 2-1) in San Luis Obispo. Fullerton then returns to Southern California for a Saturday evening (Jan. 16) tip at Cal State Northridge (2-11, 0-3) at 4 p.m.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Due to cuts in the department's budget, only Saturday's game at Cal State Northridge will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran Titan broadcaster Patrick Alog will have the play-by-play live from the Matadome. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the newly redesigned FullertonTitans.com.
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: Cal State Fullerton leads the alltime series with Cal Poly by a 24-14 count, having split the two regular season meetings with the Mustangs last year... Fullerton, which is 14-4 against Cal Poly at home, is just 7-10 against the Mustangs on their home floor with the location of one game unknown... Each team won on its home floor last season as the Titans are looking to snap a four-game losing streak against Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo... Fullerton is 31-7 all-time against Cal State Northridge, but the Matadors swept the regular season series from the Titans in 2008-09 for the first time since joining the Big West in 2001-02... Fullerton is 16-3 all-time against Northridge on the Matadors' home floor, winning seven of the last 10 visits.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS: Cal Poly enters the week at 9-5 overall and 2-1 in Big West... The Mustangs have posted Big West wins over UC Irvine (73-61) and Pacific (63-53) while falling to UC Davis (77-72) last week to snap a four-game winning streak... Kristina Santiago leads the team in scoring at 19.6 ppg and rebounding at 7.4 rpg while also shooting just under 55 percent from the field... Rachel Clancy joins her in double figures at 10.9 ppg while shooting 52 percent from the floor... the Mustangs are shooting just under 45 percent from the field as a team and averaging 70.1 ppg while holding opponents to just 38 percent shooting and 66.3 ppg thus far this season.
SCOUTING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the week with a 2-11 overall record and an 0-3 mark in Big West play... the Matadors will play at UC Riverside on Thursday at 7 p.m. before returning home to host Cal State Fullerton... Northridge has lost its last five games, opening the week with a 91-71 defeat at the hands of Cal State Bakersfield at home on Monday... the Matadors' last win came back on Dec. 20 when they defeated Miami, 68-50, at home... Jasmine Erving leads the team offensively, averaging 13.1 ppg and 5.5 rpg while shooting .434 from the floor... Bridgette Conejo is also in double figures, averaging 12.3 ppg and a team-high 5.7 rpg while shooting .424 from the field... Northridge is averaging just 59.4 ppg and shoots .374 from the field as a team while allowing 73.6 ppg and a .411 field goal percentage to its opponents.
YOU'RE THE BEST AROUND: Cal State Fullerton has opened conference play with four straight wins - the first time in school history that the Titans have ever opened their league schedule 4-0. Fullerton had opened 3-0 just once before in 1989 and matched that mark with its come-from-behind win over Long Beach State last week. The four-game conference winning streak is the longest for the Titans since they won four-in-a-row in 1997 with wins over New Mexico State, North Texas, Pacific, and Long Beach State and, with two wins this week, will match the 1989 and 1991 teams (the latter accomplishing the feat twice en route to a school-record 14-4 league mark) with six straight Big West victories.
BRING YOUR DEFENSE...: Otherwise Thursday's contest with Cal Poly will be a shootout as the game will feature the top two offenses in the league in the Mustangs (70.1 ppg) and the Titans (69.1 ppg). Cal Poly would seem to have a leg up in the defense category, however, as it is allowing just 66.3 ppg (third in the league) to Fullerton's 71.1 ppg (eighth in the league).
JUST WIN, BABY: Our apologies to Al Davis, but the Titans are following that mantra more than the Oakland Raiders did this season. Fullerton's four-game winning streak is a season best and the longest since the Titans won five-in-a-row from Jan. 19-Feb. 2, 2008. Two more wins this week over Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge would give Fullerton its longest win streak since the Titans won eight in a row from Feb. 9-March 7, 1991, en route to a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
EIGHT IS GREAT...: But not enough for the juggernaut Titans, whose 8-8 mark this season puts them just two wins shy of their total for all of last season when they finished 10-20 overall and advanced to the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. Fullerton didn't notch it's eighth win last year until game 26 in a 70-61 win at Long Beach State on Feb. 28.
FOUR IS FINE...: Continuing a theme... Fullerton's four conference wins are also just one shy of last year's 5-11 mark that placed the Titans sixth in the league during the regular season. Cal State Fullerton hasn't won more than eight games in conference play in each of the last 18 seasons since posting a school record 14 league victories in 1990-91, finishing with an 8-10 mark in 1994-95 and 2003-04 and an 8-8 record in 2007-08.
THREEEEE-CO-LA: Behind a career-high five three-pointers from senior Jasmine Scott, the Titans made a season-high 11 three-pointers (in 23 attempts) last week in their win over UC Riverside, falling just three shy of the single-game school record of 14 set against Iowa State on Nov. 15, 2006. The .478 shooting percentage from long-distance was also a season best and the highest since the Titans shot .563 (9-for-16) from three-point range in a win over Colorado on Dec. 7, 2006.
RALLY CAPS??: We couldn't think of a proper comparison to basketball (rally sneakers?) so this will have to do. When the Titans rallied from a four-point halftime deficit last week at Long Beach State, it marked the first time in eight chances this season that the Fullerton had won a game when trailing at the break. It snapped a nine-game losing streak in such contests dating back to last season when the Titans also defeated the 49ers, 70-61, on Feb. 28 in Long Beach after trailing 39-37 at the half.
COSEY ON THE SCOREBOARD: Freshman Jaslyn Cosey became the latest Titan rookie to get her name in the scoring column last week, scoring her first career collegiate points with a basket and three rebounds against Long Beach State and followed that up two nights later with five points, including 3-of-4 from the line, in the win over UC Riverside.
MY-OH-MYA: Freshman Mya Olivier had been struggling offensively since scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds against Sacramento State in the second game of the season. However, Olivier rewarded Head Coach Marcia Foster's faith with her solid play on both ends of the floor. The rookie from Laguna Beach, who started her first career game on Jan. 4 in a win over Pacific, scored eight points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench in the win over the 49ers and followed that up with seven points and eight more boards in 19 minutes against the Highlanders in only her second career start. Seven of her 16 rebounds were on the offensive end as she moved into fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.5 rpg.
MORE FIRSTS FOR FOSTER: The eight wins for first-year head coach Marcia Foster are the most for a first-year Titan coach since Denise Curry finished 10-17 overall in 1997-98. Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah had nine wins en route to a 9-20 season in 2003-04, but that was the start of her second go-round with the Fullerton program. Dr. Jeremiah finished 11-18 as head coach in her first season in Orange County in 1985-86.
MEGAN BEING MEGAN: After being held to just five combined points against Portland State and Wisconsin, sophomore Megan Richardson has returned to her scoring ways, reaching double figures in her last 10 straight games and 14 of 16 overal this season. During her recent streak, Richardson is averaging a team-best 17.2 ppg while averaging just over 32 minutes per contest, helping to boost her into third place on the league's scoring list at 15.8 ppg overall entering this week's contests.
I'M SENSING A TREND HERE: Sophomore Megan Richardson notched a game-high 20 points last Saturday (Jan. 9) in the Titans' win over UC Riverside, marking the third time in her last four games that the Manhattan Beach native has reached the 20-point plateau and the fifth time overall this year - two more than her entire rookie season in 2008-09 when she finished with three, 20-point contests against Cal State Bakersfield (22), Pacific (21), and UC Riverside (21). Richardson fell just short of four-straight 20-point performances, but finished with "only" 15 points in the Titans come-from-behind win at Long Beach State on Jan. 7.
BRITT NOT "PETER"-ING OUT: Junior guard Britt Peters continues to find just a little bit more on the offensive end, helping the Titans to one of their best seasons in recent memory. Peters scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting while also tying a career-high with five rebounds in the Titans' come-from-behind win at Long Beach State and followed that up with 11 points and four assists in Fullerton's win over UC Riverside two nights later. With those two performances under her belt, Peters has now hit double figures four times this season after not scoring more than eight points in her previous two years in a Titan uniform.
I WANT MY PPG: Cal State Fullerton's 78 points against UC Riverside last week gave the Titans seven games of 70-or-more points this season - surpassing the team's total from its entire 30-game 2008-09 campaign. Fullerton is 5-2 overall this season when scoring 70 points or more - including twice scoring more than 80 points in wins over Sacramento State (Nov. 15) and Pacific (Jan. 4).
THAT IS A SWEET-SOUNDING QUARTET: Cal State Fullerton once again had four players in double figures in its win over UC Riverside, helping the Titans improve to 5-0 overall this year when they have four (or more) players reach double figures in the scoring column - including five players with 10-or-more points in an overtime win against Portland State.
DYNAMIC DUO: Cal State Fullerton scoring leaders Lyndsey Grove and Megan Richardson have combined to lead the team in scoring in 15 of the team's 16 games thus far this season with Richardson holding a 10-5 advantage over her teammate - including pacing the offense in each of the last four games. Senior Jasmine Scott is the only other Titan to lead the team in scoring following her season-high 19-point outburst against Eastern Washington on Dec. 21.
LET'S GO HALVSIES: Leading at the break has usually led to great things for the Titans this season as Fullerton improved to 7-1 overall when taking a lead into the locker room at halftime with their win at home over UC Riverside on Jan. 9. The Titans' lone loss in that category came against BYU on Dec. 12 despite leading by a point, 29-28, following the first 20 minutes of play.
SMOOTH "JAZZ": Senior guard Jasmine Scott has had the hot hand as of late, finding another gear to help power the Fullerton offensive engine. The Sacramento native has hit double figures in scoring in each of the team's last seven games - including a season-high of 19 points twice against Eastern Washington on Dec. 21 and UC Riverside on Jan. 9. The Sacramento native is averaging 14.4 ppg and 4.7 rpg in that stretch while shooting a blistering .487 (38-for-78) from the field, an equally torrid .522 (12-of-23) from three-point range, and .813 (13-for-16) from the free throw line. Scott ranks third on the team in scoring at 11.2 ppg overall and has reached double figures in 11 of 16 contests this season.
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 2009-10, entering the week ranked second in the league in scoring offense at 69.1 ppg (No. 84 in the NCAA) bouyed by seven games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15. Fullerton's 1,105 points thus far this season are 75 points more than second place UC Davis (1,030).
OR YOUR POINTS ARE FREEEEE: The Titans, who led the Big West in free throw percentage a season ago, have continued to be one of the most accurate at the line this season, leading the league once again entering the weekend at .749 on the year. Junior Lyndsey Grove ranks third in the conference at .850 (68-for-80) while sophomore Megan Richardson is eighth at .783 (65-for-83). On a national level, the Titans stand No. 27 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Marist's nation-leading 80.2 percent (as of NCAA stats of Jan. 10).
NOT IN A GIVING MOOD: Fullerton hasn't been one to just hand the ball over to its opponents this season, committing a Scrooge-esque 15.9 turnovers per game and ranks No. 42 in the nation in that category (as of NCAA stats of Jan. 10) and first in the Big West Conference. The 255 turnovers overall are the fewest in the league entering the week, Fullerton's +3.13 turnover margin (No. 59 in the NCAA) is second in the conference (UC Davis +4.94), and the Titans' 305 turnovers forced are fourth-best in the league.
GIMME A SECOND CHANCE: Fullerton's work on the offensive boards have done just that for its offense this season as the Titans rank tied for second in the league with 14.1 offensive rebounds per game behind league-leading Pacific, which has grabbed an average of 14.7 per game in 2009-10. Individually, juniors Jenna Breite and Lyndsey Grove lead the way, tying for seventh in the league at 2.1 per game while senior Jasmine Scott is 10th with 1.9 per game.