Jan. 18, 2006
FULLERTON, CA -
After extending its winning streak to three games with a win over UC Riverside last weekend, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (5-10 overall, 3-2 in the Big West Conference) looks to snap its season-long skid on the road this week with a pair of games against longtime league rivals.
The Titans, who are 0-9 away from Titan Gym this season, travel to Long Beach State on Thursday (Jan. 19) for a 7:30 p.m. tip off at the Walter Pyramid. Fullerton then heads south to close out the weekend, locking horns with Orange County rival UC Irvine on Saturday (Jan. 21) at 4 p.m. at the Bren Center.
ON THE AIR... SORT OF
Both of this week's games will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Cal State Fullerton student Patrick Alog will carry the play-by-play from Long Beach State while students Mike Martinez and LaTangia Oliver handle the call from Irvine.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE
Long Beach State enters the weekend with an 11-5 overall record and stands atop the Big West Conference with a perfect 4-0 mark. The 49ers have won their last four straight and seven of their last eight after downing Pacific (74-61) and Cal State Northridge (102-62) last weekend.
Long Beach State is led offensively by guard Crystal McCutcheon, who is averaging a league-best 16.6 points per game to go with 5.4 rebounds and 2.75 steals. She is shooting 39 percent from both the field and three-point range and 87 percent from the free throw line.
Head Coach Mary Hegarty is in her third season at the helm of the 49ers women's basketball program, leading Long Beach State to a 44-30 record in that span.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE
UC Irvine enters the weekend with a 3-13 overall record and a 1-3 mark in Big West play for sixth place. The Anteaters, who host UC Riverside on Thursday before facing the Titans, snapped a three-game losing streak with an 85-72 win over Pacific on Jan. 15.
Guard Angie Ned leads the way for UCI offensively, averaging 12.1 points per game and shooting 35 percent from the field. She is the only Anteater in double figures, followed by freshman Kelly Cochran (8.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Kirian Ishizaki (8.0 ppg).
Head Coach Molly Tuter is in her first full season at the head of the UCI women's basketball team, taking over for Mark Adams after he resigned in December, 2004, after an 0-7 start. Under Tuter last season, the Anteaters were 8-14 and advanced to the Big West Tournament quarterfinals.
&\#149; LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 55-23, having won the last four meetings in a series that dates back to the 1969-70 season... the Titans' last win came on Feb. 13, 2003, in a 77-74 victory at the Walter Pyramid... the 49ers swept the Titans in the season series last season: 76-68 at Long Beach, and 67-50 at Fullerton.
&\#149; UC IRVINE: The Anteaters lead the all-time series with the Titans, 27-22, having won the last two straight since a 59-50 Fullerton win back on Feb. 12, 2004... UCI swept the series last season thanks to a 75-74 win at Irvine and a 65-52 win in Fullerton.
AND THE TITANS MAKE THREE
Cal State Fullerton's win over UC Riverside on Jan. 14 gave the Titans their third-straight victory - the longest winning streak for Fullerton since closing out the 2004-05 regular season with three straight wins. Coincedentally, Cal State Northridge and Pacific have been part of both Titan winning streaks after the Titans defeated the Matadors 69-55 in last year's finale and 87-61 this season, and downed the Tigers 80-59 last year in Stockton and 72-64 in Fullerton this year.
COMFORTS OF HOME...
How good has Titan Gym been to the Titans this season? Fullerton's five-game home winning streak is the longest since 1998 when Fullerton won five straight and the five wins this season are the most since the 2002-03 season when the Titans were 5-10 at home.
During its home winning streak, Fullerton is averaging 73 points per game (better than its overall season average of 65.4 ppg) while holding the opposition to 64 points (better than its overall season average of 73.3 ppg). All of this while being outshot 46 percent to 42 percent in that span.
NOW ABOUT THESE ROAD TRIPS...
Just as the yin and yang are in balance, the Titans home successes have been equally balanced by its road woes this season as Fullerton shoots for its first win away from Titan Gym this weekend. The Titans, who are 0-9 away from home (including neutral site games) in 2005-06, are averaging just 61.6 points this season in front of hostile crowds while allowing just under 78 points per contest and being outrebounded by an average of almost eight boards per contest.
SCORING STREAKS COME TO AN END
Cal State Fullerton found other scoring answers in its 68-62 victory over UC Riverside, as junior Charlee Underwood and senior Amber Pruitt were held in check. Underwood, who had scored in double figures in seven straight games, was held to just nine points while Pruitt, who had scored 10-or-more in five straight games, was held to only five points. It was only the third time in 15 games that Underwood had been held to under 10 points and only the fifth time this season for Pruitt.
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. Pruitt's 40 points this past weekend against Cal State Northridge and Pacific have moved her closer to No. 16 all-time as she now stands just 28 points behind Koko Lahanas (1993-95) with 920 career points. 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.
TITANS HIT THE BOARDS
Fullerton continues to be a monster on the boards during its recent winning streak, grabbing a season-high 46 rebounds in its six-point victory over UC Riverside. The titans have outrebounded its last five consecutive opponents by an average of six rebounds per contest after failing to do so in the first 10 games of the season.
THOMAS SIMPLY OFFENSIVE
On the boards, that is. Cal State Fullerton freshman Toni Thomas is a close second on the team in rebounding at 5.7 rebounding per game - a total that puts her 11th in the league in that category. The 5-11 Thomas has been even more of a force on the offensive boards as 50 of her 86 total rebounds (58 percent) have come off her own teammates shots, placing her third in the league in that category behind a pair of taller posts in UC Santa Barbara's Jenna Green (who stands at 6-4 and has grabbed 54 offensive rebounds) and Long Beach State's Jayme Connors (who stands at 6-2 and has grabbed 55 boards on the offensive end).
LOOKING FOR THAT CERTAIN, SPECIAL...
Someone? How about five someones? In it's 15 games this season, the Titans have used 12 different starting lineups, with only Charlee Underwood (14 starts), Toni Thomas (12 starts), and India McDaniel (12 starts) being the most consistent names in Fullerton's starting five. Of the 15 Titans that have seen playing time this season, all but three have at least one start.
NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH...
But there are such things as free points -- and the Titans are the best in the Big West Conference at snatching them up. Fullerton leads the league by mere percentage points in free throw percentage at .71530 (UC Irvine is second at .71518) and has shot 70 percent or better from the charity stripe in 10 of the team's 15 games. The Titans have done themselves one better in each of their last three wins, shooting better than 80 percent against Northridge (.857), Pacific (.813), and Riverside (.833).