Titans Take Offensive Momentum Into Pair of Road Contests This Week
Jan. 23, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - After posting its biggest offensive night in almost 10 years, the Cal State Fullerton women¹s basketball team (3-13 overall, 2-3 in the Big West Conference) hopes to carry that momentum into a pair of road games this week. The Titans head to league-leading UC Riverside on Wednesday evening (Jan. 23) at 7 p.m. before heading to reclassifying Cal State Bakersfield for a Saturday night (Jan. 26) tip-off at 7 p.m.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Wednesday night¹s contest at UC Riverside will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Todd Reeves will handle the play-by-play of the contest between the Titans and Highlanders. Click on the logo with the microphone on the right-hand side of the main page to access the links.
CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?: Live video streaming for all home games and all Big West Conference contests will be available on a subscription basis by logging on to the league¹s website at www.bigwest.org/tv.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the series with UC Riverside, 16-13, but has lost the last two meetings after sweeping the season series in 2005-06... Fullerton is 7-6 all-time at UCR... The Titans have lost the only game with Cal State Bakersfield, falling 69-61 in last year's first-ever meeting in Fullerton.
A LOOK AT UC RIVERSIDE: The Highlanders enter the week with a 6-9 overall record and a perfect 4-0 mark in Big West Conference play... UC Riverside has won its last four - all in conference play - after losing four straight prior to the new year... the Highlanders are led offensively by Seyram Gbewonyo, who is averaging 13.5 ppg in the stead of Kemie Nkele, who is out for the season due to injury after averaging 16.2 ppg and 8.3 rpg in only six games... Three other Highlanders: Tainoisouti Lott (9.7 ppg), Brittany Waddell (9.3 ppg), and Roney Friend (9.3 ppg) are also averaging better than nine points per contest.
A LOOK AT CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD: The Roadrunners enter the week with an 8-10 overall record and will meet Utah Valley State on Thursday (Jan. 24) before welcoming the Titans... Bakersfield has won its last two straight over Texas-Pan American and Cal Poly after losing four in a row... the Cal Poly game marked the first of eight home games for the 'Runners in their last nine contests of the regular season... Kelley Tarver leads a contingent of four players in double figures, averaging 17.8 ppg... Chris Kepenekian (12.9 ppg), Naomi Johnson (12.1 ppg), and Krista Arase (11.8) join her in double figures.
LIGHTS OUT: Cal State Fullerton set a season high with its 94 points on Saturday night against league rival Pacific and marked the most points for a Titans squad since they put up 96 points in a win over Long Beach State almost 10 years ago on Feb. 22, 1998.
EIGHT(Y) IS GREAT(Y): The 94 points by the Titans marked the second time this season that Fullerton has eclipsed the 80-point plateau (vs. San Jose State), winning both games. In fact, the Titans have won their last 15 consecutive games when scoring at least 80 points dating back to a 97-80 loss at UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 23, 1997.
"DAY" TRIP: For only the second time this season, junior Daviyonne Weathersby came off the bench in a game for Cal State Fullerton on Saturday and did not disappoint. Weathersby, who had been averaging only 4.2 ppg entering the game against Pacific, exploded for nearly twice her previous career high, scoring 13 points to go along with three rebounds, assists, and steals, in the win over the Tigers. She shot a team-best 56 percent (5-for-9) from the floor for the week and averaged 4.5 assists per game.
NOT TO BE OUTDONE: Senior Alison Bennett also went out and had a career night against Pacific, scoring in double figures for only the second time this with a new career-best of 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and swiping a career-best five steals on the night.
NUMBERS ARE FUN: Cal State Fullerton set season high's with a .554 (31-for-56) field goal percentage, .538 (7-for-13) three-point percentage, and an .833 (25-for-30) free throw percentage. The field goal percentage is the highest since the Titans shot .591 (26-for-44) in a 66-65 win at Cal State Northridge.
AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB: With her 34 points this past weekend, junior Toni Thomas became the 10th player in school history to score more than 1,200 points in a career, entering this week's contests with 1,207 points in her two-plus years. Thomas needs only 53 points to match Marlene Kline (1979-83) for ninth among the school's all-time scoring leaders.
SIGHTS SET: With 12 games remaining in the regular season, Thomas is on track to score more than 500 points for the second straight season (513 if she continues to average 18.3 ppg for the rest of the year). Should she accomplish that, Thomas would become only the third Cal State Fullerton player in the history of the program to score more than 500 points in two seasons, joining all-time leading scorer Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (1987-91), who did it three times, and Claudette Jackson (1990-92), who did it in both of her seasons as a Titan after transferring from Golden West College.
TOO EARLY FOR "BACK-TO-BACK" TALK?: Just as she has all season, junior Toni Thomas stands atop the Big West scoring race at 18.3 ppg entering this week¹s contests. Should she repeat as the conference¹s scoring champion in 2008, Thomas, who leads UC Davis' Jessica Campbell (15.4 ppg) by almost three points per game in the standings, would become only the fourth player in league history to lead the conference in scoring in back-to-back seasons and the first since Idaho's Emily Faurholt accomplished the feat in 2004-05. Other Big West players to do so: Long Beach State's Cindy Brown (1986-87) and Hawaii's Judy Mosley (1989-90).
CHOW'S SECOND STREAK ENDS: Freshman guard Lauren Chow's second lengthy consecutive free throw's made streak of the season came to end on Saturday, as she had had hit 14 straight until only her second miss of the year at the 18:07 mark of the second half against Pacific. Chow, who hit 17 consecutive free throws to start her Division I career, hit a league single-game best 11-for-11 in a home victory over San Jose State back on Nov. 17. The freshman continues to lead the league from the line, however, hitting 36-of-38 on the year for a .947 clip.
BACK TO BASICS: The basics of scoring, that is. Since being held to just eight points and five rebounds against Santa Clara on Dec. 31 to end her 31-game double-digit scoring streak, junior Toni Thomas has scored double digits in each of her last five games, averaging 18.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest while also shooting .525 from the floor and .438 from the free throw line.
DOIN' THE DISHES: Freshman Lauren Chow and junior Daviyonne Weathersby has proved to be a formidible backcourt for the Titans this season, each ranking amongst the Big West Conference leaders in assists entering the week. Chow stands third in a close race for the top spot with 3.38 apg while Weathersby is eighth at 3.00 apg.
NOT HALF BAD: Fullerton's 50-point first half on Saturday against Pacific was a season high for the Titans, surpassing the 46-point second half they had against San Jose State on Nov. 17. Fullerton has led at the half only six times in 16 games this season, posting a 3-3 record in those games.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?: With the Big West Conference season well underway, freshman guard Lauren Chow is making a stellar case for league freshman of the year honors. The Titans' rookie ranks seventh in the Big West Conference in scoring and is the only underclassman to rank among the league's top 15 scorers this week. She also stands among the league¹s best in assists (3rd), free throw percentage (1st), steals (3rd), three-point percentage (6th), three-pointers made (1st), assist-to-turnover ratio (3rd), and minutes played (9th).
PRESENTED BY AT&T: If it were legal in the NCAA's eyes to have players sponsored by companies, AT&T or some of the other national long distance carriers might want to look into Lauren Chow on a poster or something. Chow, who also stands among national leaders in both of the following categories, is fourth in the Big West Conference with a .369 three-point percentage (38-of-103) and leads the league at 2.38 three-pointers made per game. Her 38 three-pointers made overall also lead all players in the Big West this season.
PUT ME IN COACH: If it seems that Toni Thomas, Alison Bennett, and Lauren Chow are always in the game, you¹d be right. The trio ranks among the league¹s top 10 in minutes played with Thomas standing fifth (31.44 mpg), Bennett sixth (30.44 mpg), and Chow ninth (29.13 mpg). Only UC Riverside and UC Davis have multiple players among the top 10 with two each.
ACROSS THE NCAA: Individually, Toni Thomas ranks No. 23 nationally in scoring at 18.3 ppg and No. 82 in field goal percentage at .495... Lauren Chow is No. 58 in three-pointers made per game at 2.4 and No. 86 in three point percentage at .369.