Second Go-Round in Big West Play Begins With League-Leading UC Riverside

Jan. 30, 2007

FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (10-11 overall, 4-3 in the Big West Conference), winners of its last three-straight games, opens the second round of Big West play this weekend as the Titans host league-leading UC Riverside on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 3) at 2 p.m. at Titan Gym.

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LISTEN LIVE
This weekend's contest can be heard live over the Internet by visiting Cal State Fullerton's official athletic website at www.FullertonTitans.com and clicking on the graphic with the microphone on the right-hand side of the page.

BIG WEST TV IS BACK!
Live streaming video for all Cal State Fullerton home games and select road contests will be available once again during the regular season through a partnership with the Big West Conference and CSTV. The subscription video service is \$79.95 for the entire season or \$9.95 per month. For more information, please visit the Big West website at www.bigwest.org/tv.

SERIES RECORDS
UC RIVERSIDE: The Titans lead the all-time series with the Highlanders, 16-12, but UC Riverside snapped a two-game losing streak with a 64-48 victory over Cal State Fullerton earlier this season on Jan. 13... In a series that dates back to the 1969-70 season, the Highlanders have won nine of the 12 meetings between the two schools since joining the Big West Conference in 2001-02.

SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS
UC Riverside enters this week's play with a 12-8 overall record and sits atop the Big West Conference with a 6-1 mark... the Highlanders had a three-game winning streak snapped with a nine-point loss at UC Davis last week, but UCR has posted wins in 10 of its last 13 games with losses at BYU and at Cal State Northridge... UC Riverside travels to California on Wednesday before heading to Fullerton... junior Kemie Nkele leads a balanced offensive attack, averaging 16.1 ppg (second in the league) and 8.0 rpg to go with 49 blocked shots (2.45 bpg)... three other players are averaging better than eight points per game... the Highlanders' offense is averaging just 60.2 ppg (7th in the league), but they boast the Big West's best defense, allowing just 58.8 ppg - almost six points per game better than second-place Long Beach State.

JEREMIAH REACHES MILESTONE WIN
Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah won her 150th game as head coach of the Titans on Saturday at UC Davis, improving her record to 150-161 (.482) in her 10-plus seasons at the helm of the Fullerton program.

A STREAK WORTH NOTING
Cal State Fullerton's win over UC Davis on Saturday extended its season-best winning streak to three straight games - marking the longest such streak since the Titans won three straight to kick off the month of February last season. The Titans, whose streak is also the longest active winning streak in the Big West, haven't won four in a row since the end of the 1996-97 campaign from Feb. 7-16.

FRIAS PUTS UP BIG NUMBERS AGAIN
Junior guard Dayana Frias had a career night on Saturday against the Aggies, posting a career-best 18 points and five three-pointers made in Fullerton's nine-point win. Frias, who had been averaging just 3.1 ppg entering the game, hit double digits for the second time in her last three games and bested her previous career high of 16 points set in last season's opener at Colorado. The five three-pointers also set a new high, bettering the four she hit against Loyola Marymount in her freshman season.

DOUBLE DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Senior Charlee Underwood tallied her second consecutive double-double on Saturday against UC Davis, pouring in 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the Titans' victory. In that span, she is averaging 12.5 ppg and 15.5 rpg in those two contests.

DOUBTING THOMAS?
`Cause you shouldn't. With 27 more points, sophomore Toni Thomas will become the first Titan to reach 400 points in a single season since Shayla Bradshaw scored 487 points in 1995-96. Thomas' 373 points are the most for a Fullerton player since Kris Sigg had 392 points in the 1998-99 season.

THOMAS STILL LEAGUE'S BEST
Sophomore Toni Thomas remains atop the Big West scoring race at 17.8 points per game entering Saturday's game - besting second-place Kemie Nkele of UC Riverside by 1.7 ppg. If the season were to end today, Thomas would be the first Titan to lead the league in scoring since Koko Lahanas accomplished the feat in 1994-95 after averaging a nation-high 26.8 ppg. Claudette Jackson (1992 - 20.3 ppg) and Genia Miller (1991 - 29.4 ppg) are the only other Titans to lead the Big West in scoring.

THOMAS KEEPS UP IMPRESSIVE PACE
Should sophomore Toni Thomas keep up her current scoring pace (17.8 ppg) over the Titans' nine remaining games, she would be in line to become the first Titan player to score 500 points in a single season since Koko Lahanas led the nation in scoring with 778 points (26.8 ppg) in 1994-95. Thomas' current pace would put her at 533 points for the year - which would rank tied for ninth on the season list.

TITANS HOPE TO REKINDLE HOME MAGIC
Fullerton enters Saturday's game against league-leading UC Riverside with a little home court advantage as the Titans are 7-3 at Titan Gym this season, posting wins in 16 of its last 22 at home over the last two seasons while UC Riverside is only 3-6 away on the road this season. The Titans are averaging just over 71 points per game and shooting just under 41 percent from the field at Titan Gym this season, outscoring the opposition by better than five points per contest.

Compare that to the Titans' struggles away from home this season (3-8) where they have shot just 35 percent and are averaging just 56.0 ppg in 11 contests.

CRASH THE BOARDS
Cal State Fullerton continues to dominate on the boards as the Titans outrebounded their third consecutive opponent with a 10-rebound advantage on Saturday at Davis. Fullerton is averaging 43.0 rebounds per game over its last three contests as a team to the opposition's 31.3 rpg.

NO SHOT FOR YOU
The Titans have become quite a force in shot-blocking department over the last five games, swatting down 22 shots (4.40 bpg) over that span compared to 28 in the team's first 16 games of the season (1.75 bpg).

PACE YOURSELF... IT'S A LONG SEASON
Charlee Underwood played in all 40 minutes of the Titans' win over UC Davis - the fourth time that the Fullerton senior has not seen the bench in a game this season. Underwood, who also played all 40 minutes against Northern Colorado (12/9), Pacific (1/6), and UC Irvine (1/20), is second on the team with 667 minutes played and 33.3 minutes per game. Going the distance hasn't hurt her statistically, though, as she is averaging 15.3 ppg and 10.8 rpg in those games while shooting .456 from the field.

TITANS CLOSING IN ON WIN TOTAL
The Titans' 10 victories this season are just one short of their season total from all of last year when Fullerton finished 11-17 overall. With two more wins in the team's remaining eight games, Cal State Fullerton will post the most wins since the 1994-95 team finished 14-15 overall.

UNDERWOOD, TAYLOR MOVE UP
Charlee Underwood moved into second place on the school's all-time three-point attempts list with 427, needing just 41 more to pass Shayla Bradshaw (1992-96) for the top spot. Senior Audrey Taylor jumped two spots to No. 6 on the school's all-time assist charts with her six assists at UC Davis on Saturday and needs just seven more to move past Debbie Ricketts (1973-77) for fifth place.

THOMAS UPS STREAK TO "PERFECT 10"
Sophomore Toni Thomas notched her 10th consecutive double-digit scoring performance with her 15-point, eight-rebound effort in the win over UC Davis on Saturday night. Thomas, who has scored in double digits in every game but one this season, is averaging 18.3 ppg and 8.9 rpg over her last 10 games while shooting .457 (64-for-140) from the field.

UNDERWOOD'S MOVES TO EIGHT
Senior Charlee Underwood has a little scoring streak of her own, extending her's to eight-straight after her 11-point, 12-rebound performance against UC Davis. She is averaging 15.5 ppg and 8.0 rpg in that span and has scored 15-or-more points four times.

HALF LEADS TO WHOLE LOTTA WINS
Fullerton improved to 9-3 this season when leading at halftime, including the last three straight occurances and four of the last five. Compare that to a 1-8 record when the Titans have a bad first half and trail heading into the lockerroom.

BLOCKS A PLENTY
Senior Charlee Underwood and sophomore Toni Thomas continue to rack up career numbers in the blocks category as they share the team lead with 17 this season and rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Big West at 0.85 and 0.81 blocks per game entering this week's games. Underwood's 43 career blocks rank eighth on the all-time list while Thomas' 17 blocks are 14 more that she had last season and are just five short of breaking on to the single-season list.

THE THIRD WHEEL
In this case a good thing. The Titans had three players in double figures in their win at UC Davis as Fullerton improved to 8-4 this year when it has three or more players score in double digits. Conversely, the Titans are just 2-5 this season when only two or fewer players reach 10 points, snapping a two-game losing streak with their win over UC Irvine on Jan. 20.

DYNAMIC DUO GOES NATIONAL
Both sophomore Toni Thomas and senior Charlee Underwood rank among the nation's top 100 players in various categories entering this week's play. Thomas is No. 47 in the country in scoring, No. 81 in rebounding and No. 94 in free throw percentage. Underwood is No. 85 in three-point percentage and No. 100 in three-pointers made per game (2.1). Thomas is the only Big West player in the top 100 in scoring and one of three in the top 100 in rebounding.

STILL NO. 1
Cal State Fullerton still sits atop the Big West Conference in free throw shooting at .731 - down four points after Saturday's 11-for-17 (.647) performance against UC Davis.

NOT NO. 1... BUT REALLY GOOD
Cal State Fullerton enters this week shooting a league-high .731 from the free throw line to rank No. 52 in the NCAA behind Wisconsin-Green Bay's nation-leading .798 from the charity stripe.

CHECK THOSE SHOES FOR SPRINGS
Senior Charlee Underwood grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds in the Titans' win over UC Irvine on Jan. 20, coming close to matching the single-game school record of 23 shared by three former Titans that has stood since 1980. Underwood's 19 rebounds were the most in a game for a Fullerton player since Erin Whiteside grabbed 21 boards in a win over San Jose State on Jan. 2, 2000.

THOMAS POURS IN CAREER BEST
After twice tying her career high with 27 points this season in back-to-back games against Colorado and Northern Colorado, sophomore Toni Thomas finally got over the hump against UC Irvine, scoring a career-high 29 points to help the Titans over the Anteaters. Thomas, who had 20 of those 29 in the first half, hit on 11-of-15 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line en route to a stellar night. It was the most points scored by a Titan in a single game since Amber Pruitt netted 29 points against Pacific on March 4, 2004.

BIG WEST'S BEST 1-2 PUNCH
Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas (17.9 ppg) and Charlee Underwood (15.1 ppg) each rank among the league's top five scorers - making them the best 1-2 offensive punch in the Big West. The duo has combined to score 644 points (33.0 ppg) and has accounted for just under 51 percent of the team's points this season.