Homestand Opens With Pair of Local Foes

Jan. 31, 2008

FULLERTON, CA - A red-hot Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (5-13 overall, 3-3 in the Big West Conference) will carry a three-game winning streak into Titan Gym this week, as the Titans get back to conference play against a couple of local opponents.

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Long Beach State makes the short trip to Orange County on Thursday night (Jan. 31) for a 7 p.m. tip before Cal State Northridge comes calling on Saturday evening (Feb. 2) at 5 p.m.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Both of this week's games will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Mike Martinez will handle the play-by-play of Thursday's game while Todd Reeves will broadcast Saturday's contest. 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 league's website at www.bigwest.org/tv.

SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton trails in the all-time series with Long Beach State by a 57-25 count and are just 3-7 in its last 10 against the 49ers... The Titan posted a 68-57 win last season at home, but fell by a 73-59 count at the Walter Pyramid... Fullerton is 13-24 all-time at home against Long Beach State... Against Cal State Northridge, the Titans are a combined 29-5 all-time, winning the last three-straight after sweeping the series last season - including a 75-65 victory in the second round of the Big West Tournament... Fullerton is 7-3 against the Matadors in the last 10 meetings between the two schools.

A LOOK AT LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers enter the week with a 4-13 overall record and a 2-4 mark in Big West play, snapping a two-game losing streak with a 71-56 win over Cal State Northridge last weekend... preseason all-conference selection Karina Figueroa leads the team offensively at 11.7 ppg despite being sidelined for eight games due to a foot injury... she returned on Jan. 19 against UC Riverside, and has averaged 14.5 ppg in her last two contests.

A LOOK AT CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Matadors are in the midst of a tremendous slump in 2007-08, posting an 0-16 overall record and an 0-6 record in Big West play... Northridge is being outscored by an average of 19.6 ppg and haven't won since a 67-60 victory over Cal Poly on Mar. 1, 2007 - a span of 18 games... junior Whitney Ligon leads the team in scoring at 13.3 ppg and is shooting .374 from the field this season... senior Katie Holloway is averaging 12.2 ppg and a team-high 7.5 rpg... Holloway is shooting .496 from the field and also has 19 blocks this year... junior Crystal Hahs leads the Big West with 39 blocks (2.44 per game).

THOMAS NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cal State Fullerton junior Toni Thomas was named Big West Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday afternoon after helping the Titans to a pair of wins last week. Thomas, who won the award for the fifth time in her career, shared her first honor of the season back on Jan. 2 with Pacific's Karen Dawkins. The league's leading scorer averaged 18.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield, while shooting .619 from the floor and hitting 9-of-12 from the free throw line to help Fullerton extend its season-long winning streak to three straight games.

ACROSS THE NCAA: Individually, Thomas ranks No. 26 in the nation in scoring and No. 76 in field goal percentage (.507)... Lauren Chow ranks No. 73 in the nation in three-point percentage (.371) and No. 48 in three-pointers made per game (2.4).

STREAKING: Cal State Fullerton extended its winning streak to three games last Saturday - its longest since winning three straight from March 1-8 before a loss to UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. A win on Thursday against Long Beach State would five the Titans four straight wins - its longest streak since 1997 - and a sweep of this week's games would be the longest winning stretch since Fullerton won eight straight in the NCAA Tournament season of 1990-91.

WINDEX WOMEN: A season's worth of frustration on the boards came to a triumphant end last week as the Titans outrebounded both UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield - the first two opponents to be outrebounded by Cal State Fullerton this year. The Titans went wild on the defensive boards (29), denying numerous second chance opportunities en route to a slim 33-32 advantage against the Highlanders. Three night's later, Fullerton outrebounded Bakersfield, 37-34, including 16 offensive rebounds that led to 26 second-chance points. Prior to last week, the Titans had not held the advantage on the boards in 19 straight games dating back to a win over UC Davis on March 1, 2007.

CALL IT A COMEBACK: Our apologies to LL Cool J, but the Titans can. Cal State Fullerton posted its largest comeback of the season on Saturday at Cal State Bakersfield, rebounding from a 10-point halftime deficit and a 14-point second half gap to down the Roadrunners, 77-75. It was the first time this season that the Titans won after trailing at halftime after going 0-10 in their previous attempts.

TWENTY-SOMETHING: Thomas' 21 points against Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday marked the eighth time the junior has reached the 20-point mark this season and the 24th time in her career. She has scored 20-or-more points in four of her last six games, averaging 21.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg while shooting .596 (28-for-47) from the field in those contests.

SCORE MORE, WIN MORE: Saturday's contest in Bakersfield marked the third time this season that the Titans have had four (or more) players in double figures, improving to 3-0 in those contests with the win over the Roadrunners.

THOMAS' STREAK UP TO SEVEN: Junior Toni Thomas extended her double-digit scoring streak to seven consecutive games with her team-high 21 points at Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, averaging 18.6 ppg in that span while shooting .549 from the field, .381 from three-point range, and .762 from the free throw line.

JUST SHOOT ME: Fullerton's offense has been clicking on all cylinders as of late, shooting just over 49 percent from the field in its last three games.

ONE "DAY" AT A TIME: After not reaching double digits in the last 15 games, junior guard Daviyonne Weathersby has turned into a bit of a scoring machine off the bench, averaging 11.3 ppg and shooting 55 percent (11-for-20) from the floor over her last three contests, including scoring a career-high with 13 points against Pacific and tying that mark last Saturday at Cal State Bakersfield. Trying to avoid the label as only a scorer, though, Weathersby has also averaged 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in that stretch, tying her career high's in both categories with six rebounds and six assists against the Roadrunners.

GROVE FINDS A GROOVE: After scoring only 14 points in the team's previous 10 games, freshman Lyndsey Grove found her shooting stroke on Saturday at Bakersfield, tying her career high with 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. It was her highest scoring outburst since she set her career high with 16 points at Pepperdine on Dec. 7.

HALF IS GOOD: Fullerton hit on 51 percent of its shots last week at UC Riverside, marking the second straight game that the Titans hit 50 percent or more of their shots from the floor - the first time since the 1995-96 season when Fullerton accomplished the feat in three straight games: shooting .611 in a win over UC Irvine (Feb. 11, 1996), .527 from the floor in a loss to New Mexico State (Feb. 16, 1996), and .615 in a win over UNLV (Feb. 18, 1996).

MOVIN' ON UP: Thomas' six rebounds against the Highlanders gave her 580 for her career, moving her into sole possession of ninth place on the school's all-time list. The junior needs only 23 more rebounds to tie Heather Hansen (1999-03) for eighth place all-time and needs only 11 more to become the ninth player in school history to grab 600 career rebounds.

FIVE PACK: The offense was clicking on all cylinders last weekend versus Pacific as the Fullerton offense featured five players in double figures. It is the first time in almost eight years that the Titans produced that much firepower in one game, as they had five score in double digits in a 72-69 win at Idaho on Jan. 23, 2000.

LIGHTS OUT: Cal State Fullerton set a season high with its 94 points 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.

SIGHTS SET: With 10 games remaining in the regular season, Thomas is on track to score more than 500 points for the second straight season (512 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 weekend's games. Should she repeat as the conference's 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).

EIGHT(Y) IS GREAT(Y): The 94 points by the Titans against Pacific 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.

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 league's best in assists (2nd), free throw percentage (1st), steals (5th), three-point percentage (3rd), three-pointers made (1st), and assist-to-turnover ratio (4th).

DOIN' THE DISHES: Freshman Lauren Chow and junior Daviyonne Weathersby has proved to be a formidible backcourt for the Titans this season, each ranking among the Big West Conference leaders in assists entering the week. Chow stands second in a close race for the top spot with 3.44 apg while Weathersby is ninth at 3.17 apg. Fullerton is one of four schools (UC Santa Barbara, Pacific, and Cal Poly) to have two guards in the top 10 this week.

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 seven times in 18 games this season, posting a 4-3 record in those games.

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