Feb. 3, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP OFF: The second go-round in Big West Conference play begins this week as the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (9-12 overall, 4-4 in the Big West) looks to get back in the win column in league play. The Titans, who have lost their last four straight conference games after a 4-0 start, hosts Long Beach State on Thursday night (Feb. 4) at 7 p.m. at Titan Gym, before heading to the Inland Empire to take on UC Riverside on Saturday evening (Feb. 6) at 5 p.m. at the Student Rec Center.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Both of this week's contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran Titan broadcaster Patrick Alog will have the play-by-play live from both venues. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the all-new 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 FullertonTitans.com.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton trails in the all-time series with Long Beach State by the count of 59-29, but has won two straight and six of the last nine meetings following a 67-60 come-from-behind win at the Walter Pyramid earlier this season on Jan. 7... Of the Titans' 29 wins in the series, 12 have come at Titan Gym (with the location of one game unknown) - where Fullerton has won three of the last four in the series... the Titans lead the all-time series with UC Riverside, 18-17, following their 78-60 victory on Jan. 9 at Titan Gym, snapping a four-game losing streak against the Highlanders... Fullerton is 6-7 all-time in Riverside (with the location of four games unknown) and has split its last four trips to the Inland Empire.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the week with an 8-12 overall record and a 4-3 mark in Big West Conference play for fourth place... the 49ers snapped a three-game losing streak on Jan. 28 with a 65-49 win at home against Cal State Northridge... Karina Figueroa leads the offense, averaging 17.0 ppg while averaging 4.7 rpg, 5.85 apg, and shooting .402 from the field... Lauren Sims (12.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, .455 FG%) and Ally Wade (11.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, .476 FG%) are also in double figures... Long Beach State is averaging 66.8 ppg (3rd in the conference) and is shooting .412 from the field while allowing opponents 68.7 ppg and a .400 field goal percentage.
SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside enters the week with a 7-13 overall record and a 4-2 mark in league play for third place... the Highlanders had won four straight following their loss at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 9, until falling at UC Davis on Jan. 28 by the score of 54-50 in their last outing... UCR will travel to Cal State Northridge on Thursday before hosting the Titans... Arizona transfer Rhaya Neabors leads the team offensively at 12.6 ppg and is joined in double figures by three others: Alyssa Morris (12.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, .444 FG%), Marissa Rivera (11.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, .473 FG%), and Amber Cox (10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, .429 FG%)... UC Riverside is averaging 63.5 ppg (5th in the league) and shooting .414 from the field while allowing 66.9 ppg and a .418 field goal percentage.
O-O-O-OVERTIME: After battling UC Santa Barbara to double-overtime on Jan. 23, the last thing the Titans wanted to see was a 45-minute battle against Seattle on Jan. 27, but that's exactly what they got. Fullerton's 82-76 win over the Redhawks marked its second-straight OT contest, its third in its last four games (at Cal Poly on Jan. 14), and its fourth overall this season (vs. Portland State on Nov. 28). The four overtime games in 2009-10 are the most in a single season in school history and only the fourth time in the history of the program that the Titans have played multiple overtime games since the 1980-81 campaign: 1981-82 (wins over Cal Poly Pomona and Nebraska), 1996-97 (losses to San Diego and Long Beach State), and 2007-08 (losses to UC Santa Barbara and Pacific).
MORE OVERTIME NUGGETS: Cal State Fullerton has played a school record four overtime games this season (2-2 overall)... the Titans are now 10-15 all-time when playing an extra period... the NCAA record for overtime games in a season is seven set by Wisconsin in 1999 (5-2 overall)... the NCAA record for consecutive overtime games in a season is four set by that same Wisconsin team (3-1 overall)... the NCAA record for points in one overtime period is 23 set by Bowling Green (vs. Buffalo) in 2009 (Fullerton had 20 vs. Seattle on Jan. 27)... the NCAA record for points by both teams in one overtime is 39 set by Bowling Green & Buffalo (Fullerton and Seattle had 34 on Jan. 27).
NO GASSERS FOR ME, COACH: The Titans played back-to-back overtime contests for only the second time in school history with its win over Seattle University and the first since the 1996-97 campaign when Fullerton went seven days between extra-time losses to San Diego and Long Beach State on Jan. 3 and Jan. 10, respectively. Ironically, the margins of those contests were eerily similar to this year's back-to-back OT contests as the Titans lost by a point, 64-63, to the Toreros in 1997 (Fullerton lost to the Gauchos, 60-59, this year) and fell to the 49ers by eight points, 102-94 (the Titans defeated Seattle by six points, 82-76).
NINE IS FINE: Cal State Fullerton's win over Seattle gave the Titans nine wins on the year - just one shy of the team's total from all of last year when they finished 10-20 overall. The win in the team's 20th game of the year is well ahead of last year's pace that didn't see them earn their ninth win until game No. 28 against UC Irvine in the Big West Tournament opener.
GREAT SCOTT!!!: It was quite a week for Fullerton senior Jasmine Scott, who exploded offensively against Seattle University and UC Irvine after being held to just 12 points combined in her previous two games. Scott had a breakout offensive performance on Jan. 27 against the Redhawks, tallying her second career double-double with a career-high 26 points and a career high-tying 12 rebounds in the Titans' victory. The Sacramento native followed that up with an 18-point and six-rebounds performance against the Anteaters, hitting 6-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line while playing in all 40 minutes. The 20-point performance against Seattle marked only the second time that Scott has reached the 20-point plateau (22 points against Long Beach State on March 12, 2008) while the 40-minute performance against UCI tied a career high set against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 23.
ROLLER COASTER CONFERENCE RIDE: Since opening Big West Conference play with their best-ever start (4-0), the Titans have struggled as of late, closing out the first go-round of league action with four consecutive losses - three of those coming as the road team. During its quick start, Fullerton averaged 73.8 ppg and shot .429 from the floor while outrebounding the opposition by almost six rebounds per game and outscoring them by 13.3 ppg. However, during their recent struggles, the Titans have averaged just 62.5 ppg to the opposition's 68.8 ppg and have shot just .341 from the floor while allowing opponents to shoot 43 percent.
GRINDING IT OUT: It's not often that a team struggles shooting the ball and emerges with a win, but that's exactly what happened with the Titans on Jan. 27 against Seattle. Cal State Fullerton struggled to just a .357 shooting percentage as a team against the Redhawks - the lowest shooting percentage for the Titans in a victory since they shot just .355 from the floor in a 16-point win over Santa Clara to kick off the 2008-09 season.
THAT'S A FIRST: Cal State Fullerton's overtime win over Seattle University on Jan. 27 marked the Titans' first win over a first-time opponent since defeating Utah Valley University on Jan. 26, 2006 - snapping a nine-game losing streak against first-time opponents in the process.
NOT HALF BAD: The Titans' defense was on the ball in the first half against Seattle on Jan. 27, building their biggest halftime lead of the season at 20 points and holding the Redhawks to just 18 points in the opening 20 minutes - the fewest points scored by any opponent against Fullerton this season and the fewest since the Titans held UC Irvine to just 15 points in the two teams' first-round match-up at the Big West Tournament last season.
FREE THROW WOE NO MO: Fullerton broke out of a two-game slump at the line in a big way last week against Seattle University and UC Irvine, combining to hit 48-of-57 (.842) from the charity stripe for the game after shooting just 52 percent (13-for-25) in its previous two outings against UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge. The Titans' 24 makes in those contests marked the fourth and fifth times this season that they have hit 20-or-more from the line and is the second-highest total for Fullerton this season, trailing only the 27 made against Oregon on Nov. 27.
"VERRRRRY INTERESTING, BUT FOUL": Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine were whistled for a grand total of 59 fouls in their contest on Jan. 30, including 32 of those against the Titans in an eight-point regulation loss. The 32 fouls were just one fewer than in Fullerton's previous two games combined (of which both went to overtime for a grand total of 15 extra basketball minutes) and set a season-high. In fact, the 32 fouls were the most called against a Fullerton squad since the Titans were whistled for 35 fouls in an overtime loss to UC Riverside almost nine years to the day on Jan. 29, 2001, at Titan Gym.
WHERE'S THE THREE?: Cal State Fullerton, which enters this week's contests fourth in the league in three-pointer's made per game (6.0 pg), had its sharpshooters held in check last week against UC Irvine, taking only six three-pointers against the Anteaters after entering the game averaging just over 19 attempts (19.05 pg) per contest as a team this season. It was the fewest three-point attempts for the Titans since Dec. 2, 2007, when they were just 2-of-5 from long range at San Diego State. Fullerton hadn't attempted fewer than 11 three-pointers all year, hitting just 3-of-11 in a win over Pacific on Jan. 4.
TITANS IN OT: Cal State Fullerton is 2-2 in overtime this season, but hasn't exactly lit up the scoreboard in the 25 extra minutes over four games, shooting just .333 (12-for-36) from the field while watching opponents hit on just under 49 percent (17-for-35) from the floor in those contests... What has kept the Titans in those games, however, has been their collective cool at the free throw line as Fullerton is a combined 25-for-26 (.962) in the four overtime contests, including a 10-for-10 performance from Lyndsey Grove... Grove, Jasmine Scott, and Megan Richardson are the only three Titans to have played in all 25 of those extra minutes... Grove and Scott lead the team with 16 points apiece in overtime while Richardson has added 10 points.
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 68.4 ppg (No. 85 in the NCAA) bouyed by nine games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15. Fullerton's 1,437 points thus far this season are 14 points more than second place Cal Poly (1,423).
GROVE LOOKING TO THE RECORD BOOKS: Junior Lyndsey Grove is experiencing a break-out year offensively and that is translating into some record book-like numbers. The Placentia native is shooting .418 (28-for-67) from three-point range, which would rank fourth in the single-season books, while her .857 (84-for-98) free throw percentage has her in first place - just .003 points ahead of Toni Thomas' single-season record of .854 set in 2008-09.
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 .752 on the year - 20 points better than second-place UC Davis (.732). Junior Lyndsey Grove ranks second in the conference and No. 29 in the NCAA at .857 (84-for-98) while sophomore Megan Richardson is ninth in the Big West at .777 (73-for-94). On a national level, the Titans stand No. 21 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Drexel's nation-leading 81.8 percent (as of NCAA stats of Jan. 31).
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 15.7 turnovers per game to rank No. 35 in the nation in that category (as of NCAA stats of Jan. 31) and first in the Big West Conference. The 329 turnovers overall are the fewest in the league entering the week, Fullerton's +3.1 turnover margin (No. 54 in the NCAA) is second in the conference (UC Davis +4.6), and the Titans' 394 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 second in the league entering the week with 311 offensive rebounds (UC Irvine has 312) and tops the league averaging 14.81 offensive rebounds per game. Individually, juniors Jenna Breite (4th - 2.52 per game), freshman Mya Olivier (6th - 2.1) and Lyndsey Grove (8th - 2.05 per game) lead the way as Fullerton is the only school with three players listed among the league's top 10 on the offensive boards.
TAKING THEIR SWINGS: The Titans' have not been cheated out of their shot attempts this season, averaging a Big West-high 63.67 field goal attempts per game and standing out as one of only two schools to average more than 60 attempts per game entering this week's contests (Pacific at 60.16 per game). Fullerton has taken a season-low 42 shots twice this year against Wisconsin (Nov. 29) and Eastern Washington (Dec. 21) but has not taken fewer than 51 shots in the remaining 19 games - including a Big West-high 81 shots at Oregon on Nov. 27 and 80 attempts at Sacramento State on Nov. 15 while also taking 70 or more shots seven times.