Light Week Sends Titans to Northridge

Feb. 9, 2011

FULLERTON, CA -

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THIS WEEK...
Cal State Fullerton at Cal State Northridge
Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011
4 p.m.
The Matadome (1,600) | Northridge, CA
Gametracker | Live Audio | Big West TV

TIP-OFF: A light week to close out a three-game Southern California road trip may be just what the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team needs as the Titans (8-16 overall, 4-7 in the Big West Conference) head to Cal State Northridge for a Saturday afternoon tip at The Matadome. The Titans and Matadors clash at 4 p.m. as Fullerton looks to snap a two-game losing streak and reverse a trend that has seen the team lose four of its last five games - three of those on the road.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF Athletics), Twitter (@CSUFAthletics) and Vimeo.com (vimeo.com/fullertontitans). In addition, the women's basketball team has established its own official Facebook fan page (search for Cal State Fullerton Women's Basketball).

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, select Cal State Fullerton women's basketball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of FullertonTitans.com. Patrick Alog will have the call for this weekend's contest from the San Fernando Valley.

I SEE YOU: For the fifth consecutive season, live streaming video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home regular season contests and selected road games will be available (on a subscription basis) live over the Internet courtesy the Big West TV platform. For a monthly 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 BigWest.org/TV. Live video will be available for both of this weekend's games.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: For the second consecutive season, Cal State Fullerton men's and women's basketball will feature live stats via CBS College Sports' Gametracker interface for all of the Titans' home games as well as select road contests. Links will be available on both the men's and women's basketball schedule pages at FullertonTitans.com.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE BRIEFLY: The Matadors enter the week with a 2-21 overall record with both of their victories this season coming in Big West Conference play against Pacific in overtime on Dec. 31 and UC Irvine on Feb. 5 in their last outing... the latter victory for Northridge snapped a nine-game losing streak between wins... Cal State Northridge travels to Long Beach State on Wednesday (Feb. 9) before hosting Cal State Fullerton... Jasmine Erving leads the way at 14.9 ppg and 7.0 rpg while shooting .415 from the floor and blocking 29 shots... Violet Alama is also in double figures, averaging 10.2 ppg and 5.4 rpg while shooting .417 from the field... the Matadors are averaging just 57.6 ppg and shooting .357 from the floor while opponents average 72.6 ppg and are shooting .417 from the field for the year.

SERIES NOTES: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal State Northridge, 32-9, according to records dating back to 1971... the Titans snapped a four-game losing streak to the Matadors with their 75-67 win at Titan Gym earlier this season... Fullerton is 16-4 all-time against Northridge on the Matadors' home court, but have lost the last two trips... the Titans are 13-6 against the Matadors since Northridge joined the Big West in 2001-02, including a 6-3 mark at The Matadome.

LOOKING BACK: In the first meeting between the two teams, senior Lyndsey Grove tied a career high with 26 points and the Titans used a late 12-5 run to pull away for a 75-67 victory. Megan Richardson added 14 points and Lauren Bushong came off the bench to add 10 points in 11 minutes. Jasmine Erving finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds to lead all players as the Matadors and Titans were tied twice in the second half before Fullerton's decisive run.

TITANS REMAIN SIXTH AMONG BIG WEST TEAMS IN LATEST RPI: Cal State Fullerton remained sixth among Big West Conference teams in the NCAA's latest RPI listings as of Feb. 7, coming in at No. 276 out of 343 teams - a drop of 15 spots from a week ago. UC Davis regained the top spot in the league at No. 92, jumping 23 spots, followed closely by UC Riverside at No. 102 (down seven spots). UC Santa Barbara follows at No. 131 (down two), then Cal Poly (No. 154, down one), and UC Irvine (No. 170, down 27 spots). Pacific (No. 306, down nine), Cal State Northridge (No. 314, up 12 spots), and Long Beach State (No. 318, down six spots) round out the league.

WHO WILL BLINK FIRST?: Cal State Fullerton's struggles on the road this season have translated into a 3-11 mark away from the friendly confines of Titan Gym as the Titans have lost their last three consecutive road games since a 12-point win over Long Beach State on Jan. 19. However, this weekend may be just what the doctor ordered for Fullerton as the Titans take on a Cal State Northridge squad that is 0-10 at home this season (0-4 in conference play) and is in the midst of a 16-game home skid dating back to their last win at The Matadome - a 66-53 win over Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 16, 2010.

FOURTH TIME'S A CHARM?: This week marks the fourth time this season that the Titans will have an entire week to prepare for an opponent but, this time, they will be looking for better results after suffering some of their worst losses of the season in the first three tries. Fullerton has lost its first three single-game weeks this season by an average of 39 points to the likes of Bowling Green (L, 91-51) on Dec. 4, Pepperdine (L, 80-52) on Dec. 18, and Gonzaga (L, 101-52) on Dec. 23 - all three on the road.

NEWS AT 11: Junior Megan Richardson continued her assault on the school's scoring marks as her 38 points last week pushed her past Cheryl Peterson (1978-81) into 11th place on Fullerton's all-time scoring list with 1,172 career points. With 82 more points, Richardson will match Marlene Kline (1979-83) for No. 10 all time and 119 more points will put the Manhattan Beach native into ninth place, passing Andrea Thieme (1995-99).

GROVE ALSO MAKING HER POINT(S): Senior Lyndsey Grove, who became the 20th member of Fullerton's "1,000-point club" against Long Beach State on Jan. 29, moved up a notch on the list with her 29 points last week, passing Joey Ray (1988-92) for 19th place on the list. Grove enters the week with 1,029 career points, needing just 50 points to jump past Terri Withers (1981-85) and Amber Pruitt (2002-06) for sole possession of 16th on the list and 81 points to leapfrog six past Titan greats all the way into 13th place.

KEEP AN EYE ON...: With five regular season contests and any potential tournament games remaining in the 2010-11 campaign, the Titans have an outside chance of a third player reaching the 1,000 career point milestone this season as junior Lauren Chow is closing in on the mark. Chow enters this week's games with 896 career points, needing 104 points this season to make it a trio of Titans at 1,000. Assuming the Titans reach the Big West Tournament, but are ousted in the first round, Chow would need an offensive explosion to close out the year and reach the milestone, needing to average around 17.3 ppg over that span to join teammates Megan Richardson and Lyndsey Grove in the club.

THREE-FOR-ALL: Fullerton's sharpshooters were busy last week against UC Irvine as the Titans combined to hit 11 three-pointers against the Anteaters - the second-highest total this season, trailing only the 12 three-pointers scored against San Jose State on Nov. 21. The performance against UCI marked the third-straight contest with double-digit three-pointers made - the first time since the introduction of the three-point line that Fullerton had accomplished the feat in school history. Despite the streak ending on Saturday at UC Riverside (Fullerton shot just 6-of-19 against the Highlanders on Feb. 5), the Titans shot .388 (31-for-80) from three-point range in that stretch, .397 (75-for-189) from the floor overall, and .404 (44-for-109) on their two-point attempts.

A FRESH START: Sophomore Alicya Crisp and freshman Yvont'e Neal made their debut as a starting backcourt last week in Fullerton's ninth-different starting lineup this season. Crisp, who started her first game of the year in the Titans' win over Long Beach State on Jan. 29, was a defensive sparkplug after combining for six steals against UC Irvine and UC Riverside, while Neal averaged 8.0 ppg in the two contests, including her fourth double-digit scoring performance of the season (10 points against the Anteaters).

WHAT'S YOUR LINE?: Cal State Fullerton's 10-for-10 performance at the line against UC Irvine last week marked the second time that the Titans have been perfect from the stripe this season, standing behind only their 15-for-15 effort at California on Nov. 27. Fullerton, which leads the Big West Conference in free throw shooting entering this week (.758), has shot 70 percent or better from the line in 19 of its 24 games and has hit 80 percent or better in eight of its last 10 contests.

POINTS... FOR FREEEEEEEEE!: Cal State Fullerton enters this week's contests ranked atop the Big West Conference and No. 18 in the nation in free throw percentage, hitting .758 from the line thus far this season - 21 points better than second place UC Riverside (.737) - led by Megan Richardson's and Lyndsey Grove's 80 percent shooting from the line which stands tied for fourth in the league. Should the Titans remain atop the category at the end of the year, Fullerton will become only the second school in the history of the Big West Conference to lead the league in free throw percentage in three consecutive seasons joining the 1991-94 Hawaii squads. Overall, the Titans have led the Big West in free throw percentage five times, including three of the last four seasons.

AWWW, SHOOT!!!!: While firing up a bunch of three-pointers, the Titans' offense was clicking against UC Irvine last week, shooting 46 percent from the floor and scoring 77 points (tied for the second most this season) in a four-point loss to the Anteaters on the road. It marked the fourth time this season that Fullerton has shot better than 45 percent from the field in a game and lost, including defeats at Loyola Marymount (.508) on Dec. 7 and home losses to UC Riverside (.460) on Jan. 8 and Cal Poly (.483) on Jan. 13.

DOUBLING UP: With their performances last week, Megan Richardson and Lyndsey Grove notched, respectively, their 18th and 19th double-digit scoring performances of the season. Combined, their totals are 12 more than the rest of the Titans' roster (25 double-digit scoring games) on the season. Richardson's 21 points against the Anteaters was also her sixth, 20-point game of the year, giving her 18 for her career - the most among active Fullerton players.

STAYING IN THE GAME: Cal State Fullerton ranks fifth in the Big West Conference with 401 fouls committed, but is tied for second with only five players fouled out this season - even with Long Beach State and one back of UC Davis, which has suffered only four DQ's this year.

MILESTONE FOR TWO: Thanks to Lyndsey Grove's performance against Long Beach State on Jan. 29, the Titans had two players reach the 1,000 career point plateau for the first time since 1991-92 when Claudette Jackson (1990-92) and Joey Ray (1988-92) accomplished the feat. Aside from those pairs, only two other duos and a scoring trio have reached the 1,000-point mark in the same season: Genia Miller and Jill Matyuch in 1989-90, Nancy Ratliff and Marlene Kline in 1981-82, and Robin Holmes, Meg Gallagher, and Terri Withers in 1984-85.

300: In bowling, it's a perfect game. In Cal State Fullerton women's basketball lore, it's part of a special group. Junior Megan Richardson became only the 11th player in the history of the program to have scored 300 points in three consecutive seasons with her 14 points against Cal State Bakersfield on Jan. 26 and the first since Toni Thomas in 2009. Looking ahead to her senior season, should she reach the "perfect" number in 2011-12, Richardson would join Robin Holmes (1982-86), Shayla Bradshaw (1992-96), and Thomas (2005-09) as the only Titans to reach 300 points in all four years of their collegiate careers in a Fullerton uniform.

IRON WOMEN: Senior Lyndsey Grove played in her 100th career game at Pepperdine on Dec. 18, joining a select group of 33 Titans - including teammate Ashley Richie, who joined the club on Dec. 4 at Bowling Green - who have appeared in at least 100 career games. Barring injury and major catastrophe, both Richie (116 games) and Grove (113 games) both have a great chance to break the current career mark held by Genia Miller with seven regular season games remaining plus any possible conference tournament and postseason contests. Miller played in 118 games during her career from 1987-91, and her mark could be matched by Richie as soon as Feb. 17 against UC Santa Barbara at Titan Gym.

PUT ME IN COACH!: Cal State Fullerton's depth has been tested and the Titans' bench has responded on numerous occassions this season, providing the team with a much-needed spark. Fullerton's bench has outscored its counterparts in seven of the last 10 games and 14 times overall in 2010-11, including a season-high 37 points in a win over Sacramento State on Dec. 9 at Titan Gym. The bench has scored 30 points or more four times this season and contributed at least 20 points in 10 other games. Junior Lauren Chow leads the way with 115 points off the bench in 18 games this season with sophomore Lauren Bushong (90 points) and freshman Yvont'e Neal (87 points) close behind. Overall, the Titans' bench is averaging 21.0 ppg in 24 contests this season to 20.9 ppg for the opposition - a difference of just three points overall (505-502 points).

THIRTY-SOMETHING: For junior sharpshooter Megan Richardson, 33 is the new 20. The Manhattan Beach native went off for a career-high 33 points in a loss to league-leading Cal Poly on Jan. 13, becoming the first Titan since Toni Thomas in 2007 (32 points in a loss at UTEP) to reach the 30-point plateau and accomplishing the feat for the 75th time in school history. Richardson, whose previous career high was 29 points set last season as a sophomore against San Jose State, scored the most points in a single game by a Fullerton player since Natascha Stokely netted 36 points against Long Beach State on Feb. 22, 1998.

PERFECT DAY: En route to her highest scoring output of the season against Long Beach State on Jan. 29, junior Lauren Chow added her name to yet another category in the school's record book with her perfect showing from behind the arc. The La Palma native hit 6-of-6 from three-point range to match the school record for three-point percentage set by Shayla Bradshaw in 1993 at UC Irvine in a 96-91 victory. It added to a perfect day for Chow, who finished 7-for-7 from the field against the 49ers, and completed an almost perfect week for the junior, who missed only two shots in two games, going 10-of-12 (.833) from the floor and 8-of-10 (.800) from three-point range while averaging 14.0 ppg off the bench.

BREITE GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE: Already enjoying one of the best rebounding seasons of her career, senior Jenna Breite is also in the midst of the best offensive seasons of her collegiate career. Breite's 125 points this season are a career high, surpassing the 93 points scored last year, and her 5.4 ppg are also a career high. Of her 253 career points, almost half (49 percent) of those have come during her senior season.

BACK ON THE BOARDS: Breite has also been the most consistent Titan on the boards this season, entering the week ranked ninth in the league in the category at 6.5 rpg and is averaging 6.5 rpg over her last six contests - including her fourth double-digit rebounding game of the year with 11 boards at Long Beach State on Jan. 19. This follows-up last year's performance when the San Diego native finished the year seventh in the league in rebounding (6.0 rpg) and finished with 187 boards. Of her 406 career boards, almost 83 percent (336) have come the last two seasons.

THE TITANS' SWISS ARMY KNIFE: Senior Lyndsey Grove has been a "jill of all trades" this season for the Titans, providing a lift on both ends of the court for Cal State Fullerton. Grove stands second on the team and ranks eighth in the Big West in scoring entering this week (13.4 ppg) and has reached double figures in scoring in 19 of the team's 24 contests this season while also ranking seventh in the league in field goal percentage (.450), tied for fourth in free throw percentage (.800), fourth in three-point percentage (.419), eighth in three-pointers made per game (1.63), fifth in three-pointers made overall (39), and eighth in minutes (30.08 mpg), while also standing first on the team in steals (24) and third on the team in assists (46).

QUITE A 1-2 PUNCH: The Titans scoring duo of junior Megan Richardson (14.8 ppg) and senior Lyndsey Grove (13.4 ppg) is among one of the Big West Conference's top 1-2 scoring punches this season, accounting for just over 43 percent of the team's scoring (675 of 1,565 total points) and combining to average 28.2 ppg. They are one of the hardest working duo's in the Big West when it comes to sharing the scoring load, standing behind only UC Irvine's Mikah Maly-Karros and Jade Smith-Williams (who have combined to score 757 of the team's 1,494 points and are averaging a combined 34.5 ppg). When it comes to shouldering the load for their team, Richardson and Grove rank third in the conference behind the UCI duo, which contributes 50.7% of the team's scoring, and Cal State Northridge's Jasmine Erving and Violet Alama, who have combined to average 24.8 ppg and contribute 43.5% of the Matadors' 1,325 points this year. The Titans' duo ranks fifth and eighth, respectively, in the Big West in scoring this week and Fullerton is one of five schools with a pair of players in the top 15 in the league in scoring.