Feb. 26, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - The schedule slows dramatically for the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (8-18 overall, 6-8 in the Big West Conference) as the Titans will play only one game in each of the next two weeks as the regular season comes to a close. Fullerton's opponent this week will be Cal State Northridge in the final road game of the year for the Titans, as the two schools clash on Thursday (Feb. 28) at 7 p.m. at The Matadome.
LOOKING AHEAD: Cal State Fullerton closes out the regular season next Saturday (Feb. 8) as the Titans host UC Irvine at Titan Gym... Fullerton's lone senior, Alison Bennett, will be honored for her contributions to the program in a ceremony prior to tip-off... the Titans then prepare for the Big West Conference Tournament to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center from March 12-15.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Audio for this week's game will be broadcast over the Internet via Cal State Fullerton's official athletics website at FullertonTitans.com. Patrick Alog will handle the play-by-play from Northridge.
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 leads the all-time series with Cal State Northridge, 30-5, dating back to the 1971 season... the Titans have won the last four straight in the series, including a narrow 59-55 win at Titan Gym earlier this season... Fullerton is 14-2 all-time in Northridge, winning five of the last six dating back to the 2000-01 season... the Titans are 11-3 against the Matadors since Cal State Northridge joined the Big West Conference in 2001-02... the last five meetings have all been decided by 10 points or fewer dating back to the 2005-06 season.
A LOOK AT THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the week with a 1-22 overall record and an 0-12 mark in Big West play for ninth place... the Matadors snapped a 23-game losing streak dating back to last season with their 73-72 victory at Cal State Bakersfield last week on Feb. 21... Northridge then fell to Long Beach State, 49-48, on Feb. 23... Katie Holloway, who had the game-winning basket against the Roadrunners, leads the team in scoring at 13.0 ppg and rebounding at 7.0 rpg... Whitney Ligon is also averaging double figures at 12.6 ppg this season.
LAST TIME VS. NORTHRIDGE: Freshman Ashley Richie scored a game-high 20 points and junior Daviyonne Weathersby notched her first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) as the Titans defeated the Matadors, 59-55. Fullerton used a 13-0 run late in the second half to erase a 10-point deficit and gain the lead for the first time in the game with just over five minutes remaining. Freshman Lyndsey Grove came off the bench to add 10 points while junior Toni Thomas had 10 rebounds to pace the Titans.
IN THE NCAA: Individually, junior Toni Thomas ranks No. 71 in nation in scoring... freshman Lauren Chow ranks No. 84 in three-point percentage and No. 25 in three-pointers made per game... as a team, the Titans rank in the top 100 in free throw percentage (.712).
BIG WEST TOURNEY PICTURE: Cal State Fullerton enters the week in sixth place in the Big West Conference standings and would meet Long Beach State in a first-round match-up if the season ended today. However, the Titans stand just a game behind Pacific (7-7) for the fourth-place spot and a coveted first-round bye and only a half a game behind Cal Poly (6-7) for fifth place and ahead of the 49ers (5-8) for seventh place. Fullerton has a golden chance to improve its position over the next two weeks as the Titans' final two opponents are below them in the standings: Cal State Northridge (9th, 0-12) and UC Irvine (8th, 2-11).
THOMAS NOTCHES THIRD DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Junior Toni Thomas tallied her third double-double of the season last weekend against UC Riverside, notching 24 points and grabbing 10 boards in Fullerton's six-point loss to the Highlanders. For Thomas, it was her 18th career double-double, the 19th double-digit rebound game of her career (fourth this season), and the 26th time she has reached 20 points-or-more in her career - including 10 times in 26 games this season.
BENNETT IN A GIVING MOOD: Senior Alison Bennett dished out four assists last weekend against UC Riverside, matching her career high last set as a sophomore against Long Beach State on Jan. 19, 2006.
CHOW FINDS CONSISTENCY: After not reaching double figures in three straight games, freshman Lauren Chow has returned to her scoring ways, scoring double digits in five of her last six contests and averaging 16.6 ppg in that stretch.
SCORING RACE DOWN TO THE WIRE: With only two games remaining in the regular season, Fullerton's Toni Thomas continues to hold the top spot in the Big West Conference scoring race, leading UC Davis' Jessica Campbell by just 2.1 points per game (16.8-14.7 ppg) entering this week's games. Should Thomas repeat as the conference's scoring champion in 2008, she 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).
CLOSE OR NO CIGAR: Cal State Fullerton experienced both extremes in losing a pair of games last week as the 18-point loss at Long Beach State was the Titans' ninth of 15 points or more while the six-point defeat at the hands of UC Riverside was their ninth of 10 points or less this season.
SHOOTER!!!: Opposing defenses better start getting a hand in Lauren Chow's face when the freshman pulls up to shoot. Chow ranks second in the league in three-point percentage (.360) entering this week's games and continues to lead the league in three-pointers made per game (2.62 pg) and three-pointers made overall (68). Almost two-thirds of her field goal attempts this season have come from behind the arc (189-of-297) and Chow is shooting the same from three-point range as she is from the field overall this season.
TREMENDOUS TRIO: Cal State Fullerton is the only school in the Big West Conference entering this week's games that has three players ranked among the league's top 15 scorers. Toni Thomas is first in the Big West at 16.8 ppg, Lauren Chow is eighth at 12.6 ppg, and Ashley Richie is No. 15 at 10.7 ppg.
MORE ON THE TRIO: All three of the above players also rank among the league's top scorers in Big West Conference games only as Thomas leads the league at 15.5 ppg followed by Richie in seventh place a 13.3 ppg and Chow in the No. 13 spot at 12.4 ppg.
DISHIN' WITH DAY: Junior guard Daviyonne Weathersby has done a tremendous job quarterbacking the Fullerton offense this season, ranking a close third in the league (0.2 apg behind leader Tonicia Tademy) with 3.58 assists per game and notching five or more assists in a game eight times this season. Over her last nine games, Weathersby is averaging 4.67 apg, including amassing a career-high seven helpers against Pacific on Feb. 14. She has led or co-led the team in assists in six of the team's last seven games and a team-high 16 times overall this season.
THOMAS PASSES 1,300... SIGHTS SET ON 1,400: Toni Thomas became only the eighth player in school history to reach 1,300 career points following the team's trip to Northern California and now stands just 31 points back of Charlee Underwood (2003-07) for seventh place on the school's all-time scoring list. Of those eight players that have reached the 1,300-point plateau, Thomas is one of only three players in the history of the program to reach that many points in three seasons, joining Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (1,446 points after her junior year) and Nancy Ratliff (1,580 points after her junior season).
DON'T FOUL HER: Thomas ranks fourth in the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.791), and leads the league in free throws made (129), and free throws attempted (163). If her season ended today, her percentage would rank seventh on the school's single-season chart while the makes would rank 8th and the attempts just four shy of their respective top 10 lists.
CHOW SETS FRESHMAN MARK: Cal State Fullerton rookie guard Lauren Chow has etched her name into the record books, setting a new school rookie records for three-pointers made (68) and attempted (189), breaking Charlee Underwood's previous marks of 43 and 131, respectively, set during the 2003-04 season.
FULLERTON LOOKING TO END ROAD SKID: Thursday's game at Cal State Northridge will give the Titans their final opportunity this season to end a recent three-game losing streak way from Titan Gym against a team that hasn't won at home since March 1, 2007 - a string of 12 consecutive losses. Fullerton is just 3-12 in true road games this season (2-5 in Big West contests), having not won on the road since defeating UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield in back-to-back games on Jan. 23 and Jan. 26, respectively.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: With the Big West Conference season winding down, freshman guard Lauren Chow continues to make a stellar case for league freshman of the year honors. The Titans' rookie ranks No. 8 in the Big West Conference in scoring and is one of only three underclassmen (one of the others being her teammate Ashley Richie) to rank among the league's top 15 scorers this week. She also stands among the league's best in assists (7th), three-point percentage (2nd), three-pointers made (1st), and assist-to-turnover ratio (4th). Her .868 free throw percentage would also rank third, but she does not meet the league minimum of 2.0 free throws made per team game to qualify.
WINDEX WOMEN: For the first 16 games of the year, Cal State Fullerton just could not find a way to keep the other team off the boards, being outrebounded in each game. However, it seems the tables have turned as the Titans have found a way to grab more boards than the opposition in seven of their last 10 games, but has posted just a 5-5 mark in those contests.