Nov. 6, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team kicks off its 2008-09 campaign this weekend as the Titans welcome Cal State Los Angeles to Titan Gym for an exhibition contest. Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday afternoon (Nov. 8) at 1 p.m.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Saturday's contest with the Golden Eagles will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Patrick Alog will handle the play-by-play live from Titan Gym.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES: Cal State Los Angeles returns just two starters off of last season's team that finished 9-17 overall and 6-14 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association... Senior guard Amber Whittington is the leading returning scorer off that squad after averaging 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season... Whittington and Ashley Kitchen are the only two returning starters for CSULA, which welcomes 14 new faces to the court for the 2008-09 campaign.
SERIES VS. CAL STATE LOS ANGELES: Cal State Fullerton has won all four regular season match-ups with the Golden Eagles, including a 2-0 record at home... the two teams last met back in the 1981-82 season as the Titans posted an 86-48 victory on the road... the 38-point margin of victory that year is the largest in the history of the series.
TITANS AT-A-GLANCE: Cal State Fullerton returns a veteran group to the court for the 2008-09 campaign, as the Titans welcome back nine letter winners, four starters, a trio of All-Big West Conference honorees, and their top five scorers from a season ago that saw them finish 11-19 overall and 8-8 in conference play.
TITANS PICKED IN MIDDLE OF BIG WEST RACE: Cal State Fullerton was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big West Conference for the upcoming 2008-09 season, selected to finish fourth by the media and sixth by the league's coaches at the conference's annual media day event at the Irvine Hilton.
The Titans received 34 points to finish one point back of Cal Poly in the coaches poll while the media gave Fullerton 56 points to finish five points ahead of Long Beach State.
UC Riverside was the unanimous choice to win the conference, picked by both the coaches and the media to take home the title. UC Santa Barbara (2nd coaches, tied for second media) and UC Davis (third coaches, tied for second media) followed in the top three with the remaining squads a jumble according to the two polls.
THOMAS NAMED PRESEASON PERFORMER: Cal State Fullerton senior forward Toni Thomas was named to the Big West preseason all-conference team during the league's media day for the second straight season, joining UC Davis' Haylee Donaghe, Long Beach State's Karina Figueroa, UC Santa Barbara's Jenna Green, and the UC Riverside duo of Seyram Gbewonyo and Kemie Nkele.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TITANS!: The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball program will be celebrating a couple of birthday's in the 2008-09 season. This year marks the 40th year at the varsity level for the Titans, who stand just nine wins shy of 500 victories in the history of the program. The 2008-09 season also marks the 20th anniversary of Cal State Fullerton's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as the 1988-89 team finished 21-9 overall and 12-6 in the Big West to earn an at-large berth.
THOMAS SETS HER SIGHTS ON RARE DOUBLE: Thomas will set her sights on one of the school's most storied milestones as she needs just 574 points and 303 rebounds to become only the second basketball player (male or female) at Cal State Fullerton to score 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Only former All-American Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (2,415 points and 1,162 rebounds) has accomplished that feat at Fullerton and only four others in Big West history have reached those totals.
MORE SCORING: Should she reach 2,000 points for her career, Thomas would be only the sixth player to reach that plateau in the history of the conference and the first since Idaho's Alli Nieman in 2000.
THOMAS LOOKING FOR THREE STRAIGHT: Should Thomas lead the league in scoring for a third straight year, she would be the first to accomplish that feat in the history of the conference. Last season, she became the fifth player to lead the league in scoring twice in a career and the fourth to do it in back-to-back seasons.
HOME SWEET HOME: After a year that saw the Titans live out of their suitcases to start the season, Fullerton will have the luxury of playing close to home for the majority of its non-conference schedule. Eight of the Titans' first 13 games will be contested at Titan Gym, a venue where Fullerton has posted a 25-13 (.658) record over the last three seasons. It is the most wins at home in a three-year stretch since Fullerton went 27-16 (.628) from 1989-92 and the best winning percentage in a three-year span since the Titans were 31-9 (.775) from 1988-91.
TITANS LOOK TO TAME TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Cal State Fullerton schedule for the 2008-09 season features four teams that reached the NCAA Tournament a season ago and a pair of teams listed among the nation's best to start the season. UC Santa Barbara (Jan. 10 and Feb. 5) and San Diego (Dec. 20) each gained the first round last season, Georgia (Nov. 28 in Las Vegas, NV) reached the second round, and Vanderbilt (Dec. 4) was a "Sweet 16" participant. In the preseason Associated Press poll, The Commodores are ranked No. 12 while the Lady Bulldogs are receiving votes.
"I WISH THEY ALL COULD BE...": Cal State Fullerton will enter the 2008-09 season as the only Big West Conference school to feature a roster comprised entirely of players from the "Golden State."
TITANS LOOK TO KEEP EXHIBITION STREAK GOING: Cal State Fullerton has won its last four exhibition contests dating back to 2005, downing Point Loma (twice), Biola, and Cal Poly Pomona in that stretch.
ROOKIE SUCCESS: If past performance is any indicator, Fullerton's freshman trio of Megan Richardson, Nneamaka Anyanwu, and Jahne Williams are due for big years. Last season, both Lauren Chow and Ashley Richie earned spots on the Big West All-Freshman squad, giving the Titans 13 all-rookie team members in the history of the program - the second most in conference history behind only UC Santa Barbara's 19 All-Freshman Team members. Chow's Freshman of the Year award was also the fourth for a Titan in the Big West (and the second in the last three years), matching the Gauchos for the most in league history.