Nov. 28, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - After a snowy and somewhat dark holiday roadtrip to El Paso last weekend, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (1-3 overall) stays somewhat local this weekend for a pair of games.
The Titans open play on Friday night (Nov. 30) at 7 p.m. as they welcome USC to Titan Gym before hitting the road for a Sunday afternoon (Dec. 2) contest at San Diego State. Tip-off against the Aztecs is scheduled for 2 p.m.
CATCH THE GAME: Both of this weekend's games will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com while Friday's night's contest against USC will feature live streaming video for Big West TV subscribers (www.bigwest.org/TV to join). Gametracker livestats will also be available for Sunday's game at San Diego State via the women's basketball schedule page.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton is 10-18 all-time against USC, having lost the last three straight contests... the last meeting came two seasons ago at the Los Angeles Sports Arena as the Women of Troy posted a 94-54 win on Dec. 16, 2005... The Titans are 4-8 at home against USC with the location of three games in the series unknown... Fullerton is 31-18 all-time against San Diego State, but has lost the last five in the series dating back to a 77-49 win at home on Feb. 14, 1991... the last meeting resulted in a 69-43 Aztec victory in San Diego on Dec. 18, 2004... the Titans are 10-12 all-time at SDSU (16-6 at home) with the location of two games unknown... Cal State Fullerton has lost the last four straight on the Aztecs' home floor dating back to a 71-65 win on Feb. 20, 1989... A series tidbit: the Titans won the first 20 all-time meetings with the Aztecs until SDSU's first win, a 49-46, victory on Jan. 15, 1980.
ABOUT THE WOMEN OF TROY: USC enters the weekend with a 2-2 overall record, splitting its games against Virginia Tech (a 65-64 win) and No. 8 Georgia (a 59-57 loss) at the Junkajoo Jam in the Bahamas last weekend... three of the Women of Troy's four contests have been decided by six points or less... Brynn Cameron and Nadia Parker are both averaging double figures at 11.5 and 10.0 ppg, respectively, while the team is shooting .401 from the floor.
ABOUT THE AZTECS: San Diego State enters the week with a 4-1 overall record and will meet Cal Poly on Wednesday before the Titans come to town... The Aztecs split their games at the LMU Thanksgiving Tournament over the weekend, falling to Indiana State (75-68) for their first loss of the year before rebounding with a win over Jackson State (63-44)... SDSU has also posted wins over Nevada (67-61), Saint Mary's (83-60), and Southern Utah (86-52)... Four Aztecs are averaging double figures led by Paris Johnson's 14.0 ppg and 8.2 rpg... Allison Duffy (11.6 ppg), Jene Morris (11.4 ppg), and Quenese Davis (11.0 ppg) are also averaging better than 10 points this season.
LONG TIME NO SEE: Despite being seperated by just over 30 miles, Friday night's meeting between the Titans and Women of Troy will be the first at Titan Gym since Lisa Leslie-led USC defeated Fullerton, 76-53, on Dec. 21, 1991. Leslie had only 10 points before fouling out in the second half, but four other Trojans scored in double-figures in the win. Kisa Hughes led the Titans with 18 points and 13 rebounds in that game.
HAVEN'T SEEN THIS IN A WHILE: With her 32-point outburst against UTEP last weekend, junior Toni Thomas became the first Titan to score 30-or-more points in a game since Natascha Stokely had 36 in a 96-87 win at Long Beach State on Feb. 22, 1998. The performance was Thomas' first 30-point game after scoring 20 points or more on 18 different occassions.
AND WE REALLY HAVEN'T SEEN IT...: Each of the last seven 30-point performances by a Titan player have come on the road. The last Fullerton player to score 30-or-more points at home was Koko Lahanas, who had 31 points in a win over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 26, 1995 at Titan Gym.
MILESTONE REACHED: After only 64 career games in a Titan uniform, Thomas became the 17th player in the history of the program to reach 1,000 career points against UTEP on Nov. 23, scoring 32 points to push her, not only past the milestone barrier, but also into 16th place on the all-time scoring chart with 1,009 career points, passing Joey Ray (1988-92), who had 1,004 career points. Thomas now has her sights set on 14th place, needing just 70 points to pass Terri Withers (1981-85) and Amber Pruitt (2002-06) on the all-time list.
ANOTHER MILESTONE WITHIN REACH: With seven more rebounds, Thomas will become only the 10th player in school history to score at least 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds. Other members include Eugenia Miller-Rycraw (2,415/1,162), Nancy Ratliff (1,580/554), Nancy Dunkle (1,559/729), Meg Gallagher (1,421/675), Charlee Underwood (1,382/630), Marlene Kline (1,260/531), Claudette Jackson (1,100/536), Terri Withers (1,078/805), and Amber Pruitt (1,078/580).
QUICKLY NOW: Thomas became only the ninth player in program history to reach the 1,000-career points plateau in her first three seasons and the fastest since Claudette Jackson (1990-92) accomplished the feat in just two years - a span of 61 total games - after transferring from Golden West College in nearby Huntington Beach, Calif.
THE STREAK CONTINUES: With four more double-digit scoring performances under her belt, junior Toni Thomas extended her scoring streak to 25 consecutive games dating back to the Titans' Dec. 18 victory over San Francisco last season. The San Bernardino, Calif., native has 54 career double-digit scoring performances in 64 games and, after back-to-back 20-point games this season against Utah Valley and San Jose State, and a 32-point game against UTEP, has 19 career 20-point-plus outings. Thomas has scored 466 points during her current streak, averaging 18.6 ppg, and shooting .467 (163-for-349) from the floor and .823 (130-for-158) from the free throw line.
SPEAKING OF STREAKING: Thomas' streak is very impressive, but she has a way to go to catch the Titans' record holder, Eugenia Miller-Rycraw, who scored in double figures in the final 68 games of her stellar career from the last eight games of the 1988-89 season until the end of the 1990-91 campaign. She finished her career with 93 double-digit scoring games in 118 career contests.
ARE WE SURE SHE'S A FRESHMAN?: Freshman guard Lauren Chow has been playing with a poise more often associated with a grizzled Division I veteran through the Titans first four games of the year. After scoring only five points in her collegiate debut against Utah Valley State, Chow has exploded for 20 points or more in each of Fullerton's last three games, including a career-high 28 points in a win over San Jose State. Over that span, Chow is averaging 23.0 ppg and shooting just under 54 percent (22-for-41) from the field and .545 (12-for-22) from three-point range.
DOIN' THE DISHES: Aside from the scoring, Chow has been doing a great job of also getting her teammates involved, ranking second in the Big West Conference with 4.25 assists per game and tallying four or more assists in each of the Titans' last three contests, including a career-high six assists against San Jose State on Nov. 17.
SWIPER NO SWIPING: Cal State Fullerton's pressure defense has paid off thus far this season as the Titans have tallied 10-or-more steals in three of their first four games this season and lead the Big West Conference with 11.25 spg as a team. Nine of the 12 Titans who have seen action this season have at least one steal with freshman Lauren Chow co-leading the league with 14 steals and 3.50 swipes per game. Thanks to its defense, Fullerton has forced the opposition into 90 total turnovers (22.50 per game) and turned those miscues into 83 points toward its own cause.
SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT: Almost literally after Saturday night's game against Stephen F. Austin at the UTEP Thanksgiving Tournament was cancelled due to a power outage at the Don Haskins Center and surrounding area. The Titans have shot better than 40 percent from the floor in each of their last three games, including a season-best 44.6% against the host Miners on Nov. 23. Over its last three games, Fullerton is shooting .419 (75-for-179) from the field as a team.
TITANS STILL 1-2 IN SCORING RACE: Junior Toni Thomas, who led the league in scoring in 2006-07, and freshman Lauren Chow still stand atop the Big West Conference scoring charts entering this weekend's play, standing 1-2 in the scoring race at 23.8 ppg and 18.5 ppg, respectively.
THAT'S RICH(IE): Freshman guard Ashley Richie came off the bench and had a breakout game against host UTEP last Friday night, scoring a career-best 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go along with career high's in rebounds (three) and minutes played (24).
DAY-O: Junior Daviyonne Weathersby set a career high with five assists against UTEP, surpassing her previous best of four set twice over the course of the previous two seasons. The five assists were one more than the four she had accumulated over her previous three games.
NOBODY'S PERFECT: Well, except for maybe Lauren Chow. The Titans' freshman guard has hit every free throw in her brief three-game collegiate career, going a perfect 15-for-15 from the line through Fullerton's first three games, including an 11-for-11 performance against San Jose State on Nov. 17. It is the longest consecutive made free throw streak since India McDaniel hit 15-of-15 in a single game against San Francisco on Dec. 18, 2006.
EIGHT(Y) IS GREAT(Y): We just had to make it rhyme. If you count Fullerton's two exhibition contests, 80 seems to be the magic number to put the Titans in the win column. Cal State Fullerton has won every game (3-0) thus far this season when scoring eighty or more points and have struggled to a 66.0 ppg average in its two losses. Counting regular season games only, the Titans boast the league's second-best offense, averaging 70.7 ppg through three games this season.
FOR FREEEEEE: The Big West Conference's best free throw shooting team from a season ago has picked up right where it left off as the Titans are shooting a Big West Conference best .765 (65-of-85) from the charity stripe overall. Fullerton's best performance came in its season opener against Utah Valley, hitting on 18-of-19 freebies (.947) in the loss to the Wolverines. It was the highest single-game percentage (with 10 or more attempts) for the Titans since they hit 10-of-10 from the line against UNLV on Feb. 6, 1990.
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED: Cal State Fullerton will make the transition from one of the eldest, most experienced teams in the nation to one of its youngest as the Titans' roster features seven freshmen and four sophomores for the 2007-08 campaign.
COACHES MEDIA PICK TITANS SIXTH: In a repeat of last year's preseason prognostications, the Titans are picked to finish sixth in the Big West Conference according to a poll of the league's coaches and media during the league's annual media day in Irvine on Oct. 24. Fullerton received 24 points from the coaches to trail Long Beach State, which was picked fifth with 37 points. The media gave the Titans' 43 points to finish behind the 49ers and league newcomer UC Davis, who were picked in a dead heat for fourth place with 53 points. Defending champion UC Riverside was picked to defend its title by both the coaches and media.
PRESEASON LAURELS FOR THOMAS: Junior forward Toni Thomas was named to the preseason all-conference team, joining Long Beach State's Karina Figueroa, UC Santa Barbara's Jenna Green and Jessica Wilson, and UC Riverside's duo of Seyram Gbewonyo and Kemie Nkele. Thomas was a first-team all-conference and all-tournament team honoree as a sophomore last season, leading the league in scoring (17.5 ppg) and finishing fourth in the conference in rebounding (8.3 rpg).
ROAD WARRIORS: The Titans will open their 2007-08 season seemingly living out of their suitcases as 11 of Fullerton's first 15 regular season games will be played away from the friendly confines of Titan Gym where they posted a 10-4 record last season and have won 19 of their last 26 games.
SOLID BLOCK TO BUILD ON: Fullerton is coming off one of its most successful seasons in recent history as the Titans' 16 wins and .500 winning percentage last year were the highest for the program since the 1990-91 squad finished 25-8 (.758) en route to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
WINNER: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah became the winningest coach in school history with last season's win over San Jose State on Nov. 11 and enters this, her 28th year as a head coach, among the top 50 winningest active coaches in the nation, ranking No. 35 with 419 career wins.
CALIFORNIA GIRLS: It's only fitting that in the all-California Big West Conference that Cal State Fullerton has a roster made up entirely of California players. The Titans are one of two schools (UC Davis being the other) in the league with such a roster.