Dec. 21, 2009
FULLERTON, CA -
TIP OFF: After a grueling test in the classroom last week for finals, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team returns to the court this week, looking to snap a four-game losing skid. The Titans welcome Big Sky Conference member Eastern Washington to Orange County for an early-week match-up on Monday night (Dec. 21) at 7 p.m.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD!: Monday night's contest with Eastern Washington will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Mike Martinez will handle the play-by-play for the contests live from Titan Gym. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of 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 the redesigned FullertonTitans.com.
SERIES RECORDS: Eastern Washington leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 3-1, having won the last three straight meetings after the Titans won the opening game in the series, 84-54, in 1996 at home... the two teams haven't met since 2002, a 74-59 Eagles win at Titan Gym on Dec. 20.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES: Eastern Washington enters the week wth a 6-5 overall record, falling on Dec. 16 at home against Cal Poly, 66-59, and last Saturday at UC Irvine, 87-73... EWU is 1-2 against the Big West Conference following the loss to the Anteaters, having defeated Cal State Northridge, 68-50, earlier in December... The Eagles are 4-1 at home, but sport just a 1-4 record in true road games... Julie Piper leads the team in scorin at 10.7 ppg while four other Eagles are averaging seven points per game or better... Piper is also the team's leading rebounder at 7.2 rpg... EWU is shooting just .383 from the floor as a team, giving up .400 percent from the field by its opponents, and is averaging 65.4 ppg to the opposition's 63.8 ppg.
THIS IS BIG SKY COUNTRY: Our apologies to the State of Montana. Cal State Fullerton will be looking to complete a sweep of Big Sky Conference opponents on Monday against Eastern Washington after already dispatching a pair of the Eagles' league mates earlier this year. The Titans, who are 12-17 all-time against the Big Sky, have already posted wins over Sacramento State (90-68) on Nov. 15 and Portland State (79-72) on Nov. 28 in overtime - both away from the friendly confines of Titan Gym.
CLOSE SHAVES: Cal State Fullerton's 0-3 start at home probably wasn't quite the one that head coach Marcia Foster was expecting, but a ball bounces the Titans' way here and there, and those outcomes could be drastically different. Fullerton's three losses at home last week to San Diego, Loyola Marymount, and BYU came by a grand total of 11 points and four of the team's six losses overall this season have come by eight points or fewer.
MEGAN BEING MEGAN: After being held to just five combined points against Portland State and Wisconsin, sophomore Megan Richardson returned to her scoring ways last week, averaging 18.7 ppg while continuing her mastery at the free throw line, hitting 17-of-19 (.895) against a trio of opponents. Richardson hit double figures in all three contests and has scored 10-or-more points in seven of the team's nine games overall this season, leading the team in scoring six times. The run included 24 points against BYU on Dec. 12 - the second time that she has reached 20 points this season and the fifth time in her career. The Manhattan Beach native enters the week ranked fourth in the league in scoring overall at 15.1 ppg
JUST A LITTLE BRITT MORE: Since returning to the lineup against San Diego on Dec. 7, junior guard Britt Peters has been a much-needed spark on offense, averaging 8.7 ppg (third on the team) and 2.0 rpg while shooting 40 percent (10-for-25) from the floor and three-point range (6-for-15), including a career-high 11 points against the Toreros. It's a dramatic jump for Peters, who entered the 2009-10 season averaging just 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in her freshman and sophomore years.
TITANS GET THEIR GROOVE BACK: Cal State Fullerton's 72 points against BYU on Dec. 12 were the most since the Titans had 79 points in a win over Portland State and marked the fifth time in nine games this season that they have topped the 70-point plateau. Compare that to last year's pace that saw Fullerton reach 70 points six times over the course of the 30-game season. The Titans' offensive efforts have translated to some success this season as Fullerton is 2-1 this year when scoring between 70-79 points.
SEASON'S GREETINGS: It may be a season of giving, but the Titans' haven't received much luck the week of the Christmas holiday as they are just 13-25 in the seven days leading up to Christmas Day since the 1975-76 season, having lost their last three and 19 of the last 21 following a seven-game winning streak. Fullerton has also struggled during the month of December, posting an 86-140 (.381) record all-time, including an 0-3 mark thus far this season.
SPEAKING OF GIVING MOODS: 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 - an average that ranks tied for No. 35 in the nation and tops in the Big West Conference. The 141 turnovers overall are the second-fewest in the league (behind only Pacific's 135) and Fullerton's +3.0 turnover margin is second in the conference while the Titans' 168 turnovers forced are third-best in the league, trailing UC Davis' 187 and UC Irvine's 182. Cal State Fullerton is also one of only three teams with a positive turnover margin (UC Davis at +3.56 and Pacific at +2.88).
STEADY AS SHE GOES: Cal State Fullerton junior Lyndsey Grove has been one of the Titans' most consistent players thus far this season, scoring double figures in seven of the team's nine games this season - including tying her career high with 20 points against Oregon on Nov. 27 - and averaged 12 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last week in a trio of close losses while shooting .429 (12-for-28) from the field. Grove enters the holiday week ranking ninth in the league in scoring (13.7 ppg) and tied for 13th in rebounding (5.0 rpg) while her .463 field goal percentage ranks just outside the league's top 10.
OR YOUR POINTS ARE FREEEEE: The Titans, who led the Big West Conference in free throw percentage a season ago, have continued to be one of the most accurate at the line this season, ranking second in the league at .768 entering the week. Junior Lyndsey Grove ranks fourth in the conference at .848 (39-for-46) while sophomore Megan Richardson is sixth at .822 (37-for-45). Only two other players have made more free throws than the Titan duo this season. On a national level, the Titans stand No. 19 in the nation as a team in free throw percentage behind Drexel's nation-leading 84 percent.
SOMEONE HAS A CASE OF THE MONDAY'S: Nobody likes Monday's - especially, as of late, the Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team. Monday's contest against Eastern Washington is the second of four games to kick-off a week for the Titans this season, who have lost their last three straight Monday contests dating back to a 72-69 win over San Francisco on Dec. 18, 2006. Fullerton, which has already dropped a 64-58 decision to San Diego on Dec. 7, has Monday contests remaining against Tulsa on Dec. 28 and Pacific on Jan. 4 to ring in the New Year.
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, entering the week leading the league in scoring offense at 68.7 ppg bouyed by five games of 70 points or more and a season-high 90 points in a win over Sacramento State on Nov. 15 in Northern California.
WINDEX WOMEN: The Titans have done a good job of cleaning up on the boards in 2009-10, despite outrebounding their opponents just three times in nine games. Fullerton ranks second the Big West Conference in rebounding at 38.1 rebounds per game while also standing second in the league in offensive rebounds (15.3 rpg) and seventh in defensive rebounds per game (22.8 rpg). Aside from junior Jenna Breite's league-best 8.0 rpg, junior Lyndsey Grove (5.0 rpg) also ranks among the conference's top 15, standing at No. 13 entering this week's games.