Lions, Big West Opener Up Next for Titans

Dec. 29, 2008

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FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (3-6 overall) returns to the court after a 10-day layoff this week as the Titans open a four-game home stand on Tuesday night (Dec. 30) against visiting Columbia University before opening Big West Conference play against Orange County rival UC Irvine on Saturday (Jan. 3) to ring in the new year. Tuesday's game against the Lions will tip-off at 7 p.m. while Saturday's tilt with the Anteaters will begin at 5 p.m.

FREE PARKING: The University is officially closed for the holiday break (Dec. 25-Jan. 1, 2009) so parking will be FREE for Tuesday night's contest against Columbia.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: For those fans who won't be able to make it out to historic Titan Gym this week, both contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Martinez will have the call live on Tuesday night.

I SEE YOU: For the third consecutive season, video for all of Cal State Fullerton's home women's basketball games and selected road contests will be streamed live over the Internet (on a subscription basis) thanks to Big West TV. For a monthly subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95, fans can catch all the exclusive action from Titan Gym and points beyond. For more information, please log on to www.BigWest.org/TV.

SCOUTING THE LIONS: Columbia enters Tuesday night's game with a 4-6 mark, having dropped their last two straight games... The Lions fell to Cal State Northridge on Sunday afternoon, 74-64, in the first of their two-game West Coast swing... Judie Lomax paces Columbia offensively, averaging 13.0 points and 13.6 rebounds per contest after notching her second straight double-double with 22 points and 18 rebounds against the Matadors... no other Lion is in double figures as they look to snap an 0-4 mark away from home this year.

THE SERIES: Columbia won the only meeting between the two schools by a 67-58 count eight years ago to the day at Titan Gym on Dec. 30, 2000... That stands as the only meeting against an Ivy League school in Cal State Fullerton women's basketball history.

SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the week with a 3-9 overall record, having lost its last seven straight heading into a road contest at Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday... The Anteaters fell to UNC Greensboro in overtime (76-71) and Western Michigan (64-43) prior to the Christmas holiday and fell to Yale on Sunday (Dec. 28) by a 75-66 score... All three of UCI's wins this season have come away from the Bren Center, where the Anteaters are 0-5... Rebecca Maessen (13.6 ppg) and Mary Has (13.3 ppg) lead the team offensively while Kim Barnes is averaging 5.4 rpg to pace the team on the glass.

THE SERIES: The series with UC Irvine is deadlocked at 27-27 with Cal State Fullerton having won the last five consecutive meetings and six of the last eight after the Anteaters ran off 14 consecutive victories from 1997-2004... The Titans have swept the season series from UCI in each of the last two years, including close wins of 69-66 at Irvine and 70-66 in Fullerton last season... The Titans are 14-11 against the Anteaters at home and 12-14 on the road with a 1-2 record on neutral courts.

FOR OPENERS... BIG WEST STYLE: Cal State Fullerton is 8-15 all-time in Big West Conference openers dating back to the 1985-86 season, winning two straight and four of its last six... Saturday will mark the second straight season that the Titans will open their conference schedule against UC Irvine after Fullerton posted a three-point win on the road last season... The Titans are 4-6 when opening league play on their home floor, winning two of the last three... Fullerton is 1-2 when opening conference play against UCI.

CHOW BOMBS AWAY AGAIN: This is starting to become a habit. Cal State Fullerton sophomore Lauren Chow hit six three-pointers for the second time this season (and the fourth time in her career) in the Titans' last game at San Diego, finishing with a season high-tying 20 points in Fullerton's three-point loss. The performance, which fell just two trey's shy of the school record for a single game, allowed her to take over the team lead in scoring at 13.3 ppg (which also ranks fifth in the league entering the week) and marked the seventh time in the team's nine games that she has reached double figures this season.

NOTHING FOR FREE ANYMORE: Cal State Fullerton went to the free throw line only six times against San Diego - a season-low for the Titans and the third time in the last four games that the Titans have had fewer than 10 free throw attempts in a game this season. When they do get their chances, however, the Titans have not been able to capitalize, shooting just 24-for-39 (.615) in the last four contests, and posting the fewest free throw attempts in the Big West thus far this season (118).

FOR DESSERT?: It's safe to say a basketball turnover probably wouldn't taste very good as a meal-ender, but on the court, it has been a sweet statistic for the Titans. Fullerton's defense has forced its opponents into 196 turnovers on the season (a league best 21.8 per game), turning them into 175 points for the "good gals." The Titans have forced 20-or-more turnovers in five of their nine contests this season with a pair of 19-turnover games to boot. On the other hand, the Titans have also done a great job of taking care of the ball themselves, committing only 160 turnovers and ranking first in the league in turnover margin (+4.00) while notching 79 steals to rank fifth overall and fourth in the league with 8.78 spg.

THREEEEEE-CO-LA: With Toni Thomas sidelined due to injury, Cal State Fullerton has had to rely on its outside shooting to win games this season. The Titans lead the league with 6.22 three-pointers made per game this season while ranking fourth with 56 trey's overall and third in the conference shooting 33 percent from behind the arc. Individually, Lauren Chow ranks sixth in the league shooting 36 percent while her 27 three-pointers made and her 3.00 made per game pace the Big West.

SHE'S HERE TO HELP: When she's not filling up the basket, Chow has done her best to direct the Fullerton offense standing fourth in the league with 3.44 assists per game and standing as one of only six league regulars with more assists than turnovers, ranking fourth with a 1.24 assist-to-turnover ratio (31 assists to 25 turnovers).

GREAT SCOTT!: Junior Jasmine Scott continued her hard work on the glass in San Diego, tying for the team lead with six rebounds against the Toreros - the fourth time in the last five games that she has either led or co-led the team in that category. Scott, who tallied a career-high 12 rebounds against San Francisco to complete her first career double-double on Dec. 10, is averaging a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game over the last five contests and her 51 rebounds through nine games this season are two-thirds of the way to her entire career total of 76 boards entering her junior year. Entering this week's games, the 5-foot-8 Scott leads the team with 5.7 rebounds per game and ranks 10th in the league in that category.