Happy New Year! Titans Begin 2006 With Big West Conference Openers

Happy New Year! Titans Begin 2006 With Big West Conference Openers

Dec. 31, 2005


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The Cal State Fullerton women's basketball team (2-8 overall in 2005-06) opens its 21st season of Big West Conference play to ring in 2006 as the Titans travel to California's Central Coast for a pair of games.

Fullerton opens its Big West schedule on Jan. 2 against Cal Poly at Mott Gym before heading south to take on UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 4 at The Thunderdome. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m.

Monday's contest at Cal Poly can be heard online by logging on to www.gopoly.com and clicking on the "Listen to the Game" link on the left-hand side.

The Mustangs enter Big West Conference play with a 5-3 overall record after splitting its last four contests. Cal Poly will travel to UC Riverside on Dec. 29 to open league play before hosting the Titans.

Junior guard Jessica Eggleston leads the Mustangs offensively, averaging 10.6 points per game and shooting just under 46 percent from the field. She is also the team's second-leading rebounder, averaging just over five rebounds, and leads the team with 20 steals.

Freshman forward Megan Harrison is the next-highest scorer, averaging 9.6 ppg. The Texas native has led the team in scoring in four of the Mustangs' eight games this season.

Head Coach Faith Mimnaugh is in her ninth season at the helm of the Mustangs.

The Gauchos are 3-6 overall this season, but have come on strong as of late, winning three of their last four (including wins over Pac-10 foes No. 24 UCLA and Arizona) after opening the season 0-5. UCSB will face Pepperdine on Dec. 30 in the third game of a five-game homestand and will open conference play against UC Riverside on Jan. 2 before hosting the Titans.

Sophomore forward Jenna Green leads UC Santa Barbara offensively, averaging just under 16 points and seven rebounds per game. She is second in the Big West in scoring and leads the league in field goal percentage at .558.

Junior guard Erin O'Bryan is also in double figures in scoring, averaging 10.9 ppg and leads the team from long-distance, shooting 37 percent.

Head Coach Mark French is entering his 19th season with the Gauchos, amassing a 380-164 record and earning seven conference coach of the year honors.

Cal State Fullerton is 6-14 all-time in Big West Conference openers dating back to 1986, including a 3-6 mark at home and 3-8 on the road... The Titans saw their brief two-game winning streak in conference openers snapped last year with a six-point overtime loss at home to Cal State Northridge after wins over the Matadors and Cal Poly in the previous two seasons... Monday will mark only the second time the Titans have opened against the Mustangs, the last coming in an overtime win in 2003... Fullerton has been outscored 1,500-1,368 in Big West openers... This season will mark only the second time in the last seven years the Titans will open Big West play away from home.

&\#149; CAL POLY: Cal State Fullerton holds a 20-10 all-time lead in the series with the Mustangs dating back to the 1969-70 season... the Titans have won two in a row (and four of the last six) in the series, sweeping the series last season with a seven-point win at San Luis Obispo and a one-point win at Titan Gym... Fullerton is 7-6 against Cal Poly at Mott Gym, snapping a five-game losing streak with its win last season in San Luis Obispo.

&\#149; UC SANTA BARBARA: UC Santa Barbara leads the all-time series with the Titans, 30-22, dating back to the 1970-71 season... The Gauchos have won the last 23 meetings - the longest active winning streak by any one opponent against Fullerton... Fullerton has not emerged victorious against UCSB since a 97-86 win on March 8, 1995, in the second round of the Big West Tournament... the Titans are 7-15 all-time against the Gauchos in Santa Barbara.

Someone? How about five someones? In it's 10 games this season, the Titans have used eight different starting lineups, using the quintet of Charlee Underwood, Ariel Adams, Toni Thomas, Audrey Taylor, and India McDaniel twice this season in back-to-back games against Northern Arizona and Army, and the five-some of Taylor, McDaniel, Woloschuk, Thomas, Underwood in games against San Francsico and Montana State.

Cal State Fullerton sophomore center Sandra Woloschuk has been impressive from the field in her last four games, reaching the double figure mark in three of those contests, including setting and tying a new career high with 12 points against Fresno State and Montana State. Woloschuk, who had scored just five points in her first six games of the season, is averaging 9.5 ppg over her last four and is shooting 46 percent from the field in that span.

Senior post Amber Pruitt is closing in on a milestone in her career as she looks to become the 15th player in the history of the program to reach the 1,000 career point plateau. With her 114 points this season, Pruitt now ranks 18th on the all-time scoring list with 859 career points, just two points behind Amy Torczon (1984-88) for No. 17. If Pruitt reaches 1,000 points, she would be the second player in the last three years to reach that plateau joining Tamara Quinn, who finished with 1,109 career points in 2004 to rank 10th.

The long and winding road trip continues this week as the Titans open Big West play - their eighth and ninth games away from home in their first 12 contests. Fullerton has yet to get a victory away from Titan Gym (0-7) averaging just 63.1 points per game in that span while allowing just under 81 points to the opposition. However, not all the news is bad as three Titans are scoring in double figures in front of hostile crowds: Amber Pruitt (10.7 ppg), Charlee Underwood (10.4 ppg), Toni Thomas (10.0 ppg).

Junior forward Charlee Underwood scored 12 points to help lead the Titans to their second win of the season over Montana State before the holiday break, extending her double-digit scoring streak to three games and making it eight double-digit scoring performances in 10 games this season. Underwood is shooting 50 percent from the field in her last three games (13-for-26) and had her worst-best shooting performance of the year against the Bobcats, making just 3-of-3 from the field (after averaging 10 shot attempts per game in her previous nine games).

Cal State Fullerton's 85 points in its victory over Montana State on Dec. 19 marked the highest single-game point total for the Titans since putting up 86 in a nine-point win over San Jose State on Jan. 2, 2000.

Fullerton's win over Montana State was something of a rarity for the Titans' program in recent years, marking only the 11th non-conference victory for Cal State Fullerton in the last eight years. The Titans are 11-77 (.125) in non-conference games since 1998-99 as they haven't won more than two such games in a single-season during that span.


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