March 9, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The No. 2 seeded University of San Diego women's basketball team cruised to a 74-53 win over No. 3 seeded Saint Mary's College in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Toreros improve to 21-8 overall, gave head coach Cindy Fisher her 200th career win, and advance on to the WCC Championship game on Monday to play No. 1 seeded Gonzaga University at 1 p.m. With the loss, the Gaels conclude their regular-season with a 20-10 overall record.
"All the credit goes to all the players I have coached, and to the staff I have coached with," stated Fisher on her 200th career win. "This is a milestone I am proud of, but again, all credit goes to teams and coaching staffs I have worked with."
"I am so thrilled for this team, who has put in so much hard work and effort this season," said Fisher on the team advancing to the championship game on Monday. "They play selfless basketball, and we put ourselves in this opportunity to play for a conference championship, which was our goal at the start of the season."
The Toreros were paced offensively by junior guard Amy Kame, who scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, while dishing out five assists. Felicia Wijenberg was the second Torero in double figures, as she recorded 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, and pulling down four rebounds. Both Malina and Maya Hood scored nine points each. As a team, USD shot .484 from the field and were out rebounded 38-35.
In the first half, the two teams both came out on fire, as they were trading point-for-point over the first four minutes of action, with USD shooting a red hot 75% from the field and the Gaels shooting 44% from the field, and the game was tied at 8-all with 15:53 to go.
The two teams continued to battle and match each other point-for-point, until the game was tied at 10-all, then Amy Kame hit a jumper and was fouled. She then drained the free throw and gave USD a 3-point lead. After a missed SMC bucket, a break away lay-up by Felicia Wijenberg gave USD a 5-point lead at 10-5, with 12:45 to go.
A few minutes later, SMC came fighting back and went on a 7-2 run to take a one-point lead at 18-17 on a Danielle Mauldin lay-up with 10:41 to go. The two teams then traded a pair of baskets, before a Malina Hood lay-up sparked a 14-0 Torero run to give USD all the momentum and a 31-14 lead with 7:18 to go.
USD would continue to push forward and eventually built up a lead to as many as 20 on a Kame lay-up with :30 to go, before settling for a 18-point lead at the break, up 43-25.
In the second half, the Gaels opened up with an 10-0 run over the first three minutes of action, to cut the deficit down to single digits at 43-35, forcing the Toreros into a timeout with 17:11 to go.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kame and Malina Hood gave USD back a double-digit lead at 51-36 with 13:49 to go. SMC then managed to close tat gap back down to 11 at 54-43 with 12:18 to go, however the Toreros responded with a 5-0 run over the next minute to take a 59-43 lead, forcing the Gaels into a time out with 11:00 to go.
USD then went on a 13-4 run over the next five minutes of action to take a 20-point lead at 67-47 with 5:46 to go, and never looked back as they went on to claim the 74-53 win.