Jan. 2, 2007
San Diego - 61
Southern Utah - 50
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Amanda Rego's fifth double-double of the season helped lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a 61-50 non-conference win over the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds Tuesday evening in USD's final West Coast Conference tune-up at The Centrum.
With the win, the Toreros continue the best start in program history at 11-3 and improve their road record to 3-1. With the loss, the Thunderbirds fall to 3-10.
"I thought our team turned it on defensively in the second half and we needed it since we came out so flat offensively in the beginning," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "We had a good run at the end of the first half to get close and really turned it up defensively in the second half. Our defense created baskets for us tonight."
Rego, the nation's leader in assists per game (8.1), recorded 11 assists and 11 points, while also recording a team-best eight rebounds and four steals in the win. The second Torero in double figures was Amber Sprague, who recorded a game-high 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Morgan Henderson tied a career-high with 12 points and the final Torero in double figures was Kelly Winther with 10 points, while also recording a career-high four steals. The Toreros shot 47 percent from the field and out rebounded the Thunderbirds 34-25. San Diego also forced 22 turnovers and scored 19 points off those turnovers.
After both teams sea-sawed back and forth over the first several minutes of the game, the Thunderbirds would use a 13-5 run to take a nine point lead at 20-11 with 7:02 remaining in the first half of play.
Despite the team's leading scorer, Amber Sprague, in foul trouble, the Toreros dug in defensively and only allowed the Thunderbirds to score four points over the remaining seven minutes as they put together an impressive 11-4 run sparked by a Kiva Herman lay-up and capped by a Herman jumper to trail by two going into the break.
In the second half, USD wasted no time as they opened the frame with a 9-1 run to take control of the momentum and lead 31-25 with 14:56 remaining in the period.
San Diego would then build their lead up to as many as 14 thanks to back-to-back steals, one by Henderson and one by London Houchin, which both led to Rego lay-up's. Amber Sprague then followed with a jumper to give the Toreros a 43-29 edge, a lead they would not look back on as they cruised their way to their 11th win of the season.
SUU's Anne Westwood had a team-high 11 points along with six rebounds and assists. Heather Hillock joined Westwood in double figures with ten, adding three assists in the loss.
The Toreros will return to action on Sunday as they begin West Coast Conference play against the University of San Francisco in a 2 p.m. tilt at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
San Francisco - 65
Nevada - 55
San Francisco, CA - USF women's basketball took on Nevada in its final non-conference game of the season and seized a 65-55 victory Tuesday night at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (6-9) have won back-to-back games heading into the West Coast Conference schedule and avenged a road loss to the Wolf Pack (6-7) in Reno last season.
San Francisco did an outstanding job shooting the ball, converting on .512 (21-41) for the game, but were even more impressive at the free throw line, connecting on .870 (20-23), including 16-of-17 in the second half. The Dons made eight consecutive free throws - all in the final 1:07 in the contest to seal the win.
Sophomore guard Shay Rollins scored a team-high 16 points and has averaged 14.0 points per game over her last four contests. Rollins converted on 4-of-8 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Junior guard Dominique Carter added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while senior center Nickie Warren scored 11 points to go along with four boards. Junior center Lisa Olden also enjoyed a strong effort, scoring eight points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds.
"This was a great team win for us," USF head coach Tanya Haave said. "I am proud of the effort the team made - especially after trailing early. We need to make better decisions out there and take better care of the basketball, but this was an important win for us heading into the West Coast Conference schedule."
San Francisco trailed early but battled back courtesy of some strong shooting in the opening period. The Dons connected on .522 (12-23) from the field and held a 19-12 rebound advantage. Carter led all scorers in the opening period with 10 points and five rebounds, while Warren added seven points. Neither team took care of the basketball in a sloppy opening 20 minutes as they combined for 27 turnovers.
After the intermission, the Dons worked on extending their lead and built a 10 point 45-35 advantage with 9:21 remaining in regulation off a Warren lay-up. USF built its biggest lead at 12, 47-35 on a pair of Olden free throws with 8:40 left. The Wolf Pack mounted a late charge, cutting the deficit to six, 57-51 with 1:12 to go and again with 0:48 on the clock, but the Dons converted at the charity stripe.
Sophomore guard Brandi Fitzgerald scored a team-high 17 points, while sophomore guard Dellena Criner chipped in 10 for the Wolf Pack. Nevada shot .349 (22-63) from the field for the game. San Francisco won the battle of the boards 38-29, helping to offset 30 turnovers as the two teams combined for 52 in the contest.
USF travels to Southern California to open the 2007 West Coast Conference campaign when it takes on San Diego Sunday, January 7. Tip-off against the Toreros is set for 2:00 PM at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.