Jan. 7, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Behind a strong defensive effort as well as sophomore forward Amber Sprague's third double-double of the season, the University of San Diego women's basketball team (12-3, 1-0 WCC) claimed their West Coast Conference opener, 52-45, against the University of San Francisco (6-10, 0-1 WCC) Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
San Diego was led by Sprague, who had a game-high 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting and also pulled down a game-high 13 boards to go along with two blocks, two steals and two assists. Kiva Herman saw extended minutes for the Toreros and as a result she fell just one point shy of her career-high in points with nine, while also pulling down five rebounds. Amanda Rego dished out a game-high six assists.
USD out rebounded the Dons, 46-32 and shot 32 percent from the floor, compared to that of USF who hit 38 percent of their shots. San Diego also held the Dons' leading scorer, Dominique Carter (14.8 ppg), to just five points.
"I thought the team made some really awesome adjustments after half time. I thought our defense really stepped it up in the second half and I thought we did a great job on defending Dominique (Carter)," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "I thought our rebounding efforts were phenomenal. I think that Amber Sprague and Kiva Herman both really did some awesome things for us on the boards."
In the first half of play, the two teams were pretty even keel over the first several minutes. Then with the score at 13-12 in favor of the Toreros, USF used a 13-0 run to take control of the momentum as well as a comfortable lead.
San Diego then responded by closing the half with an 8-2 run sparked by a Sprague fade-away jumper and capped by a pair of Rego free-throws, cutting the deficit to six going into the break.
The Toreros used a 10-4 run at the start of the second half to again be on even terms with the Dons. Sprague got things rolling with a jumper and book ended the run with another jumper to allow USD to pull even with the Dons at 33-33 with 14:11 remaining.
The two teams would then sea saw back and forth over the next nine minutes, before the Toreros began to pull ahead, but not to far ahead as the Dons were able to keep things close, not trailing by more then five points. USF would get the game back to within one at 44-43 on a Nickie Warren lay-up. However, the Toreros then dug in and kept their defensive pressure on over the final three minutes not allowing the Dons to score more then two points allowing USD to capture the 52-45 win.
A pair of 11-point performers in Warren and Heidi Heintz led USF offensively. Heintz also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.
The Toreros will return to action on Thursday, as they host Pepperdine University in a 7 p.m. WCC game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.