Jan. 19, 2008
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - With a strange turn of events in the final three seconds of overtime, the University of San Diego women's basketball team was defeated, 76-75, by the University of Portland in a West Coast Conference game Saturday afternoon.
With three seconds to go and USD trailing Portland by one at 76-75, the Pilots attempted to inbound the ball in front of the Torero bench, but the ball touched a Pilot player and fell out of bounds to give USD back the ball with a chance to win the game. However, the Toreros could not get the ball inbounds and were called for a five second violation, thus turning the ball back over to Portland, who in turn ran the clock out to escape with the victory.
Amber Sprague notched in her WCC-leading sixth double-double of the season with her team-high 20 points to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds. Amanda Rego was the second of five USD players in double figures, as she had 17 points and added in seven assists. Kiva Herman had 2 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor, Morgan Henderson added in 11 points and Sam Child was the final USD player in double figures as she had 10 points. As a team, USD shot 38 percent from the field and out rebounded the Pilots 43-32.
In the first half, the Pilots raced out to a 4-1 lead, but a pair of Sprague free throws ignited a 6-0 Torero run to give USD a three point edge at 7-4 with 15:10 to go in the period. The two teams the appeared to trade basket-for-basket over the next several minutes, until USD held a 14-11 lead, then Sprague scored the next four points to give USD their biggest lead of the game at 18-11 with 10:02 remaining.
After the Pilots launched a 7-0 run to pull even with the Toreros, again the two teams were battling back and forth for a couple of minutes with each taking their turn with the lead. Then with the score at 26-23 in favor if USD, a Allyson Sievers three-pointer sparked a 10-1 Pilot run to give Portland the momentum back and a six-point lead with 2:31 remaining in the frame. The Pilots would hold on to this lead and take an eight-point advantage into the break up 39-31.
In the second half, the Toreros held things close with Portland not allowing the Pilots to get more than eight points ahead, and finally with 4:22 to go, USD began to dig in and go to work to try and win the game. With USD trailing 60-53, Sprague hit a pair of free throws and a lay-up to pull the Toreros back to within two at 60-58. The Pilots then hit a jumper to give them back a four-point lead, but back-to-back lay-ups by Herman and Henderson tied things up at 62 with just 46 seconds remaining in the second half.
Portland then committed a turnover with 34 second remaining in the game, giving USD a chance to take the lead back. Amanda Rego got the inbounds pass on the Portland baseline, waited until there was 10 seconds left on the clock, then drove the length of the court and hit a lay-up to put the Toreros up two with seven seconds left. The Pilots then quickly got the ball up the floor, and at the buzzer Kendra Thomas hit a hanging off balance jumper to force overtime.
In the overtime frame, both teams were playing well, as they traded basket-for-basket over the first couple of minutes of action. Then with USD leading 70-69 with 1:43 remaining, the Pilots ripped off five straight points to grab a four-point edge with 22 seconds left in the game. The Pilots would hold this four-point lead until there was just five seconds left, and Henderson hit a three-pointer to pull USD to within one, setting up the dramatic ending.
The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they head to Santa Clara to take on the Santa Clara University Broncos in a 7 p.m. WCC game.