Nov. 10, 2006
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Six Toreros recorded double-digits to pace the University of San Diego women's basketball team (1-0) to a 95-77 season-opening win over the Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-1) Friday evening in a non-conference game inside the Matadome.
Amber Sprague was tied for a game-high 19 points and she also pulled down nine boards and recorded a game-high five steals to help lead USD to victory. Both freshman Morgan Henderson and sophomore Kelly Winther notched up 14 points a piece, while Amanda Rego recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. The final two San Diego players in double-digits were Kiva Herman and Sabine Loewe, who both had 11 points. As a team, the Toreros shot 53 percent from the floor and 45 percent from behind the arc and out rebounded Northridge 40-28.
"I think the pace took us by surprise tonight, but I thought after we settled down, we were able to put people in the right place on defense and make the adjustments that we had to. I think our defense created good offense for us tonight," said head coach Cindy Fisher.
For the Matadors, Ofa Tulikihifo led the way with her 19 points and seven boards. CSUN had three others in double-digits as Jazelle Burries recorded 14 points, Krisztina Fuleki had 11 points and Jamie McCaa had 10 points. As a team, the Matadors shot 48 percent from the floor.
In the first half, the early going was very even keel with neither team taking a lead bigger then three. Then with the score at 15-12 in favor of the Matadors, San Diego opened up their offense and played pressure defense forcing 10 first half turnovers as they began to adjust to the up-tempo pace of the game and went on a 10-4 run sparked by a pair of Henderson free throws to take a nine point lead at 25-19.
Northridge then pulled to within two at 27-25, but the Toreros would not allow them to come any closer as Sara VanderHorst sparked a 13-6 Torero run with a three pointer to give USD a 12 point lead. The Toreros increased their lead to 16 on a pair of Rego free-throws going into the break.
In the second half the Toreros kept their foot on the gas and pulled away from the get go quickly building a 21 point lead on a Rego jumper. USD would build their lead to as many as 26 at 68-42 and never looked back as they held on the 20 point lead until the final minute of the game when the Matadors were able to finally get the deficit to fewer than 20 at 18 on a pair of Tulikihifo free throws.
The Toreros will return to action on Tuesday as they begin the home portion of their schedule against the Highlanders of UC Riverside in a 7 p.m. non-conference game inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.