Nov. 26, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the second consecutive game, key free throw shooting and pressure defense down the stretch helped lift the University of San Diego women's basketball team (5-0) to their fifth consecutive win, as they chalked up a 59-55 non-conference victory over the Air Force Academy (2-3) Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
San Diego knocked down five free throws in the first three minutes of the second period to gain its first lead of the half and then closed the game with five free throws in the final 16 seconds of the game to hold on and claim the win to continue their best start in program history. San Diego held the Falcons to just 25 percent shooting in the second period.
"I was excited about the win. It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a great win for us. It was good to beat an Air Force team that will scrap and claw until the very end, and I was just proud of the effort we made in the last couple of minutes," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "I just thought Amanda Rego had an outstanding night for us. I thought she showed great composure, in trying to bring everyone together."
Rego scored a game-high 16 points, pulled down five boards, dished out a game-best seven assists and only committed one turnover to help lead the Toreros to victory. Sabine Loewe was the second Torero in double figures as the senior center racked up 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds. San Diego shot 43 percent from the floor, while Air Force out rebounded USD 42-32.
The first half as a story of runs, as each tem took their turn with the lead by going on scoring runs. Air Force jumped out to the early lead as they opened the frame with a 7-3 run, before the Toreros responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Ashley Voisinet lay-up and capped by a Rego lay-up, giving the Toreros a 12-7 advantage.
Air Force then responded with a 12-1 run to regain control of the game. The two teams then sea-sawed back and forth for the remainder of the period and Air Force took a three-point lead going into the break at 34-31.
In the second half, the Toreros used a 7-4 run to take the lead at 40-38, but then neither team could score a basket for the next 3:25 until the Falcons ended the scoring drought with a pair of free throws by Dawn Higginbotham to even the score at 40-40.
The teams then were again involved in a sea-saw battle with neither team taking a lead bigger then one until San Diego pushed the lead to three on a Loewe free throw with 6:27 remaining. San Diego would not look back on the lead they outscored the Falcons the remainder of the way.
The Toreros will head return to action on Friday as they head to Stockton, Calif. for a 7 p.m. showdown with the University of the Pacific in a non-conference game. San Diego will then head to the Pacific Northwest for a 2 p.m. meeting with the Boise State University Broncos in Boise, Idaho.