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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 12, 2006

San Diego - 66
Cal State Bakersfield - 63

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Led by Amanda Rego's third double-double of the season, five Toreros scored in double figures to help lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team (8-2) to a 66-63 win over Cal State Bakersfield (4-3) Tuesday evening in a non-conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Rego recorded 10 points, while dishing out 11 assists, pulled down five rebounds and had a season-high five steals in the win. Amber Sprague led the team in scoring with 14 points, while pulling down a team-best seven boards and had thee blocks. Morgan Henderson and Kelly Winther both had 11 points and Sabine Loewe had 10 points. As a team, the Toreros shot 42 percent from the floor and out rebounded the Road Runners, 40-37.

"I was really impressed with how hard our kids fought to close the gap by half time. I thought when we got down by 14 that the game could have gone either way," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "I think we won the game on the defensive end and Amanda Rego just did some really nice things to lead us down the stretch and make sure we got the win."

CSUB surprised the Toreros from the get-go as they opened the game with a 6-2 run and were able to hang on to that lead for the entire period. With the score at 19-18 in favor of Bakersfield, the Road Runners used a 15-2 run to take a 14 point lead with just 7:06 remaining in the first period.

After a 30 second timeout by USD, the Toreros switched to a 2-3 zone defense and began a comeback. Rego got things rolling as she stole the ball from Jessi Loring and found Sprague underneath the basket for a quick lay-up ending the CSUB run and sparking a 12-2 run to close out the period and pull to within four going into the break.

In the second half, the Toreros continued that momentum as they used a 9-4 run to even the score at 40-40 as Rego again stole the ball, this time from Rhonda Johnson, and she finished the fast break with a lay-up. Sprague then gave the Toreros the lead for the first time since the score was 2-0 with a pair of free-throws moving the score to 42-40.

The two teams then traded baskets over the next couple of minutes with the Toreros never surrendering the lead. USD would build their lead up to as many as seven at 59-52, but the Road Runners refused to go away as they put together a 6-0 run to pull within one on back-to-back three pointers by Christin Kepenekian and Kelly Tarver.

The Toreros again answered the run with strong defensive pressure and also hit key free throws down the stretch. USD's final seven points came at the charity stripe.

Krista Arase and Tarver paced the Road Runners offensively with a game-high 15 points each. Loring had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Bakersfield shot 41 percent from the floor.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they host Cal State Fullerton in a televised game at 1 p.m. inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion for the first-half of a double-header with the men's team.

Santa Clara - 74
Pacific - 67

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team continued to exorcise itself of a couple of tough losses two weeks ago by winning its second game in a row, this one a 74-67 victory Tuesday night over the Pacific Tigers at the Leavey Center. Chandice Cronk's 24 points led four Broncos scoring in double figures and the team made a season-high 18 steals to highlight a balanced effort.

"We definitely didn't shoot very well to start the game, and that's why it was so important that our defense was so intense," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "And once the offense got going, it's always nice to have a balanced scoring attack, it just makes us that much tougher to defend."

The Broncos will now head out to America's Heartland to do battle with a pair of Big 12 teams, taking on the Kansas State Wildcats Friday at 5 p.m. PT before closing out the trip with a 12 p.m. PT battle against the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday.

In addition to her 24 points, Cronk also hit a career-high seven three-pointers Saturday night. Point guard Ashley Graham dished out a career-high 13 assists in the game as Jen Gottschalk scored 12 points and Ashley Gonnerman and Tracey Walker each added 10. Forward Kasey Monteith grabbed a team-leading 11 rebounds and scored eight points to contribute to the winning cause.

"I have complete faith in Ashley and know that she will do what she knows best out there," Cronk said of Graham's performance in running the offense. "She sees the floor great, gets the ball up the floor, and is such an amazing point guard."

Santa Clara had some catching up to do after the first eight and a half minute of the game, as the team started 1-of-11 shooting from behind the arc while Pacific had no trouble on the outside. The Tigers got four three-pointers in that span, the last from Jake Kelly, who led the team with 17 points on the night, to take an early 22-13 lead.

But the Broncos broke out of the slump and scored 16 unanswered points over the next 5:18 as Cronk drained a trio of threes to fuel the run. The Tigers got a layup from Karen Dawkins to cut the lead to five, but Elizabeth Doran cashed in from long range to get the lead to eight at 32-24 with 5:51 left in the half. SCU got the lead as high as 12 en route to a 49-38 halftime lead.

Cronk's three to start the second half brought the lead to 14, and Santa Clara's aggressive defense and tough rebounding prevented Pacific from sustaining a run. The defense played a major role in maintaining the firm lead as the Bronco offense went scoreless for just over five minutes midway through the half and Pacific got to within eight at 61-53 with 9:55 to play.

The offense woke up soon after, rebuilding the lead to 15 at 71-56 with 4:36 to play as a pair of Gottschalk baskets sandwiched a Cronk three.

"With Pacific's guards being up on ours, [our guards] were able to get the ball to us underneath so we could score," said Gottschalk. "And when we score underneath, the defense has to come in, which leaves our guards open outside. I think it's a great strength because then opposing teams don't know what to do in guarding us."

Despite being in foul trouble, which allowed the Tigers to cut into the lead from the free throw line late, the Broncos held the lead, and iced things with Gottschalk's fast-break layup with 55 seconds left that gave SCU a 73-65 lead.