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Final WCC Tune-Up Ahead for Women's Basketball

Jan. 2, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (10-3) will travel to Cedar City, Utah for their final WCC tune-up against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday evening. The Toreros will then begin their conference portion of the schedule on Sunday with a 2 p.m. showdown against the University of San Francisco inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego posted a 1-1 record this past week at the annual Surf N Slam Classic. USD began the tournament in stylish fashion as they pounded Holy Cross 76-53 in the opening game. In that game, junior point guard Amanda Rego fell just one point shy of a triple double with nine points, 10 steals and 13 assists. In fact, she almost had a quadruple double as she also had seven rebounds. Amber Sprague led all scorers with 16 points, while Kelly Winther was the second Torero in double figures with 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Senior center Sabine Loewe was the third Torero in double figures with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting and freshman forward Morgan Henderson was the final Torero in double-digits with 11 points, just one shy of her career high. In Sunday's loss to Texas, Rego recorded 10 points, a team-best six assists and team-leading eight rebounds en route to earning a spot on the All-Tournament team. Winther was the leading scorer for USD with 11 points, including going 3-for-4 from the three-point line. Sprague notched in eight points on way to being the second Torero named to the All-Tournament team and she recorded a game-high three blocks. As a team, USD shot 33 percent from the floor and were out rebounded 51-31.

A PAIR OF TOREROS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Junior point guard Amanda Rego and sophomore forward Amber Sprague were both selected to the Surf N Slam All-Tournament team this past weekend. Rego scored 19 points (9.5 ppg), a tournament-best 19 assists, had a tournament-high 12 steals and averaged 7.5 rebounds per game. Sprague averaged 12 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game and also registered five blocked shots.

SCOUTING THE THUNDERBIRDS: Southern Utah enters the game with a 3-9 overall record after picking up a 62-54 win on Dec. 30 against Western State. This will be the first meeting between the two schools in the sport of women's basketball. The Thunderbirds are led offensively by Anne Westwood, who is averaging a team-best 9.4 points per game and pulling down 6.4 boards a game. As a team, Southern Utah is shooting 38 percent from the field and holding opponents to 39 percent from the floor. The Thunderbirds are under the direction of first-year head coach Steve Hodson.

SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the week with a 5-9 overall record after splitting a pair this past weekend. USF notched up a loss against Hawaii and picked up a win against Columbia. The Dons hold the all-time series record between the two programs at 22-20 with each team splitting two games this past season. San Francisco is led offensively by Dominique Carter, who is averaging 14.9 points per game. Carter just went past the 1,000 career-points mark this past week against Hawaii. The Dons are under the direction of first-year head coach Tanya Haave.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: All USD home games, as well as select road games, will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website. Fans can watch all the action live from the comfort of their home by logging onto usdtoreros.com. Once on the home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page. Two former USD basketball standouts Paula Bott (play-by-play) and Susie Erpelding (color) will bring you all the action. The pair not only set USD records on the court but both earned the West Coast Conference Female Scholar Athlete of the Year award, the only two student-athletes in USD women's basketball history to receive such honors. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95.

REGO HAS CAREER NIGHT: Junior point guard Amanda Rego continued her impressive start to the season as she nearly notched not only a triple double, but a quadruple double as well in the win against Holy Cross. Rego fell just one point shy of a triple double and three rebounds shy of a quadruple double. She finished the game with 10 steals, setting a new USD and tournament single-game record and she dished out 13 assists, tying for second in single-game assists at USD. With the 10 steals and 13 assists, she notched her team-leading fourth double-double of the season.

ABOUT THE RECORD: San Diego moved to 10-3 on the season with the win over Holy Cross and a loss to Texas this past week. With the win, USD is off to the best start in program history surpassing that of the 1989-90 team that opened up 9-4 through 13 games. The 10 wins also surpassed the win total of last season. If USD defeats Southern Utah, it will mark the first time in program history a USD team has entered conference play with 11 wins.

TOREROS AND THE STEAL: San Diego's defense has been huge for the 10-3 Toreros as they are second in the WCC in team steals with an average of 11.38, just trailing Santa Clara for the conference lead. This past week, USD again had a solid defensive effort as in the game against Holy Cross, the team recorded 20 steals to tie for the third best single-game team steals mark at USD. The all-time single-game steals team record at USD is 22, which was achieved twice before, once against Weber State on 12/30/91 and the other against Point Loma 11/29/83.

SPRAGUE STILL GOING STRONG: Sophomore forward Amber Sprague continues to be a force inside for the Toreros. After being selected to the All-Tournament team at the Surf N Slam this past week, Sprague has moved into the career record books at USD. With 27 blocks in the season and 59 career blocks, Sprague now ranks tied for eighth in career-blocks with Christi English (1986-91) and is now 13 away from Sara Jane (1880-82) for seventh place. Sprague currently leads the conference in rebounds per game (8.0 rbg), is tied for second in the WCC in blocked shots with 2.27 per game and is fourth in the conference in both points per game (14.6) and steals per game (2.25).

WINTHER HAS ANOTHER SOLID WEEK: Sophomore guard Kelly Winther had yet another solid week for the Toreros. This past week, she led the team in scoring with an average 13 ppg, including a 15-point outburst in the win against Holy Cross. On the season, Winther is now the second leading scorer for USD with an average of 10.8 points per game.

MORGENSTERN AND CARLSON TO REDSHIRT: San Diego freshman guard Hannah Morgenstern will redshirt the 2006-07 season after injuring her ACL. Morgenstern scored three points in a win against Cal State Northridge, and has made two more appearances this season. Erica Carlson, a 6-4 center from Tucson, Ariz., as yet to appear in a game for the Toreros this season and will make her Torero debut in the 2007-08 season as she recorvers from a shoulder injury.

MEET THE COACH: Head coach Cindy Fisher is entering her second season at the helm of the Toreros program. She was named the program's third head coach on April 19, 2005 after taking over for Kathy Marpe, who stepped down after directing the program for 25 years in 2005. During her first season at USD, the Toreros showed remarkable improvement and were close in majority of their games. The Toreros did record a huge 15 point win over Santa Clara on the road and were close in games against Georgia Tech, Boise State and against Loyola Marymount in the first round of the WCC Championship Tournament. Fisher also helped guide Tiara Harris to a All-WCC selection and Kelly Winther to a All-WCC Freshman team selection. At Wyoming, Fisher's Cowgirl teams showed improvement in each of her five seasons, culminating with an 18-12 mark during the 2002-03 season. The 18 wins were the school's most victories since 1989-90. She also led the Cowgirls to their first postseason appearance since 1989-90 with a trip to the 2003 WNIT, where Wyoming notched a first-round win over Montana before falling in the second round.

GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All San Diego women's basketball home games can be followed via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of Online College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action. Selected San Diego road games are also available via Gametracker. To see if Gametracker is available for a game go to San Diego Events at the top-right of the home page. If Gametracker is available there will be a Gametracker link.

TOREROS TABBED SIXTH IN WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team was tabbed to finish sixth in the 2006-07 West Coast Conference preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine were chosen as the favorites to claim the WCC women's basketball title with Gonzaga rounding out the top three. Santa Clara checked in at No. 4, Saint Mary's was selected fifth and the Toreros check in at No. 6. Rounding out the conferacne are San Francisco, who was picked seventh, and Portland was picked eighth, respectfully.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL NOW A TICKETED SPORT: All USD women's basketball home games are now a ticketed event, effective at the start of the 2006-07 season. General Admission tickets will be available to the general public on the day of each game. USD faculty, staff, and student tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. General admission tickets are $5 per person.