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WCC Opener Ahead for Women's Hoops on Sunday as USF Comes to Town

Jan. 4, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (11-3) will 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: Amanda Rego's fifth double-double of the season helped lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a 61-50 non-conference win over the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds Tuesday evening in USD's final West Coast Conference tune-up at The Centrum. Rego, the nation's leader in assists per game (8.1), recorded 11 assists and 11 points, while also recording a team-best eight rebounds and four steals in the win. The second Torero in double figures was Amber Sprague, who recorded a game-high 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Morgan Henderson tied a career-high with 12 points and the final Torero in double figures was Kelly Winther with 10 points, while also recording a career-high four steals. The Toreros shot 47 percent from the field and out rebounded the Thunderbirds 34-25. San Diego also forced 22 turnovers and scored 19 points off those turnovers. After both teams sea-sawed back and forth over the first several minutes of the game, the Thunderbirds would use a 13-5 run to take a nine point lead at 20-11 with 7:02 remaining in the first half of play. espite the team's leading scorer, Amber Sprague, in foul trouble, the Toreros dug in defensively and only allowed the Thunderbirds to score four points over the remaining seven minutes as they put together an impressive 11-4 run sparked by a Kiva Herman lay-up and capped by a Herman jumper to trail by two going into the break. In the second half, USD wasted no time as they opened the frame with a 9-1 run to take control of the momentum and lead 31-25 with 14:56 remaining in the period. San Diego would then build their lead up to as many as 14 thanks to back-to-back steals, one by Henderson and one by London Houchin, which both led to Rego lay-up's. Amber Sprague then followed with a jumper to give the Toreros a 43-29 edge, a lead they would not look back on as they cruised their way to their 11th win of the season. SUU's Anne Westwood had a team-high 11 points along with six rebounds and assists. Heather Hillock joined Westwood in double figures with ten, adding three assists in the loss.

SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the game with a 6-9 overall record after picking up a win against Nevada this past Tuesday. 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 14.8 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.

LEADING THE NATION: Junior point guard Amanda Rego is currently leading the nation in assists per game with an average of 8.1. Rego has been an assist machine this season as she has not only set the new USD single-game assists mark with 14, but that 14 assists is also tied for the single-game high this season across the country. Rego also recorded 13 assists in the win against Holy Cross, to tie her for second all-time at USD in single-game assists as well as in the nation this season. Rego continues her climb up the record charts at USD in career assists as she is now ranked seventh all-time with 270 assists. For her career, Rego is also averaging 4.3 assists per game, which ties for the top spot at USD with Jane Cilipin (1986-88). Her 113 assists on the season thus far, also places her in 10th for single-season assists at USD.

HENDERSON HAS SOLID OUTING: San Diego freshman forward Morgan Henderson had another solid outing for the Toreros in the win against Southern Utah. The freshman matched her career-high in points with 12. In fact, Henderson has now scored in double figures in three of the past five games and is averaging 6.4 points per game.

ASSIST FEVER CATCHING ON?: Amanda Rego isn't the only Torero starting to dish out the rock, as senior forward Ashley Voisinet has caught on as well. In the win against Southern Utah, Voisinet dished out a career-high five assists.

MORE REGO: Amanda Rego currently leads the team and conference with five double-doubles. Rego has not only done it the more conventional way (points-assists) but the unconventional was as well. In a win against Holy Cross, she recorded 10 steals and 13 assists to achieve the double-double.

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.

TOREROS AND THE STEAL: San Diego's defense has been huge for the 11-3 Toreros as they are second in the WCC in team steals with an average of 11.5, just trailing Saint Mary's 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 is currently fourth in conference in rebounds per game (7.5 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).

ABOUT THE RECORD: San Diego moved to 11-3 on the season with the win over Southern Utah this past Tuesday. With the win, USD is off to the best start in program history. This also marks the first time a USD team has began conference play with double-digit wins.

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.