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San Diego to Host Southern California WC Foes Pepperdine and LMU this Week

Jan. 8, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (12-3, 1-0 WCC) will continue their three-game home stand this week as they continue West Coast Conference action. This week, the Toreros will face the two schools tabbed as the favorite to win the WCC crown in Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. Pepperdine comes to town on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tilt with the Toreros. LMU comes south on Saturday for a 2 p.m. game inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

LAST TIME OUT: Behind a solid defensive effort as well as Amber Sprague's third double-double of the season, the University of San Diego women's basketball team claimed their West Coast Conference opener, 52-45, against the University of San Francisco Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. San Diego was led by Sprague, who had a game-high 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting and also pulled down a game-high 13 boards to go along with two blocks, two steals and two assists. Kiva Herman saw extended minutes for the Toreros and as a result she fell just one point shy of her career-high in points with nine, while also pulling down five rebounds. Amanda Rego dished out a game-high six assists. USD out rebounded the Dons, 46-32 and shot 32 percent from the floor, compared to that of USF who hit 38 percent of their shots. San Diego also held the Dons' leading scorer, Dominique Carter (14.8 ppg), to just five points.

REGO NAMED WCC CO-PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Amanda Rego helped San Diego continue its best start in program history, as the Toreros went 5-3 during the month of December to improve to 10-3 on season. Rego did a little bit of everything for USD, setting conference-highs with 6.88 assists per game and 3.5 steals per contests. The junior also averaged 8.4 points per game for the Toreros, and pulled down 7.0 boards per game to rank sixth in the league. The San Diego native had an impressive performance in a win over Holy Cross on December 28, dishing out 13 assists and collecting a program-record 10 steals and just one point short of a triple double with nine points. Rego also notched a double-double in a win over Cal State Bakersfield, scoring 10 points and dishing out 11 assists on December 12.

SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the week with a 8-9 overall record after splitting their two conference opening games this past week. Pepperdine opened WCC action with a win over Portland, then fell to Gonzaga this past Sunday. Pepperdine was tabbed as the favorite to win the conference title in the preseason coaches poll. The Waves hold the all-time series record between the two at 32-18. Pepperdine is led offensively by Jessica Ross who is averaging 8.8 points per game.

SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount enters the week with a 9-7 overall record and a 1-1 mark in the WCC after splitting a pair of games with Gonzaga and Portland this past week. LMU along with Pepperdine were tabbed as the favorite to win the conference in a preseason coaches poll. USD holds the all-time series lead between the two at 26-24. The Lions are led offensively by Jennifer Hall, who is averaging a team-best 13.7 points per game. The only other LMU player averaging double figures is Amanda Patton at 10.3 points per game.

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.

STILL LEADING THE NATION: Junior point guard Amanda Rego is still leading the nation in assists per game with an average of 7.9. 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 276 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 119 assists on the season not only leads the nation, but also places her eighth in single-season assists at USD.

SPRAGUE POURING IT ON: Sophomore forward Amber Sprague helped lead USD to a perfect 2-0 record this past week. The sophomore averaged 17.0 points per game and shot an outstanding 64 percent from the field (16-for-25). She also averaged 7.0 boards per game and recorded three blocks and three steals. She notched up her third double-double of the season in the conference opener against USF this past Sunday with 20 points and 13 rebounds. The 20 points marks the fifth time this season Sprague has scored 20 or more points. In the win against Southern Utah, Sprague scored a team-best 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting in only 14 minutes on the floor.

HERMAN BREAKING OUT: Kiva Herman has been coming on strong as of late for the Toreros. In Sunday's win over San Francisco, Herman had one of her best games this season. She scored nine points, just one shy of her career best, and tied her career-high in rebounds with five. In the win against Southern Utah, Herman recorded eight points and pulled down five rebounds.

ABOUT THE RECORD: With the in over San Francisco, USD won its first conference opener since the 2001-02 season. Should USD win the next two games against Pepperdine and LMU, it will be the first time USD has opened up 3-0 in conference since the 1998-99 season, and should they defeat Pepperdine on Thursday it will be the first time since the 1998-99 season USD opened up 2-0 in WCC action. The 12-3 record is still the best start in program history.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros are now 9-2, while playing on their home floor this season. The Toreros are playing superbly well at the JCP, as they hit 40 percent of their field goals, are out rebounding their opponents 427-398 and are holding opponents to 55 points per game, while they scorch the opposition with 60.2 points per game. USD will look to continue their hot play at home this week as they host both Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.

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.