Jan. 26, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL: On Saturday, the red hot University of San Diego women's basketball team (17-3, 6-0 WCC) will go to battle with the other undefeated team in the West Coast Conference in Gonzaga University for sole possession of first-place. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m. inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT: Behind Kelly Winther's career-high 20 points the University of San Diego women's basketball team won its seventh consecutive game in a 74-66 victory over the University of Portland Thursday evening in a West Coast Conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Winther led all scorers with her 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, marking the fifth consecutive game the sophomore has scored in double figures. Kiva Herman had her second consecutive game in double figures with 14 points, including going 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Amber Sprague was the third Torero in double figures with 14 points and freshman Morgan Henderson was the final USD player in double digits with 12 points. Amanda Rego dished out a game-high seven assists to go along with six points and five rebounds. As a team, the Toreros shot 41 percent from the floor and out rebounded the Pilots 32-29.
ABOUT THE RECORD: With the win over Portland, the Toreros move to 17-3 overall and remain undefeated in conference play at 6-0. USD has now tied the 1999-2000 and 1989-90 teams for the most wins in program history and the 6-0 WCC start hasn't happened since the 1985-86 team opened conference action at 7-0. USD is now on a season-high seven-game winning streak, just two shy of the program record.
SPRAGUE NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore forward Amber Sprague helped led USD to two victories this past week. Sprague averaged 19 points per game, nine rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent from the floor. Sprague recorded her fourth double-double of the season in the win against Santa Clara this past Thursday as she dropped in 20 points and recorded 13 rebounds. The 13 rebounds is her second highest rebound total this season, only trailing her career-high 15 she recorded against Cal State Fullerton. In the win against Saint Mary's, Sprague scored 18 points, and tied a career-high in blocks with five. On the season, Sprague is averaging a team-best 14.7 points per game and pulling down a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Gonzaga enters the game with a 14-8 overall record and a 6-0 record in the WCC after picking up a five-point win over San Francisco this past Thursday. The Zags hold a 20-19 all-time record over the Toreros, including taking both of this past season's contests. The Bulldogs are led by Stephanie Hawk, who is averaging a team-leading 14.4 points per game. Heather Bowman and Michelle Elliott are the other GU players averaging in double figures at just over a 11 ppg. Gonzaga is under the direction of sixth-year head coach Kelly Graves. During his tenure in Spokane, Graves has posted an overall record of 94-77.
HERMAN STEPS UP AGAIN: Sophomore Kiva Herman followed up her most productive offensive output, in which she scored a career-high 17, in the win against Saint Mary's with another solid offensive output this past Thursday. Herman came off the bench to score 12 points, to mark the first time in her career she has scored in double figures in back-to-back games. Herman is becoming a strong offensive force for the Toreros as she is averaging 11.7 points per game over USD's past three games and shooting 48 percent from the floor.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros are now 11-2, while playing on their home floor this season. The Toreros are playing superbly well at the JCP, as they hit 41 percent of their field goals, are out rebounding their opponents 522-492 and are holding opponents to 56 points per game, while they scorch the opposition with 60 points per game. USD will look to continue their hot play at home this week as they host Gonzaga.
TORERO DEFENSE: The Toreros' current seven-game winning streak can be attributed to many factors, but it is defense that has carried San Diego to the WCC's best record. For the season, the Toreros are only allowing their opponents to score 56.8 points per game, including shutting down the WCC's highest scoring team in Santa Clara this past week. SCU entered the game averaging 71.8 points per game and USD held them to a season-low 52.
GOING STREAKING: The Toreros are currently riding a season-high seven-game winning streak and will look to extend tat to eight on Saturday vs. Gonzaga. USD's all-time record for winning streaks is at nine games, set by the 1995-96 team.
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.
NEW SINGLE-SEASON ASSIST LEADER: Junior point guard Amanda Rego has just become USD's All-time leader in single-season assists with her seven assists in Thursday's win. For the season, Rego now has 164 assists passing Lori Morris' mark of 162 that she set during the 1980-81 season. Rego is still the nations leader in assists at 8.2 per game, is averaging 8.6 points per game and is second on the team in rebounds at 6.0 per game. Rego is also leading the WCC in steals at 2.9 per game. Rego has set the new USD single-game record for assists with 14, and she has recorded double digit assists in 10 games this season, including 12 in Sunday's win against SMC. She has 321 career-assists which moves her into sixth all-time at USD, just five behind Angie Straub (1989-93) for fifth place.
WINTHER COMING ON STRONG: Sophomore forward Kelly Winther has been red hot as of late for the Toreros offensively. The sophomore from Simi Valley, Calif., has now scored in double figures for five consecutive games and in 11 of the Toreros' last 12 games. She just scored a career-high 20 points in the win over Portland this past Thursday on 7-of-12 shooting. On the season, Winther is San Diego's second leading scorer with an average of 11.5 points per game. Winther is also USD's leading three-point shooter with a team-best 28 three's made.
HENDERSON SETS A CAREER-HIGH: Freshman forward Morgan Henderson set a new career-high in both steals (4) and assists (3), while tieing a career-high in points with 12. Henderson has been USD's sixth man most of the season and has been providing USD with plenty of offense as well as defense. On the season, Henderson is averaging 6.8 points per game and is USD's second leading three-point shooter with 11 tray's made.
A LOOK AHEAD: After playing a majority of their games this season inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion, USD only has two more games at home this season. The Toreros, who are 5-1 on the road, must play five of their next seven games on the road, including a trip to Spokane for another battle with Gonzaga on Feb. 22.
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.
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.
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.
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