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Co-Preseason Favorites LMU and Pepperdine Ahead for Women's Hoops

Feb. 5, 2007

IN A NUTSHELL: On Thursday, the University of San Diego women's basketball team (18-4, 7-1 WCC) will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lions of Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m. USD will then head to Malibu on Saturday for a showdown with Pepperdine at 2 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: Amber Sprague scored 17 points and both Amanda Rego and Kelly Winther added 15 points a piece to help lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a 66-60 West Coast Conference win over the University of San Francisco Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Toreros set a program record for most single-season wins as they move to 18-4 overall and move 7-1 in the WCC. The 7-1 start in conference action, ties the program's best WCC start with the 1985-86 team. With the loss, the Dons fall to 7-16 overall and 1-7 in the WCC. Sprague recorded her fifth double-double of the season as she pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds to go along with her game-high 17 points. Rego dished out a game-high six assists to go along with seven rebounds and her 15 points. Winther went 3-for-4 from the charity stripe to assist her in getting her 15 points. As a team, USD shot 44 percent from the floor and out rebounded the Dons 40-32. In the first half, the Toreros and Dons shared three ties over the first eight minutes of action. The two teams kept things close until the 5:18 mark. With the score knotted at 23-23, the Toreros used a 7-2 run sparked by a Sprague lay-up and capped by a Rego lay-up to gain control of the momentum. The Toreros would go on to build their lead to seven points, and hold on to that margin going into the break. The Toreros would then open the second half with a 16-7 run to continue control of the momentum. The run was sparked by a pair of Rego free-throws and capped by a Winther three-pointer. The Dons would kept things close as they came to within four on several occasions, but the Toreros defense proved to be to strong as they didn't allow the Dons to come any closer. USD would build their lead up to as many as 10 with just under a minute to go, before settling for a six point win. For the Dons, Shay Rollins led the way offensively with a team-best 15 points. Three other USF players were in double figures with Nykia Peace scoring 12, Randi Richardson scoring 10 and Dominique Carter added in 11 points. As a team, the Dons shot 41 percent from the floor.

SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymout enters the week with a 13-10 overall record and a 5-4 mark in the WCC after splitting a pair of games this past week. LMU picked up a 74-52 win over Portland before falling to Gonzaga, 66-56, on Saturday in Spokane. The Toreros hold the all-time series lead between the two at 27-24, including capturing the first meeting in San Diego earlier this season. The Lions are led by Jennifer Hall, who has a team-leading 13 points per game average to go along with a team-leading 7.3 rebounds a game. Amanda Patton is the only other LMU player averaging double figures at 11.1 ppg.

SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the week with a 10-13 overall record and a 3-5 mark in the WCC after picking up a pair of wins this past week. Pepperdine recorded a 76-73 win over Gonzaga and followed that up with a 72-45 win over Portland this past Saturday. The Waves hold the all-time series between the two at 32-19, with the Toreros claiming the first match-up in San Diego back on Jan. 11. The Waves are led by Daphanie Kennedy, who is averaging a team-best 12 points per game. Both Teena Wickett and Teiosha George are also averaging just over 10 points per game.

NEW PROGRAM RECORD: The University of San Diego has set a new program record for single-season victories with 18, thanks to the win over San Francisco this past Saturday. The previous record of 17 wins happened twice, once during the 1989-90 season and the other in the 1999-2000 season. The 99-00 team was the last USD women's basketball team to make it into the postseason, as they won the conference tournament and earned the WCC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

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.

SPRAGUE DOMINATES AGAIN: Sophomore forward Amber Sprague put on yet another dominating performance in Saturday's 66-60 win over San Francisco. The Mission Bay alum poured in a game-high 17 points to go along with a game-best 14 rebounds to post her fifth double-double of the season. The 14 rebounds is her second highest career-total, only trailing her 15 that she achieved earlier this season in a win against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 16 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

STILL LEADING THE NATION: Junior point guard Amanda Rego continues to lead the nation in assists per game at 8.2. She has already become the single-season assists leader at USD this season with her 180 assists and is just one assist shy of cracking the West Coast Conference single-season assists list. Rego has also moved into fifth-all-time in career assists at 337. Rego is also leading the WCC in steals at 2.82 per game. Rego has also set the new USD single-game record for assists with 14, and she has recorded double digit assists in 11 games this season.

WINTHER FINDING HER STROKE: Sophomore forward Kelly Winther has continued to show everyone she is a scoring threat. The Simi Valley native has now scored in double digits for seven consecutive games and in 14 of the last 15 games. On the season, Winther is USD's second leading scorer at 11.8 points per game and is also the team's best three-point option as he has a team-best 33 trey's made.

ROAD WARRIORS: 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 6-1 on the road, must play four of their next six games on the road, including a trip to Spokane for another battle with first place Gonzaga on Feb. 22. USD is averaging 68.4 points per game on the road as a team, while holding their opponents to just 58.4 points per game. The Toreros are shooting 43 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the charity stripe, while out rebounding opponents 277-242 on their home floor.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Several USD players, as well as the team itself, hold lofty positions in the conference statistics. Amanda Rego leads the WCC in both assists (82) and steals (2.82) and is second in assists to turnover ration at 2.05. Amber Sprague is third in the WCC in points per game at 14.8, third in blocked shots at 1.95 per game and leading the WCC in rebounds at 7.8. Sabine Loewe is third in field goal percentage at .518. As a team, the Toreros are leading the conference in scoring defense, just allowing 58.4 points per game, leading the WCC in steals at 10.05 and are third in assists per game at 14.68. USD is also ranked second in field goal percentage at .396, and third in team three-point field goal percentage at .340.

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