Feb. 9, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL: On Saturday, the University of San Diego women's basketball team (19-4, 8-1 WCC) will look to capture their 20th win of the season as the close out their Southern California WCC road swing with a trip to Malibu for a 2 p.m. showdown with Pepperdine University.
LAST TIME OUT: Paced by Morgan Henderson's career-high 16 points and Amber Sprague's sixth double-double of the season, the University of San Diego women's basketball team held off a late Loyola Marymount University push to claim a 69-60 win in a West Coast Conference game Thursday evening With the win, the Toreros improve to 19-4 overall, 8-1 in the WCC and have swept the Lions for the first time since the 1997-98 season. With the loss, the Lions fall to 13-11 overall and 5-5 in the WCC. Henderson scored her career-high 16, thanks in large part to a 4-for-6 performance from beyond the arc. Sprague scored 10 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, had four blocks and had a career-high six assists. Amanda Rego was the third of four USD players in double figures with 12 points and she added five assists. Ashley Voisinet was the final USD player in double digits with 12 points. In the first half, the early going was even with both teams taking their turn with the lead. Then with the score at 9-6 in favor of the Lions, Henderson sparked a 15-4 run with back-to-back-to-back three pointers for nine of her 11 first half points. Voisinet then capped the run with a pair of free-throws to give USD a 21-13 lead. The Lions then responded with a 6-2 run to pull within two at 23-21, but that only sparked a 10-2 USD run. Sprague jump started the run with a steal, a pass to Winther then completed the play with a lay-up. Voisinet then capped the run with a break-away lay-up to give the Toreros their first double digit lead at 33-23. LMU would then hit the last bucket of the half to cut the lead to eight at 33-25. In the second frame, the Toreros grabbed the first bucket, but the Lions then used a 6-0 run to pull within four at 35-31. Kiva Herman put an end to that run as she hit a pull-up jumper, which ignited an 8-0 USD run, capped by a Henderson three-pointer to give the Toreros a 12-point advantage. Over the next several minutes, it was a story of runs with each team trading 7-0 run's putting the score at 50-38 in favor of USD. The Toreros would hold on to that lead until late in the game when the Lions made a surge with just under four minutes to go. The Lions pulled to within three at 61-58 on a pair of Amanda Patton free-throws with 1:02 remaining, but the Toreros then hit key free-throws in the final minute to ice the victory.
SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the game with a 11-14 overall record and a 4-6 mark in the WCC after dropping a 64-60 decision to San Francisco in Malibu this past Thursday evening. 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 11.4 points per game. Teena Wickett is the only other Pepperdine player averaging double figures with 10.0 ppg. The Waves are under the direction of third year head coach Julie Rousseau. During her tenure in Malibu, Rousseau has posted an overall record of 37-48.
NEW PROGRAM RECORD: The University of San Diego has set a new program record for single-season victories with 19, thanks to the win over Loyola Marymout University this past Thursday. 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.
SEASON SWEEPS: With the win over Loyola Marymount on Thursday, the Toreros recorded their first season sweep over the Lions since the 1997-98 season. After snapping a 13-game losing streak to the Waves in the team's first match-up this season, the Toreros can now set their sights on sweeping the Waves for the first time since the 1997-98 season with a win on Saturday.
HENDERSON SETS ANOTHER CAREER-HIGH: Freshman forward Morgan Henderson set three more career-highs in Thursday's win over Loyola Marymount. Henderson recorded a career-high 16 points, topping her previous career-high of 15 she achieved against Gonzaga. The freshman from Leawood, Kan. also set a career-high in blocks with two and three-pointers made in a game with four. On the season, Henderson is averaging 7.1 points per game and is the team's second best three-point shooter with 18 trey's made.
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.
BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Sophomore forward Amber Sprague has now recorded back-to-back double-doubles in the Toreros last two games. The Mission Bay alum poured in a game-high 17 points to go along with a game-best 14 rebounds in the win against the University of San Francisco. Sprague then followed up that performance with a 10 points, 11 rebounds, carer-high six assists, four blocked shots and five steals performance in Thursday's win against Loyola Marymount.
REGO SETS ANOTHER ASSIST MARK: Junior point guard Amanda Rego has already become the single-season assists leader at USD this season with her 185 assists, but with her five assists on Thursday against Loyola Marymount, she has now cracked into the West Coast Conference single-season assists list at No. 8. Rego is also still leading the nation in assists per game at 8.0. Rego has also moved into fifth-all-time in career assists at 337. Rego is 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, Calif. native has now scored in double digits in 14 of the last 16 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 7-1 on the road, must play three of their next five games on the road, including a trip to Spokane for another battle with first place Gonzaga on Feb. 22. USD is averaging 68.5 points per game on the road as a team, while holding their opponents to just 58.2 points per game. The Toreros are shooting 43 percent from the floor and 77 percent from the charity stripe, while out rebounding opponents 319-285 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 per game (8.0) , steals per game (2.74) and is second in assists to turnover ration at 2.03. Amber Sprague is third in the WCC in points per game at 14.6, third in blocked shots at 2.05 per game and leading the WCC in rebounds per game at 8.0. Sabine Loewe is second in field goal percentage at .521. As a team, the Toreros are leading the conference in scoring defense, just allowing 58.4 points per game, second in steals at 9.91 per game and are third in assists per game at 14.83. USD is leading the WCC in field goal percentage at .393 and is second in team three-point field goal percentage at .345.
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.