May 2, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego women's basketball team announced that senior guard Tiara Harris was the team's most valuable player at Sunday evening's end-of-the-season awards banquette. Senior guard Polly Dong was awarded the teams Torero award, freshman Kiva Herman was named the most improved player and classmate Kaila Mangrum was named the most inspirational.
Harris, a four-year letter winner from Colorado Springs, Colo., ended the season becoming the ninth player in the history of the program to eclipse the 1,000 point barrier. Harris finished her stand-out career as a Torero placing sixth on the all-time points scored list with 1,150 points. Harris has also etched her name in the all-time record books placing 10th in field goals made with 386, third for most three-point field goals made with 137, tied for ninth in three-point field goal percentage at 35.5 percent, fifth in free throws made with 241 and is fifth in free throw percentage at 79.8 percent. Harris capped off her career by being named first-team All-West Coast Conference after averaging a team-leading 14.4 points per game.
"Tiara had an outstanding year for us," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "Her value to this team goes far beyond the basketball court."
Dong, a 5-6 point guard from Auburn, Calif., also had a stand-out career as a Torero. Dong has also etched her name in the all-time record books at San Diego. Dong ended her career as No. 2 in the all-time assists as she dished out 415 assists in a four-year career. Dong averaged 3.6 assists per game to rank fourth all-time in that category. Dong was not only an excellent floor leader, but she was a strong defender as she averaged 1.55 steals per game to rank in a tie for fifth with Lori Morris (1980-84). Dong also has several single-season records as she is tied for third all-time with Morris for single-season assists with 129 during the 2003-04 season and during the same season she averaged 4.45 assists per game to rank sixth all-time in that category.
"Polly has been a great leader and representative of our program," said Fisher.
Mangrum, a 6-0 forward from Las Vegas, Nev., played in 28 games earning nine starts. Mangrum was a value to the Toreros down the stretch as the injury bug continued to haunt the Toreros throughout the season. Mangrum started nine of the Toreros last 10 games as a forward and provided a rebounding threat for opponents as she averaged 5.5 rebounds per game during this stretch. On the season Mangrum averaged 3.4 rebounds per game and 3.3 points per game as well.
"Kaila's passion and enthusiasm for our program is an inspiration to everyone who interacts with her," said Fisher.
Herman, a 6-0 forward from Vancouver, Wash., played in 21 games as a freshman in which she averaged 2.1 points per contest. Herman was a huge factor down the stretch for the Toreros as she played valuable minutes in the Toreros final month of action, giving USD another solid post player for opponents to worry about.
"Kiva has improved daily and is going to evolve into an impact player in this program," said Fisher.