Nov. 13, 2006
IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (1-0) opens its home schedule on Tuesday as they welcome the Highlanders of UC Riverside to the Jenny Craig Pavilion for a 7 p.m. non-conference game. The Toreros will then gear up for a showdown with cross-town rival San Diego State University on Sunday for a 2 p.m. non-conference game at the JCP.
LAST TIME OUT: Six Toreros recorded double-digits to pace the University of San Diego women's basketball team (1-0) to a 95-77 season-opening win over the Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-1) Friday evening in a non-conference game inside the Matadome. Amber Sprague had a game-high 22 points, also pulled down 10 boards for a double-double and recorded a game-high and career-high five steals to help lead USD to victory. Kelly Winther notched up 14 points, Amanda Rego recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists and the final three San Diego players in double-digits were Kiva Herman with 10, Sabine Loewe with 11 and Morgan Henderson dropped in 12 in her collegiate debut. As a team, the Toreros shot 53 percent from the floor, 45 percent from behind the arc and out rebounded Northridge 40-28. For the Matadors, Ofa Tulikihifo led the way with her 19 points and seven boards. CSUN had three others in double-digits as Jazelle Burries recorded 14 points, Krisztina Fuleki had 11 points and Jamie McCaa had 10 points. As a team, the Matadors shot 48 percent from the floor.
A PAIR OF TOREROS RECORD A DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Both Amber Sprague and Amanda Rego recorded a double-double in the Toreros season-opening win over Cal State Northridge this past Friday. Sprague tallied 22 points and pulled down 10 boards in her first game back in over a year. Rego recorded 13 points and dished a game-high 10 assists.
SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside enters the contest with a 0-1 record after dropping their season-opener on the road to Oklahoma State University 77-47. The Highlanders, a NCAA Tournament team this past season, are 1-2 all-time against the Toreros, claiming last season's match-up 56-53 at UCR's Student Rec Center. The Highlanders are led offensively by junior forward/center Kemie Nkele and sophomore forward Ronéy Friend, who each tallied 14 points in their season-opener. As a team, the Highlanders are shooting 34 percent from the floor, 23 percent from behind the arc and are shooting 50 percent from the charity stripe. Riverside is under the direction of third-year head coach John Margaritis. During his tenure in Riverside, Margaritis has posted an overall record of 32-28.
SCOUTING THE AZTECS: This will be San Diego State's season-opening game. The Aztecs hold the all-time series with the Toreros at 19-6, but USD did claim last season's match-up 67-57 under current head coach Cindy Fisher. Last season, the Aztecs finished with a 3-24 overall record, including going winless in conference play. The Aztecs return six letterwinners from the 2005-06 squad, including starters junior forward Shanna Demus, senior center Desiree Johnson and sophomore guard Tamika Lipford. SDSU was tabbed to finish seventh in the Mountain West Conference. San Diego State is under the direction of second-year head coach Beth Burns. During her tenure in San Diego, she has posted a 3-24 overall record.
REGO CLOSING IN ON ALL-TIME RECORDS BOOK: Junior guard Amanda Rego is creeping her way up on the all-time records book at USD as her 129 career steals is just four shy of placing her 10th all-time at USD in career-steals. Last season, Rego etched her name in the USD single-season record books as she recorded 75 steals to set the program record.
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 HAS DOMINATING PERFORMANCE: In her first game back in over a year, Amber Sprague turned in an dominating performance. She scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for a double-double. Sprague was not only impressive on the offensive side of things, but on the defensive side as well. Sprague's pressure defense allowed her to record a career-high five steals. In one particular instance, USD turned over the ball to give CSUN a fast break situation. Sprague ran from baseline to baseline and stole the ball back, then USD turned that into two points. Sprague was a huge reason the Toreros were able to turn in such a dominating season-opening win this past Friday.
ABOUT THE SCORE: The 95 points that the Toreros dropped on Cal State Northridge in the season-opener, is tied for third most single-game points in USD history. This is however, a record for most points scored in a season opener in Torero history. The 2006-07 Toreros have tied the 1991-92 team that scored 95 points in a win against Eastern Washington University and only trail both the 1990-91 and 2004-05 teams that both scored 104 points in a game to hold the USD record.
HENDERSON HAS SOLID DEBUT: Freshman Morgan Henderson had a solid opening to her collegiate career as the Leawood, Kan. native scored 10 points and pulled down six boards. One of the most impressive things about Henderson's play was her ability to crash the boards. She recorded several rebounds off her own missed shots, as she went 2-for-9 from the floor.
LONDON BRIDGES: Freshman guard London Houchin was impressive in her collegiate debut, not so much in the stats, but in her presence on the court. It is the things Houchin does off the ball that made her debut more impressive. She was able to record two steals and also notched up two assists in 18 minutes of action. With her on the floor, the Toreros can now have added depth at the point guard position.
KIVA GETS THE START: Sophomore forward Kiva Herman got the first start of her career in Friday's season-opener and Herman responded with a 10 points, five boards, one assist and recorded two steals. The 10 points and two steals were both career-highs for Herman.
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 conferecne 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.