Nov. 17, 2006
IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (2-0) will look to remain unbeaten on Sunday as they go to battled with cross-town rival San Diego State University in a 2 p.m. non-conference game inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT: Paced by sophomore forward Amber Sprague's 22 points, the University of San Diego women's basketball team (2-0) downed UC Riverside (0-2) 68-53 Tuesday evening in a non-conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Toreros up-tempo offense and pressure defense had the Highlanders struggling at the beginning, as the Toreros led by as many as 19 in the first half and by 17 at halftime. UCR rallied in the second half, getting within four but ultimately fell short as USD closed the game with a 15-4 run sparked by a huge Morgan Henderson three-point basket with 8:14 remaining. For the second consecutive game, Sprague led all scores with 22 points and she also pulled down eight boards, recorded two steals and had five blocks on the evening. Senior center Sabine Loewe was the second of four Toreros in double figures as she scored 12 points. Henderson added 11 points and Kelly Winther was the final USD player in double figures as the sophomore guard scored 10 points. Junior guard Amanda Rego had a solid night directing the San Diego offense to a 49 percent shooting performance as she dished out a game-high 11 assists. UCR got back to within 10 at 40-30 with 15:29 remaining. Sprague picked up her fourth foul at the 11:12 mark with USD leading 48-36. From that point on, UCR went on a 9-2 run, cutting it to five at 50-45 with 9:14 left. The Highlanders got within four, 55-51, before a lay-up by Sabine Loewe pushed the Torero advantage back to six with 3:29 to go. UCR got open looks on its next possessions but couldn't convert as they made just one basket in the final 6:40.
SCOUTING THE AZTECS: San Diego State opened the season with a 68-62 loss to the University of Nevada on Tuesday evening at Cox Arena. The Aztecs will welcome the Aggies of UC Davis to Cox Arena on Friday before going to battle with the Toreros. SDSU holds the all-time series with the Toreros at 19-6, however USD has claimed the last four meetings between the two. The Aztecs are led offensively by Jennifer Layton, who posted a team-high 18 points in their season-opener. Desiree Johnson and Quenese Davis were the two other SDSU players in double figures on Tuesday. San Diego State is under the direction of second-year head coach Beth Burns. During her tenure in San Diego, she has posted a 3-25 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 132 career steals is just one 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.
WITH A WIN: With a win over San Diego State on Sunday, the Toreros will set a program record for best start, as no Torero women's basketball team has ever opened the season 3-0. In fact, the 2006-07 squad has now tied the 2000-01, 2002-02 team for the best two-game start in program history.
SPRAGUE HAS ANOTHER DOMINATING PERFORMANCE: Sophomore forward Amber Sprague had yet another solid outing for the Toreros in the win over UC Riverside on Tuesday. Sprague dropped in a game-high 22, pulled down eight rebounds and recorded a career-high five blocks. Over the first two games of the season Sprague has scored 22 points in each game. As of Friday, Sprague's 22 points per game average is the second highest among all WCC players that have played in more then one game.
PRIME TIME GAME: Sunday's game against the Aztecs will not only be available on the USD athletics department website, but it will be shown live on Channel 4 with Paula Bott bringing you all the play-by-play action and Susie Erpelding will be the color analyst. This will be the first of two televised games this season for the Toreros on Channel 4, as the game against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 16 will also be televised.
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.
FRESHMAN WITH THE HEAD BAND: The freshman forward with the head band, Morgan Henderson, continues to impress all who watch her. In Tuesday's win over UC Riverside, Henderson came in off the bench and gave the Toreros several valuable minutes, as she scored in double-figures for a second consecutive game. After the Highlanders pulled their 17 point deficit down to four, Henderson came through big as she hit a three pointer to push the USD lead back to seven. The trey sparked a 15-4 USD run to close the game. The freshman is now tied for third on the team in points per game with an average of 11.5. She is also second on the team in rebounds per game at 7.0.
HOW'S THIS FOR BALANCE?: In San Diego's first two games, the Toreros have averaged five players in double figures. In the season-opener, USD had six players in double figures with Amber Sprague leading the charge with 22. Then in Tuesday's home opener, the Toreros had four players record double digits. Sprague, Sabine Loewe, Kelly Winther and Morgan Henderson all recorded double figures in both games. USD now has three players averaging double-digits through two games as Amanda Rego is averaging 11 points per game.
TOREROS SLAP ON THE "D": While the San Diego offense has been solid thus far, the defense is what got USD their second win of the season in Tuesday's 15-point win over UC Riverside. After the Highlanders were able to cut the 17-point half time deficit to four, the Toreros tightened up their defense and with 6:40 remaining, the Highlanders could only muster up one bucket, thanks in large part to the Toreros tenacious defense. Because of the Toreros defense, the Highlanders only shot 36 percent from the floor.
MORE ON REGO: Junior guard Amanda Rego's 11 assists in Tuesday's win over UC Riverside ties her for second at USD in single-game assists with herself. The All-time record for single-game assists is held by Jill Shaver, who registered 13 assists on 12/28/93 against the University of Oregon. Rego's 10 assists in the season-opener at Cal State Northridge, places her is in a tie for third for single-game assists at USD.
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.