Nov. 27, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (3-3) will hit the road for its lone game of the week. The Toreros will travel to San Luis Obispo to take on the Cal Poly Mustangs in a 2 p.m. game on Saturday at Mott Gym.
LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (3-3) dropped their first home game of the season, 68-67, to the University of Dayton (4-3) Sunday afternoon in a non-conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. With eight seconds remaining, Dayton's Brittany Holterman hit a pair of free throws to put the Flyers up one, and USD couldn't get a basket on the other end to give the Flyers the win. Kiva Herman led all players with her career-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field. Morgan Henderson was the second USD player in double figures as she had 17 points and added in nine rebounds. Amber Sprague was the final Torero in double figures as she recorded 15 points. As a team, USD shot 41 percent from the field and out rebounded the Flyers 32-31. In the first half, the Flyers jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, but a Kiva Herman jumper ignited a 13-0 Toreros run that was capped off on a Herman jumper to give USD a 15-6 cushion with 9:14 remaining in the first half. The Toreros would go on to build their lead up to as many as 11 at 22-11, thanks to a Morgan Henderson three-pointer with 6:05 remaining in the half. Dayton then responded with a 11-0 run sparked on a Kristin Daugherty three-pointer and capped on a Kelly Keil jumper to even the score at 22-22 with 4:05 remaining. San Diego then went on a 6-2 run to regain the momentum and would hold onto the lead, going into the break with a 36-27 advantage. In the second half, the Toreros and Flyers began trading basket-for-basket over the first several minutes, but the Toreros would build their lead back up to double-digits at 46-36, thanks to a Kaila Mangrum lay-up with 13:59 remaining. The Flyers in turn went on a 12-1 run to take back the lead with 10:52 remaining on a Holterman jumper. The two teams then sea sawed back and forth a bit, with each taking their turn with the lead. Dayton would eventually build their lead up to six at 66-60 on a three-point basket by Kiki Lund with 3:01 remaining in the game. San Diego would then close that gap and take back the lead with a pair of Herman free throws with just 18 second remaining. But the Toreros would commit a foul with just eight seconds left on the clock to set up Holterman's game-winning free throws. The Toreros then drove the length of the floor, and missed a jumper, and with three second remaining, the Toreros could not get a shot off to put the game at its final of 68-67.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS: Cal Poly enters the contest with a 3-3 overall record after posting a 1-2 record this past week, dropping contests to UCLA and Fairfield before rebounding with a 80-76 win over Wright State. Cal Poly and San Diego have met on 12 different occasions with each team winning six. USD won last season's match-up 74-69 in San Diego. The Mustangs are led offensively by Lisa McBride, who is averaging a team-leading 14.0 points per game to go along with a 5.7 rebounds per game average. The second Cal Poly player to average double figures is Megan Harrison, who has a 13.0 ppg average and is pulling down a team-leading 5.8 rebounds per game. The Mustangs are under the direction of 14th-year head coach Faith Mimnaugh. During her tenure in San Luis Obispo, Mimnaugh has posted an overall record of 118-231.
FINDING HER STROKE: Junior forward Kiva Herman continues her offensive assault on opponents as she averaged 16 points per game over the past two games to lead USD offensively. Herman is having her break-out year in the early going for the Toreros as she recorded a career-high 19 points in Sunday's heartbreaking loss to Dayton. For the week, Herman put up a team-leading 33 points on an impressive 14-for-27 (.519) performance from the field. On the season, Herman is second on the team in scoring with a 13.3 points per game average and is also leading the team in field goal efficiency with her .479 shooting percentage.
A LOOK AHEAD: San Diego has a big week coming up as they will travel down Interstate 8 to take on cross-town rival San Diego State University on Wednesday in a 7 p.m. game at Cox Arena. Then on Saturday, the UCLA Bruins come to town for a 2 p.m. showdown in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
I'M HERE TO HELP: San Diego senior point guard Amanda Rego continues to dish out the assists at an impressive rate of 8.2 assists per game. This is just slightly ahead of where she finished the season a year ago (7.7) when she was crowned the NCAA assist leader. She has 49 assists on the season, moving her career total to 436, good for second place all-time behind Lori Morris' (1980-84) 480. Rego has also been a scoring force for the Toreros thus far, as she is one of four USD players averaging double figures with a 10.0 ppg average. Rego has recorded double figures in four of USD's six games this season.
HENDERSON FINDING HER GROOVE: Sophomore forward Morgan Henderson continues to lead the team in scoring as she had a team-best 13.7 points per game average. Henderson has found herself in double figures in four of USD's six games, including a season-high 22 points in the season-opener against Cal State Bakersfield. Henderson also leads the team in rebounds with her 7.5 boards per game average.
THE STREAK CONTINUES: With four more double digit scoring performances under her belt this season, junior center Amber Sprague extended her scoring streak to 58 consecutive games. In fact, Sprague has scored a minimum of four points in every game she has played in a Torero uniform. The San Diego, Calif., native has 40 career double-digit scoring performances in 58 games and, after a season-high 25-point outburst against Cal State Northridge on Nov. 11, she now has 11 career 20-point outings. Sprague has scored 836 points during her current streak, averaging 14.4 ppg, and shooting .457 (332-for-727) from the floor and .867 (201-for-232) from the free throw line. Sprague is on pace to surpass the 1,000 career points mark this season to become just the 10th player in the history of the program to achieve this feat. Should she do it this season, she will only be the third Torero to achieve this honor in three years, joining the all-time leading scorer Susie Erpelding (1,510 pts 1996-2000) and Debbie Theroux (1,015 pts 1983-86). On the season, Sprague is averaging 13.3 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.
SWEET CHILD O' MINE: No we are not talking about the Guns 'N Roses famous song, but we are talking about USD's freshman sensation Sam Child, who has bursted into the collegiate scene with a bang. Child has already broken into the regular starting line up for the Toreros, and in her first collegiate start against Cal State Northridge, Child put up a career-high 14 points on a 5-for-9 performance from the field. This past week, Child recorded her second double-digit performance as she dropped in 11 points and also pulled down a career-high eight rebounds in the win over Southern Utah. On the season, Child is averaging 7.2 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game.
TOREROS TO HAVE THREE GAMES ON TV: This season the Toreros will be featured live on TV for three games. The games against Pacific on December 15th and Gonzaga on January 17th will be aired locally on Channel 4. USD's game against Loyola Marymount University on Jan. 31 will be televised live on ESPNU.
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 service a free of charge for all who wish to watch the broadcast.
TOREROS TABBED AS THE WCC PRESEASON FAVORITE: San Diego was chosen as the favorite to claim the West Coast Conference women's basketball title, edging out defending conference champion Gonzaga in the 2007-08 WCC preseason coaches poll. The Toreros, who set a program record with 21 wins and hosted a WNIT contest for the first time last season, received four first place votes and totaled 58 overall points, while the Bulldogs garnered three first place votes, and received 55 total points to finish second in the annual coaches poll. Gonzaga, who is coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance was picked to finish second. Pepperdine came in third in the voting followed by Loyola Marymount at fourth. Saint Mary's was picked to finish fifth and San Francisco sixth. Santa Clara (seventh) and Portland (eighth) round out the preseason coaches poll.
MEET THE COACH: Head coach Cindy Fisher is entering her third 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. In only her second season at the helm of the program, Fisher orchestrated the biggest turn around in school history, a 12-game improvement from 9-19 in the 2005-06 season to a 21-9 record in 2006-07 season. The turn around was the fourth best in the nation. Under her tutelage, the Toreros placed three players on the All-WCC lists highlighted by Amanda Rego being named the WCC Co-Player of the Year. Rego and Amber Sprague both took home first-team All-WCC honors and Morgan Henderson was named to the All-WCC Freshman team. For her efforts, Fisher was named the 2007 WCC Co-Coach of the Year. 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.
THREE TOREROS OUT FOR THE SEASON: Junior guard Kelly Winther, sophomore forward Sara VanderHorst and redshirt freshman guard Hannah Morgenstern are all out for the season. Winther and VanderHorst will take a redshirt year. Winther had the second highest points-per-game average for the Toreros a year ago with 10.9 and she led the team in three-point shooting with a team-best 37 three-pointers made. VanderHorst saw limited action in 2006-07 as she scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 16 games.
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.