Nov. 28, 2006
IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (5-0) will look to remain unbeaten, as they hit the road for a pair of games. USD will first head to Stockton, Calif. on Friday for a 7 p.m. showdown with the University of the Pacific. The Toreros will then head to the Pacific Northwest on Sunday for a 2 p.m. game with Boise State University.
LAST TIME OUT: For the second consecutive game, key free throw shooting and pressure defense down the stretch helped lift the University of San Diego women's basketball team (5-0) to their fifth consecutive win, as they chalked up a 59-55 non-conference victory over the Air Force Academy (2-3) Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. San Diego knocked down five free throws in the first three minutes of the second period to gain its first lead of the half and then closed the game with five free throws in the final 16 seconds of the game to hold on and claim the win to continue their best start in program history. San Diego held the Falcons to just 25 percent shooting in the second period. Amanda Rego scored a game-high 16 points, pulled down five boards, dished out five assists and only committed one turnover to help lead the Toreros to victory. Sabine Loewe was the second Torero in double figures as the senior center racked up 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds. San Diego shot 43 percent from the floor, while Air Force out rebounded USD 42-32.
GOING STREAKING: The University of San Diego women's basketball team is in the midst of a five-game winning streak. With the 5-0 record, USD is also off to the best start in program history, as no other USD team has been undefeated through five games in the history of the program. USD will look to extend that streak to five when they travel to play Pacific and Boise State this upcoming weekend.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific enters the week with a 1-3 overall record after dropping a pair of games this past week to Oklahoma State and Wichita State. The Toreros hold a 5-2 all-time record against the Tigers. Pacific is led offensively by freshman guard Jake Kelly, who has a team-leading 15.0 points per game average and a 3.5 assists per game average. The Tigers have two other players averaging double figures in junior guard Kelsey Lavender and sophomore forward Karen Dawkins. Both Dawkins and Lavender average 11.3 points per game. Pacific is under the direction of first-year head coach Lynne Roberts.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Boise State enters the week with a 3-2 record after splitting a pair of games this past week. BSU opened the week with a 56-47 win over the University of Oregon, then fell to Pittsburgh, 71-70. The all-time series between the two programs is tied at 2-2, with the Broncos claiming last season's match-up 68-51. Boise State is led offensively by Jessica Thompson, who has a team-leading 13.8 points per game. Michelle Hessing (11.8 ppg) and Tasha Harris (10.8 ppg) are the other two players averaging double figures. The Broncos are under the direction of second-year head coach Gordy Presnell. During his tenure in Boise, Presnell has posted an overall record of 18-17.
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.
DOMINATING DEFENSE: San Diego has played dominant defense during the first five games of the season as the Toreros are holding opponents to 38 percent shooting for the season. The Toreros have held their opponents to less than 33 percent shooting in seven of 10 halves this season. In this past Sunday's win against Air Force, the Toreros held the Falcons to 25 percent shooting in the second half, the lowest shooting percentage in a half against USD this season. Against San Diego State, USD held the Aztecs to 29 percent for the game with halves of 30 and 28 percent. The Toreros have also posted big defensive category numbers with 23 blocked shots and 56 steals over five games. Amber Sprague is the team leader with 13 blocks and has a team-best 15 steals.
AND THE ASSIST GOES TO...: Junior point guard Amanda Rego seems to get every assist the Toreros record. The Mission Bay High School alum, is not only leading the team in assists, but she is leading the conference as well. In fact, Rego's 9.4 assists per game is almost double that of the next highest player in the WCC. Rego has already set the program record for single-game assists with 14 in a win against cross-town rival San Diego State earlier this season and holds the single-season record for steals with 75 that she set last season. Rego is now ninth-all-time in career-steals with 137.
SPRAGUE'S DOMINANCE: Sophomore forward/center Amber Sprague continues her solid play through five games in the season. Sprague's team-leading 17.0 points per game average is also second best in the WCC. Sprague also leads the conference in rebounds per game at 8.8. This past week, Sprague enjoyed an outstanding weekend, scoring a season-high 23 points in the win over the Yellow Jackets and tying a career-high five steals against Air Force. Sprague also leads the Toreros in steals (15), and blocks (13).
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: After winning by an average margin of 21 points over the first three games of the season, the Toreros have now won back-to-back games by three and four points. San Diego has now proven that they can win the close ones, as well as put up points and win by a large margin.
HOW'S THIS FOR BALANCE?: In San Diego's first five games, the Toreros have four players averaging double figures. Amber Sprague leads the way with her 17.0 points per game average, including going over the 20 point mark on three occasions thus far, with a season-high 23 coming in the win against Georgia Tech. Amanda Rego then checks in with 10.4 points per game, thanks in large part to her 16 point outburst in the win against Air Force. Sabine Loewe is next in line with her 10.2 points per game average followed by Kelly Winther, who is averaging 10.0 points per game.
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.