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San Diego Heads Across Interstate 8 to Take on Cross-Town Rival SDSU Wednesday

Dec. 3, 2007

IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (4-3) will head across Interstate 8 to take on Cross-town rival San Diego State University on Wednesday in a 7 p.m. non-conference game.

LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego women's basketball team scored eight unanswered points midway through the second half to turn a one-point game into a nine-point advantage and held Cal Poly at a distance the rest of the way en route to a 62-53 victory in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon in Mott Gym. San Diego, led by Amber Sprague's team-high 20 points and career-high 17 rebounds, improved to 4-3 with the win. Cal Poly, which for the second straight game had just one double-digit scorer, Megan Harrison with a game-high 21 points, fell to 3-5 with the loss. In the first half, the Toreros came out hitting on all cylinders, as they jumped on the Mustangs with an 8-1 run to start the frame. Back-to-back jumpers by Sprague ignited the run and Kiva Herman capped things off with a jumper to give USD a seven-point cushion with 14:36 to play. After Cal Poly got back to within three at 10-7, San Diego went on an 18-1 run to take a 28-8 advantage with 6:14 to play. During this run, seven different USD players scored with Sprague scoring six of these points. Cal Poly then scored the final 11 points of the period to cut the deficit to 28-19 at the break. The Mustangs closed the gap to one point in the second half at 34-33, with 12:41 to play on a three-pointer by Toni Newman, but the visiting Toreros answered with an 8-0 run of their own to maintain the upper hand. The run gave San Diego a 42-33 lead with 8:56 to play and Cal Poly could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way. Sprague made 9-of-22 shots and both of her free throws to pace the Toreros' offense. She also contributed five blocked shots and a pair of assists. Kiva Herman added 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting for San Diego and Amanda Rego dished out a game-high six assists in the win. Cal Poly made just 32 percent of its shots while San Diego connected on 45 percent. The Toreros outrebounded the Mustangs 45-34.

SCOUTING THE AZTECS: San Diego State enters the game with an overall record of 6-1 after picking up a pair of wins over Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton this past week. The Aztecs are also currently riding a three-game winning streak. SDSU holds the all-time series between the two programs at 24-6, but the Toreros have won five straight against the Aztecs, including a 76-46 win this past season at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. SDSU has four players averaging double-figures, paced by Paris Johnson's 14.1 points per game average to go along with a team-leading 7.7 rebounds per game. Quenese Davis is the second player in double figures with a 12.2 ppg average, Allison Duffy averages 11.9 ppg and Jane Morris is the final Aztec in double figures with an average of 11.1. The Aztecs are under the direction of 10th-year head coach Beth Burns. During her tenure in San Diego, Burns has posted an overall record of 172-124.

DOUBLING IT UP: Junior center Amber Sprague recorded her third double-double of the season in Saturday's win over Cal Poly as she recorded a team-best 20 points to go along with a career-high 17 rebounds. Sprague has now solidified herself as the team's leading scorer with a 14.3 points per game average as well as the team's leading rebounder with a 8.6 rebounds per game average. The 8.6 rpg average is also good for third best in the WCC.

AUDIO BROADCAST AVAILABLE FOR STATE GAME: The game against San Diego State on Wednesday will have a live USD audio broadcast. Former Torero standouts Paula Bott and Susie Erpelding will be bringing Torero fans all the live play-by-play action from Cox Arena. Fans can listen to the game by simply clicking on the listen link on the women's basketball schedule page.

DOING THE DISHES: San Diego senior point guard Amanda Rego continues to dish out the assists at an impressive rate of 7.8 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 55 assists on the season, moving her career total to 442, 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 has recorded double figures in four of USD's seven games this season and is averaging just under 10 points per game at 9.6 ppg.

KIVA DOIN' HER THING: Junior forward Kiva Herman has exploded on the scene for the Toreros in what can only be described as a break-out season. Herman entered the season with a 4.0 points per game average through her fist two collegiate seasons. Now the 6-1 forward from Vancouver, Wash. is the team's second leading scorer with a 13.9 points per game average. This past Saturday against Cal Poly, Herman recorded 17 points as one of two Toreros in double figures. Herman has now recorded double digits in five of USD's first seven games, including a career-high 18 point outburst in the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield. Herman also has an impressive field goal percentage as she has a team-leading .494 shooting percentage.

MAKING THE MOST OF HER MINUTES: Junior forward Kaila Mangrum has been making the most of her playing time this season. Mangrum has been averaging just over 18 minutes a game and this past week she tied a season-high with seven points and pulled down a season-high seven boards in the win over Cal Poly on Saturday.

THE STREAK CONTINUES: With five more double digit scoring performances under her belt this season, junior center Amber Sprague extended her scoring streak to 59 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 41 career double-digit scoring performances in 59 games and after a season-high 20-point performance against Cal Pol this past week, she now has 12 career 20-point outings. Sprague has scored 856 points during her current streak, averaging 14.5 ppg, and shooting .455 (341-for-749) from the floor and .875 (203-for-235) 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.

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 is 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.