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Women's Hoops Set to Begin Six-Game Home Stand

Dec. 5, 2006

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IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (6-1) will look to return to their winning ways, as they return to the friendly confines of the Jennny Craig Pavilion this week for the start of a six-game home stand. USD will begin the week with a Wednesday game against Long Beach State at 7 p.m., then will conclude this week with a 2 p.m. game against the Cal Poly Mustangs on Saturday.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros posted 1-1 record this past week, suffering their first loss of the season. USD began the week with a 72-67 victory over the University of the Pacific, then fell to Boise State University, 47-29. In Friday's game with Pacific, Amber Sprague led all scorers with her season-high 27 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the floor. Winther's career-high 18 points came on an 8-for-15 performance from the floor including a 2-for-6 night from beyond the arc. Amanda Rego dished out a game-best 10 assists and added nine points on the night for the Toreros. As a team, USD shot 44 percent from the field, while the Toreros pressure defense held the Tigers to just 36 percent shooting and the Toreros also out rebounded the Tigers 41-37. In the loss against the Broncos on Sunday, USD was held to a season-low 18 percent shooting from the floor. The Toreros were held to a season-low 18 percent shooting from the floor and for the first time this season, not one player was in double figures. Sabine Loewe and Morgan Henderson led the team in scoring with eight points a piece and Amanda Rego pulled down a team-best nine rebounds.

TOREROS AGAINST THE BIG WEST: The Toreros on the season are a perfect 3-0 against teams from the Big West Conference. USD will look to remain undefeated against the Big West this week as both opponents (Long Beach State and Cal Poly) are members of the Big West. USD will have one final contest against a Big West opponent on Dec. 16 as the Titans of Cal State Fullerton come to the Jennny Craig Pavilion for a 1 p.m. showdown.

SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State enters the week with a 0-7 overall record after dropping a pair of games this past week to Utah (66-43) and South Dakota State (85-41). The all-time series between the two programs is at 6-3 in favor of Long Beach State. The 49ers are led offensively by Karina Figueroa, who is the lone player on the team who is averaging double figures at 10.3 points per game. Tyresha Calhoun and Laure Sims, are the next highest scorers as they both average just over eight points per game. Long Beach State is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Mary Hegarty. During her tenure in Long Beach, Hagarty has posted an overall record of 51-42.

SCOUTING CAL POLY: The Cal Poly Mustangs enters the week with a 4-3 overall record after splitting a pair this past week. Cal Poly began the week with a 64-62 loss to Loyola Marymount, then bounced back with a 60-38 win over San Francisco. Cal Poly holds the series lead between the two programs at 6-5. The Mustangs are led offensively by Jessica Eggleston, who is the lone player averaging in double-figures at 11 points per game. The Mustangs are under the direction of 10th-year head coach Faith Momnaugh. During her tenure in San Luis Obispo, Mimnaugh has posted an overall record of 98-155.

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 SCORED A SEASON-HIGH: Sophomore forward Amber Sprague had one of her best games of the season in the win against Pacific this past Friday. Sprague dropped in a season-high 27 points in helping lead the Toreros to their sixth straight win. The 27-point outburst is currently the single-game high for this season among all WCC players. The Mission Bay High School alum, has now gone over the 20 point mark in four of the first seven games and is averaging a team-best 16.1 points per game. She is also the team-leader in steals (19) and blocks (16).

REGO AND THE ASSIST: Junior point guard Amanda Rego 's 8.6 assists per game is second best in the nation. Rego only trails Shantae Robinson from Alabama State who is averaging 9.3 assists per game. Rego's 14 assists against San Diego State, a new USD single-game record, is also a single-game high for the nation this season. Rego is also averaging 9.6 points per game, good for the third best on the team.

BALANCED SCORING: One of San Diego's strengths this season has been its balanced scoring as only two players are currently averaging over 10 points per game. In the Toreros first seven games this season they have had five different leading scorers with Amber Sprague scoring a season-high 27 against Pacific this past week and Kelly Winther scoring a career-high 18 against Pacific. For the year, Sprague, Amanda Rego, Morgan Henderson, Sabine Loewe and Winther each led the team in scoring for a game. Sprague has led the team in scoring on four occasions to lead all players and rank first on the team with 16.1 points per game. Winther is the second leading scorer with 10.5 points per game.

ANOTHER STRONG DEFENSIVE EFFORT: San Diego continues play outstanding team defense to open the season as the Toreros once again held a pair of opponents to under 36 percent shooting for a game. On Friday night, USD won the game by holding Pacific to 36 percent shooting for the night. On Sunday, the defense again showed up as the Boise State could manage only 35 percent shooting for the game. The Toreros were also held in check in that game with a 18 percent shooting night. San Diego is second in the WCC in field goal percentage defense with opponents shooting only 37 percent.

WINTHER HAS CAREER NIGHT: In San Diego's 72-67 win over the University of the Pacific, Sophomore guard Kelly Winther poured in a career-high 18 points to help lead USD to their sixth straight win. Winther has now scored in double figures in four of the six games she has played in. She is averaging 10.5 points per game, second best on the team, and is the team-leader in three point field goals made with nine.

TOREROS IN THE RPI: According to the realtimerpi.com website, the Toreros check in at No. 26 with the fast 6-1 start. That makes them the highest rated team in the WCC through the first four weeks of the season.

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 conferacne 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.