Dec. 10, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (5-4) will return to action on Saturday as they host the University of the Pacific (3-5) in a 4 p.m. non-conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. This game will also be aired live on Channel 4.
LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego women's basketball team held off a late UCLA push to deal the Bruins a 63-57 loss in a non-conference game at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion Saturday afternoon. Amber Sprague led all players with her season-high 30 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the field, while also hauling down a game-high nine rebounds. Sam Child put together her second consecutive double-figure performance with her career-high 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field to go along with eight rebounds, one block and one steal. Senior guard Amanda Rego recorded a season-high 12 assists in the win and also recorded three steals. As a team, USD shot 41 percent from the floor and held a 41-38 advantage on the boards. UCLA would grab the first basket of the game with Lindsey Pluimer's three pointer, but the Toreros in turn went on a 8-0 run. Morgan Henderson's jumper in the paint sparked the Toreros' run and Sprague's lay-up with 17:33 remaining capped things off for USD. But the first half turned out to be a half of runs, as UCLA took their turn with a run as Regina Rogers' jumper with 17:00 remaining sparked a 7-0 UCLA run to give the Bruins back a brief 10-8 lead with 14:37 to go in the first half. Sprague's lay-up with 13:39 remaining, ignited another Torero run as San Diego went on to take complete control of the first half with a 15-2 run. During the run, Sprague recorded 10 of the Toreros' 15 points as USD would build a 23-12 advantage with 8:54 remaining into he first half. San Diego would maintain that double-digit lead for the remainder of the half to go into the break with a 34-26 lead. In the second half, the Toreros came out clicking on all cylinders, as they used a 12-2 run over the first six minutes of play to build a 19-point lead at 47-28 on a pair of Kiva Herman free throws with just 13:53 to go in the contest. UCLA's Nina Earl, then hit a lay-up to spark a huge UCLA comeback, as the Bruins went on a 19-2 run over the next seven minutes to pull back to within two of USD at 49-47 with just 6:16 remaining in the game. After the Bruins would pull to within one at 52-51, the Toreros would regain their composure to go on a 6-1 run that was ignited by a pair of Sprague free throws and capped on a Child jumper to give the Toreros some breathing room with :53 second remaining. The Toreros would then hold on to that six point lead for the remainder of the game to claim the upset win.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific enters the week with an overall record of 3-5 and are currently riding a four-game losing streak. The Tigers will play Sacramento State on Tuesday before coming to San Diego. USD holds a 5-2 all-time record against Pacific, including a 72-67 win this past season in Stockton. The Tigers and Toreros have had no common opponents yet this season. Three players are averaging double figures, led by junior forward Janae Young's 12.4 points per game average. Sophomore guard Jake Kelly (11.9 ppg) and freshman forward Andrea Swanson (11.6 ppg) are the other two players averaging double figures. Pacific is under the direction of second-year head coach Lynn King. During her tenure in Stockton, King has posted an overall record of 11-27.
CHILD GETS A NEW CAREER-HIGH: In Saturday's upset win over UCLA, freshman Sam Child scored a career-high 15 points on an impressive 5-for-8 performance from the field. This marked her second consecutive game in which she has recorded double-digits, as she had 11 points in Wednesday's loss to San Diego State. Child has now recorded double-digits in four of USD's nine games. On the season, Child is averaging 7.9 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game.
DANDY DOZEN: Senior guard Amanda Rego recorded a season-high 12 assists in Saturday's win over UCLA. With the 12 assists, Rego has moved her season total to 71, the highest in the WCC, and her 7.9 assists per game average is currently fourth best in the nation. The 12 assists also marks the second time in her career she has recorded 12 assists, and she currently holds the single-game record for assists with 14, set in a win against Holy Cross on Dec. 28, 2006.
SATURDAY'S GAME TO BE TELEVISED: Saturday's game against the University of the Pacific will be aired live locally on San Diego Channel 4. Two former USD basketball standouts Paula Bott (play-by-play) and Susie Erpelding (color) will bring you all the action. This will be the first of three televised games for USD this season.
HAVEN'T SEEN THIS IN A WHILE: With her season-high 30-point outburst against UCLA this past weekend, junior Amber Sprague became the first Torero to score 30-or-more points in a game since Michelle Augustavo set the single-game record of 42 on Dec. 11, 2005 in a 72-68 loss at Clemson. The performance was Sprague's first 30-point game since she recorded a career-high 33 in a 86-81 loss against UC Irvine on Jan. 2, 2005.
LOOKING FOR 100: San Diego head basketball coach Cindy Fisher is just six wins shy of earning her 100th career victory. Fisher, in her third year as the Toreros' head coach, currently boasts a 94-113 career-record over her eight seasons as a head coach between stints at Wyoming and USD.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Some of the Toreros individually hold lofty positions inside the West Coast Conference statistics. Amber Sprague is third in the WCC with her 8.6 rebounds per game and she is fifth in points per game at 16.1. Amanda Rego continues to lead the conference in assists with 7.9 per game and is fourth in steals per game with 2.56, while Morgan Henderson is third in free throw shooting percentage at .870.
THE STREAK CONTINUES: With six more double digit scoring performances under her belt this season, junior center Amber Sprague extended her scoring streak to 61 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 43 career double-digit scoring performances in 60 games and after a season-high 30-point performance against UCLA this past Saturday, she now has 13 career 20-point or more outings. Sprague has scored 901 points during her current streak, averaging 14.8 ppg, and shooting .453 (353-for-779) from the floor and .855 (218-for-255) 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.
REGO'S TRIPLE-DOUBLE: San Diego senior point guard Amanda Rego recorded the first triple-double in program history in a Nov. 11 win over Toledo. Rego posted 11 points, had a team-best 13 rebounds and a game-high 10 assists. Rego came close this past season at recording a triple-double in a game against Holy Cross as she had nine points, 13 assists and a program-record 10 steals in a win over the Crusaders in the opening game of the Surf N' Slam Tournament.
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.