Dec. 15, 2006
IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (8-2) will continue its six-game home stand on Saturday with a 1 p.m. tip-off against Cal State Fullerton. This game is the first part of a double-header with the men's team who will play Furman at 4 p.m. Saturday's game will be a live televised broadcast locally on Channel 4.
TOREROS AGAINST THE BIG WEST: The Toreros on the season are 4-1 against teams from the Big West Conference this season. USD will look to improve on its dominance over the Big West this week against Cal State Fullerton. This will be the final member of the Big West that the Toreros will face this season, having already claimed wins over the defending champion UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and Pacific. The lone member of the Big West to defeat the Toreros is Long Beach State.
SCOUTING THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton enters the game with a 4-6 overall record after picking up wins against Colorado and Northern Colorado this past week. The all-time series between the two programs is tied at seven wins apiece. The Titans are led offensively by Toni Thomas who is averaging a team-best 18.8 points per game. Charlee Underwood is the second CSF player averaging double figures with 15.1 points per game. Fullerton is under the direction of 10th-year head coach Dr. Maryalyce Jeremiah. During her tenure at Fullerton, Jeremiah has recorded an overall record of 144-156 and boasts career record of 407-301 in 26 years of coaching.
LAST TIME OUT: Led by Amanda Rego's third double-double of the season, five Toreros scored in double figures to help lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team (8-2) to a 66-63 win over Cal State Bakersfield (4-3) Tuesday evening in a non-conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Rego recorded 10 points, while dishing out 11 assists, pulled down five rebounds and had a season-high five steals in the win. Amber Sprague led the team in scoring with 14 points, while pulling down a team-best seven boards and had thee blocks. Morgan Henderson and Kelly Winther both had 11 points and Sabine Loewe had 10 points. As a team, the Toreros shot 42 percent from the floor and out rebounded the Road Runners, 40-37. CSUB surprised the Toreros from the get-go as they opened the game with a 6-2 run and were able to hang on to that lead for the entire period. With the score at 19-18 in favor of Bakersfield, the Road Runners used a 15-2 run to take a 14 point lead with just 7:06 remaining in the first period. After a 30 second timeout by USD, the Toreros switched to a 2-3 zone defense and began a comeback. Rego got things rolling as she stole the ball from Jessi Loring and found Sprague underneath the basket for a quick lay-up ending the CSUB run and sparking a 12-2 run to close out the period and pull to within four going into the break. In the second half, the Toreros continued that momentum as they used a 9-4 run to even the score at 40-40 as Rego again stole the ball, this time from Rhonda Johnson, and she finished the fast break with a lay-up. Sprague then gave the Toreros the lead for the first time since the score was 2-0 with a pair of free-throws moving the score to 42-40. The two teams then traded baskets over the next couple of minutes with the Toreros never surrendering the lead. USD would build their lead up to as many as seven at 59-52, but the Road Runners refused to go away as they put together a 6-0 run to pull within one on back-to-back three pointers by Christin Kepenekian and Kelly Tarver. The Toreros again answered the run with strong defensive pressure and also hit key free throws down the stretch. USD's final seven points came at the charity stripe. Krista Arase and Tarver paced the Road Runners offensively with a game-high 15 points each. Loring had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Bakersfield shot 41 percent from the floor.
UP NEXT: The Torers will have a bye week as the student athletes finish finals and take time to see family on the Christmas holiday. USD will then return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Dec. 28 as they begin play in the Surf N' Slam tournament. USD will be featured in the fist game on Friday at 6 p.m. as they take on the Crusaders of Holy Cross. Then should USD win, they will play the winner of the night cap between the University of Texas and Oregon State University. Or should the Toreros lose on Friday, then they will play the loser of the Texas and Oregon Sate game.
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 womenÃfÂ¢Ã¢,Â¬TMs 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.
PRIME TIME GAME: Saturday's game against the Titans will not only be available on the USD athletics department website, but it will be shown live on Channel 4 with Paula Bott bringing you all the play-by-play action and Susie Erpelding will be the color analyst. This will be the final televised game this season for the Toreros on Channel 4.
BALANCED OFFENSE: San Diego had five players in doble-figures in Tuesday's win against Cal State Bakersfield. Amber Sprague led he team with 14 points, while both Kelly Winther and Morgan Henderson had 11 points a piece and both Amanda Rego and Sabine Loewe had 10 points each. This marks the sixth time this season that at least three or more players have been in double figures.
DOUBLING IT UP: Junior guard Amanda Rego posted her team-leading third double-double of the season in Tuesday's win over Cal State Bakersfield. The junior from San Diego had 10 points and 11 assists, but she didn't stop there. Rego also recorded a season-high five steals and pulled down five boards, en route to being named the Player of the Game.
SPRAGUE NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH: After helping lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team to the best start in program history at 5-0, sophomore forward Amber Sprague was tabbed as the West Coast Conference Player of the Month. Sprague, who sat out all of last season due to injury, averaged 17.0 points per game during the first month of the season and led the conference in rebounding at 8.8 rebounds per game. The sophomore also averaged a conference-leading 3.0 steals per game in November, while pacing the circuit with an average of 2.6 blocks per game. Sprague began the month with bang, dropping in 22 points and pulling down 10 boards in San Diego's season-opening win over Cal State Northridge and duplicated the 22-point effort in a win against UC Riverside on Nov. 14. The San Diego native just missed another double-double as she scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds in a victory over cross-town rival San Diego State and poured in 23 points in a win over Georgia Tech on Nov. 26. Sprague tied a conference single-game high with five blocks in a win over UC Riverside and collected five steals on two occasions, setting the team-high with five swipes against both Cal State Northridge and Air Force.
ABOUT THE RECORD: San Diego's 8-2 record is the second best start in program history through nine games, only trailing that of the 1989-90 squad that began the season 9-1. USD raced out to a 6-0 start which was, at the time, the best start in program history. If USD can pick win on Saturday, then they will have tied the amount of wins they registered all of last season.
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 14.8 points per game, she is second in rebounds per game at 7.6 and is second in the WCC in steals per game at 2.56. Amanda Rego continues to lead the conference in assists with 7.33 per game and steals per game with 2.60. Sabine Loewe leads the conference in field goal percentage at .556 and Morgan Henderson is third in free throw shooting percentage at .870.
SHOOTING SLUMP OVER: San Diego's shooting slump appears to be over. In USD's first loss of the season to Boise State University, the Toreros were held to a season-low 18 percent shooting from the floor. USD then followed that performance with a 23 percent outing in a loss against Long Beach State. But USD returned to the form that got them six straight wins to open the season as they recorded a 41 percent performance in Saturday's win against Cal Poly and followed with a 42 percent performance against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday.
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 womenÃfÂ¢Ã¢,Â¬TMs 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 womenÃfÂ¢Ã¢,Â¬TMs basketball title with Gonzaga rounding out the top three. Santa Clara checked in at No. 4, Saint MaryÃfÂ¢Ã¢,Â¬TMs 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.