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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 15, 2007

San Diego - 68
Pacific - 53

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Three Toreros scored in double figures paced by junior center Amber Sprague's game-high 19, to help lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a 68-53 win over the visiting University of the Pacific Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 6-4 overall and have won back-to-back games for the second time this season. With the loss, the Tigers fall to 3-7 overall and have now dropped six straight games.

Sprague led all players with her 19 points on 9-for-19 shooting from the floor to go along with her game-high 13 rebounds to post the game's only double-double. Amanda Rego was the next Torero in double figures as she had 15 points to go along with a game-high eight assists and Kiva Herman was the final USD player in double figures as she had 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting from the floor. As a team, USD shot 39 percent from the field and out rebounded the Tigers 50-35.

Sam Child hit back-to-back jumpers to ignite a 10-0 Toreros run right out of the gates as USD quickly took control of the game.

After the Tigers went on a 5-2 run, San Diego responded with a Sprague lay-up that sparked a 5-2 USD run to again give USD back a double-digit lead at 17-7 with 8:06 remaining in the first half.

USD would eventually build their lead up to as many as 11 in the first half on a Sprague jumper with 4:21 remaining to give the Toreros a 21-10 advantage. The Toreros would then go into the break with a seven-point lead at 25-18.

In the second half, USD would remain in control of things in the early going as the team sea sawed back and forth between a 6-9 point lead for the first several minutes. After the Tigers pulled back to within five at 35-30 with 12:58 remaining, a Kaila Mangrum lay-up ignited a 4-1 Torero run to again give USD back a 11-point lead at 41-30 with just 11:19 remaining.

The two teams then began to trade basket-for-basket over the next several minutes until the score was 51-41 in favor of the Toreros with 5:13 remaining. The Toreros then put together a 5-0 run to give them a 15-point cushion, that they would not look back on as they cruised their way to a 68-53 win.

For the Tigers, Kelsey Lavender led the team with 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the floor. As a team, the Tigers were held to a 32 percent shooting from the field.

The Toreros will return to action on Friday as they travel up to Orange County to take on the Cal State Fullerton Titans in a 7 p.m. non-conference game at Titan Gym.

Loyola Marymount - 66
UC Irvine - 54

Los Angeles, CA - LMU closed out a three-game home stand Saturday afternoon with a 66-54 victory against UC Irvine at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions (7-4) win their fifth in a row at home and third in a row overall while dropping the Anteaters (4-6) to their second straight defeat.

Senior Amanda DeCoud had a game-high 18 points, including making a career-high 10-of-12 from the foul line, to lead the Lions. She added four rebounds and four steals while shooting 4-for-8 from the floor. Junior Jenna Sybesma continued her solid play with 12 points and senior Valerie Ogoke added 10 points, eight rebounds, six steals, and four blocks. Freshman Melanie Ysaguirre provided a tremendous effort off the bench with nine points to go along with a career-high eight rebounds. Thanks to the efforts of Sybesma, Ogoke, and Ysaguirre, the Lions outscored the Anteaters 38-24 in the paint.

Kirian Ishizaki led UCI with a career-high 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 3-for-3 from downtown. Stephanie Duda added eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.

LMU used a 19-2 run bridging halftime to turn a six-point deficit into an 11-point advantage. The Lions did it by going inside but were helped by the Anteaters, who missed eight of their first nine shots and turned the ball over eight times in the first eight minutes of the half. After missing its first three shots of the half, Sybesma gave LMU its first lead since 17:04 of the first half with a jumper at 18:22. That started a stretch where LMU made eight of its next ten shots to build its lead to 11, 44-33, with 11:58 remaining.

LMU led by as many as 12, 52-40, on a pair of free throws by DeCoud with 7:58 left before the Anteaters started chipping away. Ishizaki made a layup and followed with a three-pointer to cut it to seven but Ysaguirre got inside for a layup to restore the nine-point advantage. Rebecca Maessen scored four straight points for UCI and Ishizaki capped a 7-0 run with a three from the corner that made it 54-52 with 4:41 left. After a free throw by Ysaguirre, Kelly Cochran's jumper brought UCI within one, 55-54.

From that point on, that Lions clamped down on defense and pulled away. Two free throws from DeCoud gave the Lions a cushion, Ogoke went off the glass from the right block for a 59-54 lead and Young put the dagger in with a three-pointer to put LMU up eight with 1:46 left. Ishizaki missed the front end of a one-and-one and DeCoud made a big steal on an inbounds pass, knocking down four free throws in the last minute for the final tally as UCI went scoreless for the final four minutes.

LMU shot 50% in the second half to finish the game at 42.6% (26-for-61). The Lions were 12-of-18 (66.7%) at the free throw line and overcame an off night when they went just 2-for-13 (15.4%) from three-point range. The Lions held a 39-36 rebounding advantage, outscoring UCI 13-2 on second-chance points.

UCI shot 38.6% (22-for-57) overall, 44.4% (4-for-9) from three-point range, and 85.7% (6-for-7) from the line but committed 21 turnovers to LMU's 14.

Both teams started hot, with the Anteaters holding a slim 13-12 lead after four minutes. UCI made six of its first nine shots from the floor while LMU connected on five of ten to get the ball rolling. The pace slowed down after that as the defenses cracked down. Irvine stayed in front from most of the opening 20 minutes, growing its lead to as many as six on two occasions but the Lions kept coming.

A jumper by Haley Tull gave UCI a 31-25 lead with 2:28 remaining but that would be the last Anteater basket of the half as LMU closed out with five straight points, including three by junior Cassady Moore, to go into the locker room trailing by one, 31-30.

The win was LMU's third this season against a Big West opponent and the Lions are 3-1 against that conference this season. Since 1998-99, the Lions are 33-6 against teams from the Big West.

LMU takes off on its longest road trip of the season with a pair of games next week in the nation's capital. On Tuesday, the Lions visit #22 George Washington before playing at Georgetown on Thursday.

San Francisco - 77
Cal Poly - 67

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Senior Dominique Carter had 17 points, 14 rebounds and sophomore Heidi Heintz also netted 17 as San Francisco defeated Cal Poly, 77-67 Saturday evening. Led by Carter and Heintz, the Dons scored 46 points in the second half to win its fourth straight contest.

San Francisco is now 7-4 on the year, while Cal Poly drops to 3-8. The Dons have won 12 of the 15 contests between the two schools and avenge a 60-38 loss to the Mustangs in 2007.

USF shot 56.1%, 23-of-41, from the field and made 29-of-39 free throw attempts in the 10-point victory. It was essentially the Dons' free throw shooting in the first half which kept USF close enough to make a move in the second frame.

Cal Poly allowed the Dons' only 14 shot attempts in the first half compared to their 32. During the same time, the Mustangs also had six steals and 11 of their final 18 offensive boards. San Francisco hit 13 from the stripe before the half where Cal Poly held a 32-31 advantage.

A layup by junior Shay Rollins at the start of the second period swung the game USF's way. The Dons would lead for the remainder of regulation and cruise behind their hot shooting.

Rollins and junior Necolia Simmons both added double-digit scoring efforts to San Francisco's cause. Simmons shot 6-of-8 for 14 points and collected eight rebounds. Rollins had 15 points.

The Dons held Cal Poly's leading scoring Megan Harrison to 1-of-11 shooting and eight points. The Mustangs were led by 13 from Shannon Gholar and 10 from Toni Newman.

San Francisco plays Eastern Washington on Tuesday, December 18. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. PT from War Memorial Gym.

USC - 55
Pepperdine - 52

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's basketball team suffered their first loss to a Pac-10 team this season when University of Southern California narrowly defeated the Waves 55-22, Saturday afternoon at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

The Waves (5-3) led by five points at the half (32-27) after a slow start that saw Pepperdine down by eight points early in the half. Shannon Johnson's (Highland Village, Texas / Marcus HS) back-to-back three-pointers gave the team the boost they needed to continue a scoring run. Johnson ended the game with a season-high nine points, shooting 3-4 on three-pointers.

Ending the first half with a 44.8% shooting average to USC's 32.4% and scoring off of ten turnovers and a 100% free-throw average, the Waves left the floor with confidence.

The Trojans (5-4) regained the lead with 3:27 left in the second half (50-48) after Nadia Parker scored her sixth basket of the half. With 1:15 remaining in the game, Teena Wickett (Vallejo, Calif. / Castlemont HS) scored to tie it up (52-52). USC's Heather Oliver answered with a two-point shot putting the Trojans back on top. A Pepperdine foul gave the Trojans a three-point lead with 16 seconds left. The Waves took possession with 4.7 seconds remaining. A time-out by USC followed with Pepperdine unable to execute a final shot in the remaining seconds.

"We played hard. We just gave up too many turnovers and our rebounding wasn't good today," said Wickett.

USC outscored Pepperdine 28-20 in the second half, while the Waves gave up 30 turnovers to the Trojans 15 for the game. USC took advantage of Pepperdine's turnovers scoring 27 of its 55 points off of turnovers.

Utah Valley State - 91
Portland - 87

OREM, Utah - Six Pilots scored in double figures and Portland shot 52 percent from the floor, but the Utah Valley Wolverines prevailed 91-87 in a non-conference women's basketball game on Saturday at the McKay Center. Junior Karlie Burris and sophomore Laiken Dollente each scored a team-high 17 points for Portland.

After Utah Valley led 38-36 at the half, neither team was able to create much separation in the second half, as the game was tied and the lead changed hands several times. With the Wolverines clinging to a two-point lead late, Burris buried a three-pointer to give the Pilots a 79-78 advantage with 2:50 showing on the clock.

Utah Valley's Asumi Nakayama and Robyn Fairbanks then hit back-to-back three's to give the lead back to the Wolverines. Down five with 1:30 left, Dollente answered with a three-pointer to pull Portland within 84-82. After getting a stop at the other end, Portland had the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead, but UVU's Sandy Marvin made a steal before getting fouled with 53 ticks left on the clock.

The Wolverines (9-2) then hit seven of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Utah Valley shot 32 of 59 (54.2 percent) from the field, while going seven-for-16 from behind the three-point arc. Fairbanks led all scorers with a game-high 28 points. Marvin added 22 points and went seven-for-eight from the line. UVU hit 20 of 27 free throws on the day.

Portland (7-4) hit 35 of 68 from the field, but was hampered by 25 turnovers, which led to 28 UVU points. Burris hit six of ten en route to a season-high in points. Both Burris and Dollente hit three three-pointers and went two-for-two from the line. Burris also grabbed six rebounds, handed out three assists and made five steals.

Portland junior Allyson Sievers had one of her best showings of the season with 15 points off the bench. Senior Rachel Warren, junior Meagan Bermingham and sophomore Kendra Morris each scored 10. Sophomore Laura Thomas was Portland's top rebounder with eight boards, as the Pilots outrebounded the Wolverines 45-20.

Portland next travels to Cedar City, Utah, to face the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at 6:00 p.m. on Monday.