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Toreros Set to Begin Play in Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic

Dec. 27, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (7-4) will open play in the Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic on Friday against Appalachian State University in a 6 p.m. game inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion. USD will then conclude play in the tournament on Sunday against either Texas or DePaul. If USD wins on Friday, they will play on Sunday at 8 p.m. and if they lose on Friday, then will play at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

LAST TIME OUT: Three Toreros were in double figures paced by Kiva Herman's 16 points to help lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a 74-43 win over Cal State Fullerton Friday evening in a non-conference game at Titan Gym. With the win, the Toreros improve to 7-4 overall and have won three consecutive games for the first time this season. With the loss, the Titans fall to 1-8 overall and have now dropped seven consecutive contests. Amanda Rego was the lone player to post a double-double as she recorded 11 points and a game-high 11 assists to go along with five rebounds. Amber Sprague was the second Torero in double figures as she had 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field and Herman had a game-high 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. As a team, USD shot a season-best 59 percent from the field and out rebounded the Titans 48-30. Right out of the gates, the Toreros jumped on the home team as they opened the game with a 9-1 run sparked on a Herman free-throw and capped on a Rego lay-up. After a Titan three pointer, a Sprague jumper ignited a 10-2 Torero run that gave USD their biggest lead of the half at 19-6 with just 13:11 remaining. During this run, four different USD players recorded a basket. With the score at 23-8 in favor of USD, the Titans put together a 13-2 run to pull back to within four at 25-21 with 4:11 remaining, but the Toreros would then be able to push their lead back to seven going into the break. Out of the break, the Toreros went on an 18-3 run sparked by a Rego lay-up and maintained by inspired play by freshman guard Brianna Estell. Estell came off the bench to score eight points in the second half and led this Torero run to give USD complete control of the game at 48-26 with 12:46 remaining. The Toreros would go on to build their lead up to as many as 26 at 60-34 on a Herman lay-up off an assist from Rego and they never looked back. For the Titans, Lauren Chow led the offensive attack with her team-best 12 points and the only other CSF player in double figures was Toni Thomas who had 10 and pulled down a team-best eight rebounds.

SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS: Appalachian State enters the game with an overall record of 2-8 after splitting a pair of games this past week, picking up a 87-81 win over UCF, before dropping a 66-62 decision to La Salle in the championship game of the UCF Tournament. This will be the first meeting between the two programs in program history, and they have had no common opponents thus far in the season. ASU is led by Whitney Tossie, who has a team-best 11.3 points per game average and is the team's second leading rebounder with a 4.0 rebounds per game average. The only other player averaging double figures is Gigi Thomas, who has an 11.0 points per game average to go along with 2.8 rebounds per game. The Mountaineers are under the direction of sixth-year head coach Adrieenne Schuler. During her tenure in Boone, she has posted an overall record of 57-96.

REGO RACKS UP A DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Senior point guard Amanda Rego recorded only her first double-double of the season in Friday's win over Cal State Fullerton with 11 points and 11 assists. But to her credit, she did record the school's only triple double in a win against Toledo on Nov. 16. For Rego, this was her third double figure assists game of the season which brings her total for the season to a West Coast Conference leading 90. On the season, Rego is averaging a WCC-leading 8.2 assists per game and is also averaging 9.0 points per game.

RECORD WATCH: Senior guard Amanda Rego has now racked up 477 career assists, which is just three shy of the all-time mark of 480 held by Lori Morris (1980-84). Rego already holds the all-time career steals record at USD with 239. In fact, Rego has basically rewritten the USD record book as she currently holds three all-time career-records, (steals, steals per game and assists per game), four single-season records (steals, steal per game, assists and assists per game) as well as two single-game records (assists and steals).

LOOKING FOR 100: San Diego head basketball coach Cindy Fisher is just four wins shy of earning her 100th career victory. Fisher, in her third year as the Toreros' head coach, currently boasts a 96-113 career-record over her eight seasons as a head coach between stints at the University of Wyoming and San Diego.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: A pair of freshman have been making a sudden impact on the Toreros this season. Freshman guard Sam Child has been a huge offensive help to the Toreros, as she cracked into USD's starting line-up in the second game of the season and hasn't left yet. She has put up four double-digit performances this season with a season-high 15 in a win against UCLA on Dec. 8. Another freshman guard to make an immediat impact is Brianna Estell. This past week against Fullerton, Estell came off the bench in the second half and put up eight points to help lead a 18-3 USD run to start off the second half. Estell was the catalyst for this run as well as several other runs. She had her break-out game in the loss to San Diego State, when again she was the catalyst for several USD runs and she recorded a career-high 11 points in that game.

KIVA HAS ANOTHER BIG GAME: Junior forward Kiva Herman continues her assault on opposing defenses, as she put together her eighth double-digit performance of the season with a game-high 16 points in Saturday's win over Pacific. On the season, Herman is the team's second leading scorer with a 12.9 points per game average and she is leading the team in field goal percentage with her .480 shooting percentage.

THE STREAK CONTINUES: With nine more double digit scoring performances under her belt this season, junior center Amber Sprague extended her scoring streak to 63 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 46 career double-digit scoring performances in 60 games and after a season-high 30-point performance against UCLA, she now has 13 career 20-point or more outings. Sprague has scored 930 points during her current streak, averaging 14.8 ppg, and shooting .458 (370-for-807) from the floor and .855 (219-for-256) 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.