Dec. 29, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL:
IN A NUTSHELL:The University of San Diego women's basketball team (8-4) will conclude play in the Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic on Sunday against the 19th-ranked University of Texas in the championship game at 8 p.m. inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT:Behind four players recording double digits, the University of San Diego women's basketball team opened play in the Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic in stylish fashion, with a 79-60 win over Appalachian State University Friday evening in a non-conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. With the win, the Toreros run their win streak to four and improve to 8-4 overall. With the loss, the Mountaineers fall to 2-9 overall. Amber Sprague led the team in scoring with her 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor. Kiva Herman was the second Torero in double figures with 13 points, Sam Child had 11 points and Amanda Rego chipped in 10 points to go along with a game-high nine assists. With her nine assists, Rego became the new all-time leader in career-assists, as her career total is now 486. As a team, USD shot 50 percent from the field and out rebounded the Mountaineers 41-28. In the early going, it was an even battle, then with the score knotted at 7-7, the Toreros launched a 8-2 run sparked by a Child jumper and capped by a Kaila Mangrum lay-up to give San Diego the momentum and a six point lead with 14:39 remaining. After a ASU jumper by Whitney Tossie, San Diego then went on a 8-3 run to take a 23-14 lead with 11:33 to go in the first half. The Toreros and Mountaineers would sea saw back and forth a bit over the next several minutes keeping things close, but the Toreros finally broke open a double digit lead at 27-17 with 9:19 to go on a pair of Rego free throws. The Toreros would not lose the momentum in the first frame as they continued to keep the pedal to the medal and went into the break with a 16-point lead at 41-25. In the second half, the two teams began the frame trading basket-for-basket until the score was at 42-31 in favor of USD, then a free throw by Sprague ignited a 9-2 run that was capped on a pair of Brianna Estell free throws. The Toreros would build their lead up to as many as 24 on several occasions, and never looked back as they cruised their way into the championship game of the tournament.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS:Texas enters the game with a 10-2 overall record after upsetting No. 12 DePaul in the first round game of the Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic on Friday evening. The Longhorns and Toreros have met once in program history, in last season's championship game of the Surf 'N Slam with Texas walking away with a 73-45 win. UT and USD have no common opponents thus far through this season. Texas has four players averaging double figures led by Brittainey Raven's 16.5 points per game average. Carla Cortijo (10.8 ppg), Kathleen Nash (10.7 ppg) and Ashley Lindsey (10.5 ppg) are the other three players in double figures. The Longhorns are under the direction of first-year head coach Gail Goestenkors. For her career, Goestenkors owns a record of 406-101.
A VIEW FROM THE TOP:Senior point guard Amanda Rego recorded nine assists in Friday's win over Appalachian State to move her into first all-time in career assists with 486, passing a 23 year old record held by Lori Morris of 480. 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). On the season, Rego is averaging 9.1 points per game and 8.3 assists per game.
SWEET CHILD 'O MINE:San Diego freshman Sam Child continues to impress as she recorded her fifth double digit game of the season in Friday's win over Appalachian State. In the game, Child recorded 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field to go along with five rebounds. On the season, Child has moved her average up to 8.0 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game.
GOING STREAKING:The Toreros are currently in the midst of a season-high four-game winning streak. The Toreros will look to increase this streak on Sunday as they take on the 19th-ranked Texas Longhorns in the championship game of the Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic.
LOOKING FOR 100:San Diego head basketball coach Cindy Fisher is just three wins shy of earning her 100th career victory. Fisher, in her third year as the Toreros' head coach, currently boasts a 97-113 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.
MANGRUM GETS A SEASON-HIGH:Junior forward Kaila Mangrum recorded a season-high 10 points in the win against Appalachian State this past Friday. This marks only the second time in her career, that she has recorded double figures, the other came when she had 12 points in a game against Saint Mary's on Jan. 26, 2006.
THE STREAK CONTINUES:With 10 more double digit scoring performances under her belt this season, junior center Amber Sprague extended her scoring streak to 64 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 47 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 948 points during her current streak, averaging 14.8 ppg, and shooting .459 (377-for-820) from the floor and .858 (223-for-260) 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.