Amy Kame. (Photo courtesy of Tod Fierner)
March 10, 2013
TIP OFF: The University of San Diego women’s basketball team (21-8) will take on top-seeded Gonzaga University on Monday in the WCC championship game. This will mark the third time these two have met in the WCC title game. Tip off is set for 1 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: The No. 2 seeded University of San Diego women's basketball team cruised to a 74-53 win over No. 3 seeded Saint Mary's College in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena Saturday afternoon. The Toreros were paced offensively by junior guard Amy Kame, who scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, while dishing out five assists. Felicia Wijenberg was the second Torero in double figures, as she recorded 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, and pulling down four rebounds. Both Malina and Maya Hood scored nine points each. As a team, USD shot .484 from the field and were out rebounded 38-35. In the first half, the two teams both came out on fire, as they were trading point-for-point over the first four minutes of action, with USD shooting a red hot 75% from the field and the Gaels shooting 44% from the field, and the game was tied at 8-all with 15:53 to go. The two teams continued to battle and match each other point-for-point, until the game was tied at 10-all, then Amy Kame hit a jumper and was fouled. She then drained the free throw and gave USD a 3-point lead. After a missed SMC bucket, a break away lay-up by Felicia Wijenberg gave USD a 5-point lead at 10-5, with 12:45 to go. A few minutes later, SMC came fighting back and went on a 7-2 run to take a one-point lead at 18-17 on a Danielle Mauldin lay-up with 10:41 to go. The two teams then traded a pair of baskets, before a Malina Hood lay-up sparked a 14-0 Torero run to give USD all the momentum and a 31-14 lead with 7:18 to go. USD would continue to push forward and eventually built up a lead to as many as 20 on a Kame lay-up with :30 to go, before settling for a 18-point lead at the break, up 43-25. In the second half, the Gaels opened up with an 10-0 run over the first three minutes of action, to cut the deficit down to single digits at 43-35, forcing the Toreros into a timeout with 17:11 to go. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kame and Malina Hood gave USD back a double-digit lead at 51-36 with 13:49 to go. SMC then managed to close tat gap back down to 11 at 54-43 with 12:18 to go, however the Toreros responded with a 5-0 run over the next minute to take a 59-43 lead, forcing the Gaels into a time out with 11:00 to go. USD then went on a 13-4 run over the next five minutes of action to take a 20-point lead at 67-47 with 5:46 to go, and never looked back as they went on to claim the 74-53 win.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Gonzaga enters the game with an overall record of 26-5 after defeating BYU in the semifinal game on Saturday. GU leads the all-time series at 35-20, including winning the last 11 meetings between the two. The last time USD defeated the Zags was in the 2008 WCC Championship game in San Diego. The Zags are led offensively by junior guard Haiden Palmer, who scores an average of 12.2 ppg, whole shooting .397 from the field. Senior guard Taelor Karr is the only other GU player to average double figures, as she scores 10.7 ppg, while shooting .432 from the field.
TOREROS IN THE WCC TOURNAMENT: San Diego has claimed three WCC Tournament championships (1993, 2000, 2008) and are aiming to win their second under head coach Cindy Fisher. USD has posted an 16-12 all-time record in the WCC tournament and are 3-1 in WCC Championship games.
NO. 200: Head Coach Cindy Fisher just won her 200th career win in Saturday's 74-53 victory over Saint Mary' College. Coach Fisher had this to say about this achievement. "All the credit goes to all the players I have coached, and to the staff I have coached with. This is a milestone I am proud of, but again, all credit goes to teams and coaching staffs I have worked with."
BACK-TO-BACK 20 WIN SEASONS?: With San Diego's win over Santa Clara, they have captured their third 20-win season in program history. This also marks the first time in program history that USD has won back-to-back 20-win seasons, as last year USD posted the best record in program history at 26-9, reaching the Final Four of the WNIT. USD also won 21 games in the 2006-07 season. USD currently sits at 21-8.
TRIO OF TOREROS EARN ALL-WCC ACCOLADES: The University of San Diego women's basketball team had three players honored on the All-West Coast Conference teams, highlighted by first-team selection Amy Kame. Taking home Newcomer of the Year honors is freshman guard Maya Hood, while Katelyn McDaniel and Hood were named to the Honorable Mention team. Hood was also selected as a member of the All-Freshman team.
ESPNU TO AIR CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Monday's WCC championship game will be aired live on ESPNU. Calling all the play-by-play action will be Rich Cellini, and providing color analysis will be Rosalyn Gold-Onwude. USD is 1-2 on TV games this year, having defeated Saint Mary's on Saturday (BYUTV), but posting loses to San Diego State (12-8-12 on Fox Sports San Diego) and BYU (2-7-13 on BYUTV).
REMEMBER WHEN?: The Toreros last won the WCC Tournamnt championship in 2008. Their opponent? Gonzaga. In fact, USD is 1-1 all-time against Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament championship game, having defeated GU in 2008, then falling to the Zags the following year in 2009. In 2009, USD won an unprecedented three games in three days to reach the title game, and even had a lead in the second half, but in the end, GU was able to pull out the win. In 2008, USD defeated the Zags behind the hot shooting of Morgan Henderson, who scored a game-high 20 points, with an impressive 6-for-8 performance from beyond the arc.
TOREROS ON A ROLL: San Diego has won 10 of their last 11 games, to advance on to the WCC Championship game. During this streak, the Toreros have averaged 67.7 ppg, while holding their opponents to just 55.2 ppg...USD is averaging 49.5 boards-per-game and the opponents are pulling down 32.4 rpg...the Toreros are shooting .461 form the field, while holding opponents to just a .384 shooting percentage...Maya Hood is pacing the Toreros offense with 13.4 ppg, while Amy Kame is averaging 13.3 ppg and Katelyn McDaniel is averaging 13.0 ppg.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE, DOUBLE THE FUN: Senior forward Klara Wischer helped lead USD to a 84-66 win over Santa Clara, which locked up the No. 2 seed in the WCC Tournament. This is the highest seeding USD has ever received in the WCC Tournament in program history. Wischer took the team on her shoulders, as he recorded a career-high 21 points, while also dishing out a career-high 10 assists for a double-double. She went 8-for-9 (889) from the field, and was perfect at the charity stripe (4-for-4). On the season, Wischer is leading the team in rebounding at 7.1 rpg, while also averaging 7.6 rpg.
BLOCKING HER WAY INTO HISTORY: Sophomore forward Sophia Ederaine has been getting a lot more minutes as of late, and she is making the most of her opportunity. Ederaine once again is finding herself in the USD record books for single-season blocked shots. She currently has 51, which is good for 10th all-time at USD in single-season records. The 54 is just three shy of her freshman output of 54. Her 105 total career blocks places her fifth at USD in career blocked shots category.
KAME NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WCC: The Toreros welcome back one All-WCC performer from a year ago in the form of Amy Kame. Kame, a 6-0 junior guard from Grand Junction, Colo., made a splash in her second season with the team, as she took home All-WCC honorable mention accolades for the first time last season. Kame was USD's third leading scorer on the season, as she scored an average of 11.4 ppg. In WCC games, Kame averaged 11.0 ppg, while shooting .424 from the field in conference games. Kame managed to score in double figures in 15 of the 22 games she played in. Kame scored a career-high of 24 points against Portland on Mar. 2, 2012.
TOREROS TABBED TO FINISH FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL: The University of San Diego women's basketball team was tabbed to finish fourth in the West Coast Conference preseason coaches poll. Brigham Young University has been selected to win the WCC women's basketball championship in a preseason poll of the WCC's nine head coaches. The Cougars received five out of a possible eight first-place votes (coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team), just one more first-place vote than second-place Gonzaga. This is the first time in five years that a team other than Gonzaga has selected by the coaches to win the WCC (San Diego, 2007-08).
GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All San Diego women’s basketball home and select road games can be followed live via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of CBS College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action.
CAN YOU SEE ME?: 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. Former USD basketball standout Paula Bott provides all the live play-by-play this season. This service a free of charge for all who wish to watch the broadcast.
MEET THE COACH: Head coach Cindy Fisher is entering her eighth season at the helm of the Toreros program. She was named the program’s third head coach on April 19, 2005. The 2012-13 season was a historical one for the Toreros, as it is now the greatest season in program history. Under Fisher's tutelage, the Toreros soared to new heights, and were in uncharted waters. USD posted a program best 26-9 overall record, posted a 12-4 mark in WCC play (the most wins in WCC play in program history) and they recorded the program's first ever post season win. Not only was the first ever post season win, but the Toreros advanced all the way to the Final Four of the WNIT, before falling to eventual WNIT champions Oklahoma State. In 2008, Fisher led USD to the WCC Tournament championship and back into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight seasons. 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. For her efforts, Fisher was named the 2007 WCC Co-Coach of the Year.