USD Travels to Utah Monday for WNIT Round 2 Action

USDTOREROSDOTCOM Malina Hood.
USDTOREROSDOTCOM
Malina Hood.
USDTOREROSDOTCOM

March 22, 2013

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TIP OFF: The University of San Diego women’s basketball team (22-9) will continue play in the WNIT on Monday, as they travel to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on the University of Utah Utes.  Tip off is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego women's basketball team (22-9) defeated Hawaii 61-49 in the first round of the Women's N.I.T. Thursday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Toreros will now travel to take on Utah on Monday at 6:00 p.m. in the second round of the Women's N.I.T.  The Toreros, who hadn't played in ten days, were fueled by a strong defensive performance, holding the Rainbow Wahine to 31% shooting from the field and out rebounding them 41-27.  The Toreros were paced by junior guard Amy Kame's 19 points. Malina Hood also chipped in 11 points, going 3-3 from the field and 5-5 from the line.  Hawaii scored the first basket of the game, but that would be the only lead the Rainbow Wahine would have all evening. The Toreros held a 17-16 lead with 9:12 left, but then would not allow a Hawaii field goal for the next nine minutes which fueled an 11-2 run.  The Toreros, who took a 28-21 lead into the locker room at halftime, opened up the second half on an 8-2 run to put them up by double-digits. Playing behind strong defense and efficient offense (61 percent shooting in the second half), the Toreros' lead would stay in double-digits for the majority of the game. Hawaii was able to shrink the lead to nine at 56-47 with 3:17 left, but that would be as close as they would get.

TOREROS IN THE POSTSEASON: San Diego has made six postseason appearances in the history of the program. This marks the third trip to the WNIT for USD, and second year in a row.  USD is 5-2 all-time in WNIT games, posting an 0-1 record in 2006-07, then having a magical run to the Final Four last season, going 4-1 in the tournament, and pickin gup a win on Thursday against Hawaii.  Last season, USD fell in the semifinal game to eventual WNIT champ Oklahoma State. 

SCOUTING THE UTES: Utah enters the game with an overall record of 19-13 after defeating Long Beach State in the first round of the WNIT on Wednesday, 56-49.  The Utes have not won eight of their last 11 games.  Utah leads the all-time series at 2-0, with the last meeting coming in the 1988-89 season, a 76-38 loss in Salt Lake City.  The Utes offense is paced by junior forward, Michelle Plouffe, who averages 16.7 ppg.  Taryn Wicijowski (14.1 ppg), Iwalani Rodrigues *12.0 ppg) are the only other Utah players averaging double figures.  This also marks the second consecutive season Utah has made the WNIT.  

NO. 200: Head Coach Cindy Fisher just won her 200th career win with the 74-53 victory over Saint Mary' College in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament.  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 22-9.

BRAINS AND BASKETBALL:  The University of San Diego women's basketball team had four players named to the All-West Coast Conference All-Academic team. Both junior guard Amy Kame and Sophomore forward Sophia Ederaine were selected the All-Academic team, while both sophomore forward Katelyn McDaniel and senior forward Klara Wischer were named honorable mention.  At the conclusion of each athletic season, the WCC selects an all-academic squad for each WCC-sponsored sport. To be considered, a student-athlete must maintain at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average, while also being a significant contributor to her team.

MALINA'S HOOD: Usually when people mention a player named Hood at USD, they refer to the WCC Newcomer of the Year Maya Hood.  Well, she has a twin sister named Malina Hood, and she is not too shabby either.  Malina Hood came off the bench in Thursday's win over Hawaii and was the team's second leading scorer with 11 points, matching her career-high. In fact, in three of the last four games, Malina has scored in double figures.  She scored 11 points on Thursday's win's over Hawaii, and Santa Clara, and she had 10 points in the WCC championship game against Gonzaga.  In the one game she didn't score double digits, she had nine.  In these last four games, Malina Hood is averaging 10.3 ppg, while shooting .625 from the floor.  On the season, Hood is averaging 3.4 ppg.

KAME PACES USD TO WNIT VICTORY: Junior guard Amy Kame paced the Torero offense in the first round WNIT win over Hawaii on Thursday.  Kame scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field, while also going 5-for-6 from the charity stripe.  For Kame, this marked the 24th game of the season that she has scored in double figures.  Kame continues to pace the Torero offense averaging a team-best 16.0 ppg.

CAN YOU HEAR ME?: Monday's game can be hear live via an audio broadcast on USDToreros.com.  Paula Bott will be providing play-by-play duties, and providing color commentary will be USD Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations, Chris Loucks.  

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.

A LOOK BACK: Last season, USD did something amazing, they won four consecutive games in the WNIT to reach the semifinal game.  These were the first-ever postseason wins for the Toreros, as USD had previously been 0-4 in all-postseason games (three NCAA Tournament games and one WNIT game.)  USD picked up wins over Cal State Northridge, Pacific, Texas Tech and Washington, before falling to Oklahoma State.  USD had their first two games at home, then went on the road to reach the Final Four.  Can history repeat itself?  Time will only tell.  

TOREROS ON A ROLL: San Diego has won 11 of their last 13 games, to advance on to the second round of the WNIT.  During this streak, the Toreros have averaged 65.8 ppg, while holding their opponents to just 55.2 ppg...USD is averaging 39.2 boards-per-game and the opponents are pulling down 32.1 rpg...the Toreros are shooting .458 form the field, while holding opponents to just a .383 shooting percentage...Amy Kame is pacing the Torero scoring effort with 13.7 ppg, while Maya Hood (12.3 ppg) and Katelyn McDaniel (11.8 ppg) are the two other Toreros averaging in double figures.

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.