March 16, 2012
(San Diego, CA) - Senior guard Dominique Conners scored a game-high 26 points in leading the USD Toreros to a 60-58 WNIT first round victory over the visiting Cal State Northridge Matadors. The win is the USD women's first-ever postseason victory and they'll now play host to the University of the Pacific this Sunday, March 18th, in a 4:00 p.m. contest at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. UOP defeated Arizona State 77-62 in their first round matchup. With the win the Toreros improve their record to a program-best 23-8 while CSUN completes their season at 17-14.
"This was a very difficult game tonight," stated head coach Cindy Fisher. "I thought Northridge did a great job on both ends of the floor tonight. Dominique Conners was outstanding tonight as well as all of our seniors. I was also very excited with Sophia Ederaine and Katie Kuklok's play tonight. They came in the game in crunch minutes, and produced. This has been such a special year for us. The character and chemistry of this team is so high, and they work together so well, it really has made this a special year for us. I'm looking forward to another great game with Pacific on Sunday."
In the first half the Toreros jumped out to an 18-8 lead on a three-point play by Conners with 14:09 to go. From their the athletic Matadors rallied to take a 21-20 advantage at the 10:07 mark on a three-pointer by Janae Sharpe. The score stayed close until the final two minutes of play when the Toreros received a spark off the bench from freshman forward Sophia Ederaine who scored 5 points just before the buzzer to lift USD to a 38-31 intermission lead.
In the second half the Toreros increased their lead to as many as 12 points at 53-41 with 11:35 to go, but once again the pesky Matadors staged a big comeback and pulled to within 1 point with 1:40 to go on a free throw by Sharpe to make it 59-58. Turnovers hurt the Matadors down the stretch and senior Morgan Woodrow cashed in on 1-of-2 free throws with 5 seconds left for the final 60-58 margin. CSUN did have one last chance to tie or win it in regulation, but Sharpe's three-point attempt was off the mark.
Local product Ashlee Guay, a freshman guard from Our Lady of Peace, paced four Matadors in double figure scoring with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. For USD, Amy Kame
(9 points) and freshman Katie Kuklock (8 points; 2-3 in threes) chipped in with some timely points.