Dec. 30, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego women's basketball team put up a fight, but fell one point short in a heartbreaking loss to No. 13 Texas Tech University in the championship game of the Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic Friday evening at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
After the Lady Raiders (12-0) scored the go-ahead basket with 7.6 seconds remaining on the clock, USD head coach Cindy Fisher called a timeout. Out of the break, Dominique Conners drove the length of the floor, drew three defenders, was pushed, but managed to pass the ball to sophomore forward Felicia Wijenberg underneath the basket, and Wijenberg's lay-up rimed out as time expired to allow the Lady Raiders to escape the building with a win.
Morgan Woodrow led all players with 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including hitting three 3-pointers. This marked the fourth consecutive game Woodrow has scored at least 20 or more points. Conners was the only other Torero in double figures, as she scored 11 points. Klara Wischer had her best game in a Torero uniform, as she scored a career-high eight points on 4-for-7 shooting from the field. As a team, USD shot .400 from the field and was out rebounded for only the third time this season, 41-33.
In the early going, it was a close nit battle as both teams took their turn with the lead and neither team had a lead bigger than two. Then with the score knotted at 6-all with 15:06 to go, a Wisher lay-up sparked a 5-0 San Diego run to give USD (9-3) a 5-point edge at 11-6 with 13:06 to go.
The Toreros managed to maintain that margin and pushed that lead up to nine at 26-17 on a Amy Kame lay-up with 4:53 to go. After a Texas Tech basket cut the lead to seven, a back-to-back Woodrow baskets gave USD its biggest lead of the game at 30-19, marking the largest deficit Texas Tech has had this season. The Lady Raiders then closed the final 2:29 on a 9-0 run, which gave USD a 30-28 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Lady Raiders managed to tie things up at 32-all on a pair of Kelsi Baker free-throws with 16:11 to go, but the Toreros refused to go away as a Woodrow jumper then sparked a 5-0 run to give USD some breathing room and a 37-32 lead with 13:38 to go.
Texas Tech would pull to within one again at 39-38 on a Chynna Brown jumper with 12:09 to go, but the Toreros then answered that with a Kame basket to regain a three-point edge. Texas Tech would regain the lead at the 9:45 mark on a Brown 3-pointer to give the Lady Raiders their first lead since 16:56 left in the first half at 44-41.
TTU would then build up their biggest lead of the game at 48-44, but the Toreros continued to push forward and came back to regain the lead at 51-50 on a pair of Conners free-throws with 5:18 to go. The two teams then battled back and forth over the next five minutes with each team taking their turn with the lead, setting up the thrilling finish.
For Texas Tech, Brown led the way with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while Kierra Mallard was the only other Lady Raider in double figures with 12 points. As a team, TTU shot .375 from the field.
The Toreros will return to action on Jan. 7, as they ring in the new year with their WCC opener against Saint Mary's College at 2 p.m.
Maggie Dixon All-Tournament Team
Kierra Mallard - Texas Tech (MVP)
Chynna Brown - Texas Tech
Shauntal Nobles - Texas Tech
Morgan Woodrow - San Diego
Dominique Conners - San Diego
Kristine Herman - CSU Bakersfield