Women's Basketball Plays Pepperdine in Monday's WCC Tournament Semifinal

Women's Basketball Plays Pepperdine in Monday's WCC Tournament Semifinal

If there’s someone who might really appreciates the clock move to Daylight Savings Time earlier today, it could be the University of San Diego women’s basketball team. Moving the clock ahead an hour on Sunday means the team is that much closer to finally beginning play in the University Credit Union West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament on Monday afternoon.

San Diego (19-10 overall, 13-5 WCC), the No. 2 seed after its second-place finish in the WCC regular-season standings, received a triple bye in the tournament, which began on March 5 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Toreros, who last played a game Feb. 29, finally know they’ll face in their 2 p.m. semifinal round game on Monday, as sixth-seed Pepperdine emerged after two wins, including an upset of No. 3 BYU on Saturday.

Pepperdine was also USD’s last opponent of the regular season. USD won 62-58 on Feb. 29. When the teams met at Pepperdine on Dec. 28, the Waves prevailed, 73-57.

San Diego, led by WCC Coach of the Year Cindy Fisher and several players who received conference recognition (see below), enters Monday’s game fresh off practices and some team bonding time prior to heading to Las Vegas. Pepperdine, meanwhile, defeated Saint Mary’s 87-72 and then topped BYU 62-51, in its two WCC Tournament games.

The Toreros and Waves are now focused on each other as an obstacle to overcome. The winner will oppose the No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 Portland semifinal winner Tuesday at 1 p.m. for the tournament title. ESPNU will televise the WCC championship game live.

To learn more about USD’s preparation for the WCC semifinal, view the USD women’s basketball notes from the USD Athletics website.

Conference Honors for Fisher, Pace, Edwards, Pollock, Soares

The San Diego women’s basketball team received multiple West Coast Conference honors, it was announced last week.

Head Coach Cindy Fisher was named WCC Coach of the Year, Myah Pace was a WCC first team and Jordyn Edwards was a WCC second-team selection. Seniors Madison Pollock and Leticia Soares were honorable mentions.

This marks the third WCC Coach of the Year honor for Fisher after leading the Toreros from a ninth-place finish last season to second place this year. Fisher’s team engineered an 11-game improvement in conference play, from two wins last year to 13 this season.

The Toreros were projected to finish eighth in the preseason poll, but their second-place finish earned them a triple bye, all the way to Monday’s WCC semifinal round against Pepperdine. The 2019-20 campaign marks the first time in five seasons San Diego has been among the conference's top two teams.

Fisher has directed USD to seven postseason appearances, including a 2008 trip to the NCAA Tournament, and six 20-win seasons. Fisher and USD can achieve a seventh 20-win season with a win Monday.

Junior guard Pace led the Toreros in multiple statistical categories including points per game, minutes, free throws and steals. Pace secured her spot among San Diego's all-time best in the regular-season finale against Pepperdine to clinch the single-season steals record, surpassing Maya Hood's mark set back in 2015.
During the 2019-20 season, Pace ranked among the best in the WCC and the nation in takeaways. Individually, Pace is 12th among NCAA Division I in steals and has helped San Diego ascend to be one of the top 10 teams in the nation in steals per game. In addition to WCC recognition for her play on the court, Pace was also named to the WCC All-Academic team in February.

Edwards’ all-conference status comes in her first season of eligibility for the Toreros. The redshirt junior is currently averaging 10.1 points per game and leads San Diego with 38 three-pointers made. Edwards broke the 100-assist threshold this season to lead the Toreros in this category. She’s first on the team in blocks and has recorded over 900 minutes of action as a consistent starter.  Edwards set a career-high in points against Cal State Fullerton with 22 and has reached double figures in 14 games.

Seniors Soares and Pollock earned their first postseason honors from the conference, playing an integral role in the Toreros’ starting rotation.

Pollock has consistently been one of the team's best scorers and is shooting .376 from the field. The guard recorded back-to-back double-doubles in November and scored a season-high 20 points against Portland. Soares has shined bright, especially in the final weeks of regular season play since a breakout 21-point performance at San Francisco. She has averaged 13.2 points per game in the last five contests and has recorded over 130 rebounds. Soares has been an important defensive presence with 31 steals and 64 defensive boards.

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone and USD Athletics

Head coach Cindy Fisher, middle, talks to her team during a recent game. On Monday at 2 p.m., USD will face Pepperdine in a WCC Tournament semifinal game. Head coach Cindy Fisher, middle, talks to her team during a recent game. On Monday at 2 p.m., USD will face Pepperdine in a WCC Tournament semifinal game.

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