Jan. 16, 2006
(San Diego, Calif.) - The USD Toreros overcame a 14-point deficit in the first half and rallied for a 75-69 WCC win over the visiting Santa Clara Broncos. Junior Nir Cohen sparked the Toreros in the first half with a couple of big threes, and Nick Lewis (22 points) and Ross DeRogatis (18 points) did the majority of the damage in the comeback. With the win the Toreros improve to 11-5 overall and 1-2 in league play; the Broncos fall to 8-7 overall and 1-2. USD improves to 6-1 on the season in games played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion and will next entertain the No. 6 Gonzaga Bulldogs this Saturday at 3 pm. The game is sold out.
In the first half the Toreros couldn't find their mark early as the Broncos jumped out to a 20-9 lead midway through the period. They extended the lead to 14 twice, the last at 25-11 with 7:06 left on a John Bryant bucket. Over the next 4 1/2 minutes it was all Cohen (8 points) and Lewis (5 points) as USD pulled to within two at 27-25. From there the Broncos bounced back with a 7-2 run to close the half and take a 34-27 advantage into the locker room.
In the 2nd half USD opened with a 10-2 run to take a 37-36 lead. Lewis started with a layup, DeRogatis nailed a three, and Belser followed with a layup and three-pointer. After two Brandon Rohe free throws, USD rattled off 11 straight points on threes from DeRogatis, Ray Murdock and DeRo again, and a Nick Lewis layup put the Toreros ahead 48-38 with 13:43 to go.
SCU got within three at 48-45 on a three by Travis Niesen, but the Toreros used another 10-0 run to get back up 58-47 with 7:03 left. With 3:09 to go the Broncos got within 3 again at 64-61 on a Brody Angley layup, but five straight points by Lewis put the Toreros ahead 69-61 and the Toreros controlled the game the rest of the way.
For the game USD shot 42.9% from the field, and just 36% from three-point range, but were solid at the free throw line, making 18-24 (75%). Nir Cohen was the third Torero in double digits with 12 points. Santa Clara was paced by Sean Denison off the bench with 14 points, and Joey Kaempf (13 points with 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc).