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Martinez sparks Toreros to 68-66 win over Pepperdine
Feb. 8, 2018

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MALIBU – Junior forward Jose Martinez, coming off the bench, scored a career-high 16 points to lead the USD Toreros to a 68-66 comeback victory over the Pepperdine Waves. Trailing by ten points with just under nine minutes to go the Toreros stormed back to close out the game with a 22-10 run. The win improves USD’s record to 16-9 and 7-6 in the WCC standings. The Toreros also tied a program record with 15 made three-pointers on 34 attempts.

“Jose was outstanding tonight,” said head coach Lamont Smith on the post-game radio show with Jack Cronin. “We knew they were going to zone us and Jose is a player not afraid of the moment and not afraid to compete. I couldn’t be more happy for him. He looked like a seasoned vet out there. He really helped us get that win. We told the guys that if we were going to win this game that we were going to have to get stops. And we did that down the stretch. This was a gut-out performance. We had our backs against the wall pretty much the whole game but the guys just kept fighting and clawing and we found a way. It wasn’t pretty but we found a way to win on the road. I’m just so proud of this team for its toughness and fight tonight.”

In the first half with leading scorer Isaiah Pineiro shouldered with three fouls, the Toreros received a big lift from Jose Martinez off the bench with nine points (3-of-4 threes) in nine minutes of action. USD trailed 27-25 at the break behind 14 points and 7 rebounds from Matthew Atewe.

In the second half the Toreros made their first four shots to pull back within one at 37-36. Three of the shots came from beyond the arc by Olin Carter, Tyler Williams and Cameron Neubauer. The Waves answered with a 5-0 run that was capped off by a three-ball from Eric Cooper to extend their lead to six points at 42-36 with 14:52 left. Isaiah Pineiro ended the run with two straight free throws. Martinez made his fourth trey of the game to pull the Toreros within 44-40 (13:32) but Colby Ross answered with a bucket to push it back to six. Pepperdine extended their lead to eight but Martinez connected on his fifth three-pointer to get the Toreros back within five at 49-44. A few minutes later Pepperdine’s lead was ten with just under nine minutes to go.

Tyler Williams had a huge four-point play with a three-pointer and free throw to pull the Toreros within 56-50 with 8:36 to go. With about five minutes to play Isaiah Pineiro made a free throw, and then shortly after stole the ball and was fouled again making both free throws to get USD with three at 56-53. Cooper made a bucket inside the key, but Isaiah Wright answered with a three-ball to get USD within 58-56. Carter then connected on a three-ball to give USD a 59-58 lead with 2:23 to go. Carter connected on another three that bounced around and hung on the rim before falling through with 1:41 to go to make it 62-58. Isaiah Wright assisted Carter on both of his three-pointers. Carter would add two free throws to make it 64-58 with 24 seconds left. USD’s final six points of the game came at the free throw line to hold on for the victory.

For the game the Toreros shot better beyond the arc then inside it. Martinez led the way with 5-of-8 shooting as the Toreros tied the program’s single game record with 15 made treys. The 34 attempts was just one shy of the program mark. Four other Toreros reached double-digit scoring: Isaiah Pineiro (12 points), Tyler Willams (11), Olin Carter (11) and Isaiah Wright (10 points, 7 rebounds). Pepperdine was paced by Matthew Atewe with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

The Toreros continue their road swing with a game at Santa Clara on Saturday. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. at the Leavey Center.


 

 

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