Feb. 13, 2010
Spokane, Wash.- Senior guard Brandon Johnson became USD's all-time leading scorer on Saturday evening, scoring 21 points in a 82-65 loss against No. 11 Gonzaga at the McCartney Athletic Center. Johnson has now scored 1,742 points in his career, allowing him to leap past his former teammate Gyno Pomare for top spot on the school list.
Johnson surpassed the all-time scoring mark when he scored on a driving lay-up at the 7:05 mark of the first half. The 6-0 guard was fouled on the drive, giving him a free throw which he converted to complete the three-point play and to score his 1,727 career point. Johnson already garnered the USD career assists title earlier this season, and with his effort Saturday evening, he is the only player in WCC history to lead his respective school in career points and assists.
The Toreros (9-18, 2-9) were unable to counter the Gonzaga (21-4, 9-1) attack, however, falling behind from the outset. Gonzaga opened the game with a 19-0 run over the first six minutes, highlighted by five different Bulldogs registering a point. Patrick McCollum ended the USD drought at the 14:10 mark with a lay-up that was counted thanks to a Gonzaga goaltending call.
San Diego fell behind as much as 24 points in the first half before outscoring Gonzaga 20-8 over a four-minute stretch to pull themselves within 35-25 with 5:17 to go in the opening half. Freshman forward Ken Rancifer, who scored 13 points during the game, and Johnson combined to score 11 of USD's points during the span.
The Toreros would only cut the deficit to as little as 12 points in the second half. Rancifer converted a traditional three-point play with just under 16 minutes left in the game, narrowing Gonzaga's lead to 55-43 before the Bulldogs went on a 15-3 run to pull away from the Toreros. Johnson drilled a three with 10:32 to go to score the only USD points during the Gonzaga spurt.
In total, the Bulldogs shot 56.3% from the field for the game, making 17 of their 23 (73.9%) field goals in the first half. The Toreros, meanwhile, could only muscle a 41.1%% field-goal shooting percentage. Steven Gray, with a team-high 19 points, paced the Gonzaga offensive attack.
Johnson and Rancifer were the only Toreros to score in double-digits on Saturday. In addition to his game-high 21 points, Johnson led the team with eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
USD will return home for their final three games of the 2010 regular season. San Diego will play Saint Mary's on Thursday, February 18th with an 8 p.m. tip-off.
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