Toreros Upset No. 22 Gonzaga 69-66 at JCP

Feb. 23, 2014

Box Score

Johnny Dee leads Toreros to upset over No. 22 Gonzaga

(San Diego, Calif.) - The USD Toreros upset No. 22 Gonzaga by the score of 69-66 before 4,126 fans at the Jenny Craig Pavilion and before a national ESPN2 audience. The win was USD's third straight as they improved to 16-14 overall and 7-10 in the WCC standings. Torero players were stormed by the USD students on the floor in a group post-game celebration. USD was paced by junior guard Johnny Dee (16 points) and sophomore guard Duda Sanadze off the bench with 15 points. First place Gonzaga dropped their second straight league contest and see their record go to 23-6 (13-3).

"This was a great win and I'm so proud of our players," said head coach Bill Grier who now has six of USD's seven top-25 wins. "That is a really hard program to beat and if you look on since about the mid-90's, every team in this league has struggled to beat them. That was just an awesome win. It wasn't perfect by any means, but we just played hard, competed and scratched and clawed. That's what you need to do against them and we just made enough plays down the stretch to beat them."

In the first half the Toreros got out of the gates slowly falling behind 10-2. Two free throws by Simi Fajemisin knotted the score at 19-all with 12:12 to go. A Gary Bell three put the Zags up by five (24-19) a few minutes later, but the Toreros battled and stayed close the rest of the way and actually didn't take their first lead of the game until two ticks were left in the half as Christopher Anderson buried a three-pointer for the 36-34 intermission lead. Halftime scoring leaders were Dee (9 points) for USD and Bell (11 points) for the Zags.

The second half was a different story as the Toreros opened up with a 13-4 run for a 49-38 lead as the USD run was capped off by a Duda Sanadze three. Although USD would hold onto the lead the rest of the way, the Zags rallied to get within three points four more times with the last coming with 19 seconds to go on a David Stockton lay-up. Duda Sanadze made the second of two free throws for a 67-63 advantage with three ticks left. Stockton added a three-pointer with two seconds to pull within 67-66, but Sanadze was immediately fouled on the inbounds play and iced the game with two free throws.

For the game the Toreros got a lot big minutes from a lot of players as Dennis Kramer chipped in with 9 points and 7 rebounds. Jito Kok added 9 points and 5 rebounds. Christopher Anderson tallied 7 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. And Thomas Jacobs and Simi Fajemisin each added 5 points. Gonzaga was paced by Sam Dower (18 points, 15 rebounds), center Przemek Karnowski (17 points) and Bell (11 points).

USD closes out its regular-season schedule next Saturday, March 1st, against the BYU Cougars in a 1:00 pm contest.