Feb. 24, 2005
(SAN DIEGO, CA) -- Brandon Gay and Ross DeRogatis each totaled new career highs in scoring with 31 and 28 points, respectively, as USD downed Santa Clara 87-73 before 2,030 fans at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. DeRogatis kept the Toreros in the game in the first half by making all six of his three-point attempts as SCU held a 37-36 edge. Gay scored 21 of his 31 points in the 2nd half as the Toreros broke open a tight game late to improve to 15-11 overall and 7-6 in WCC play. The win moves the Toreros into a tie for third place with the Broncos (14-14; 7-6) with one game to go.
"This week I told our team that we are a lot better team than a month ago, but that they needed to go out and prove it," said head coach Brad Holland. "Ross really kept us in the game in the first half with six threes. I told the team at halftime to keep shooting the three, but also to pound the ball inside and be patient. We still have a lot of work ahead of us with a great Saint Mary's team on Saturday, but I like the way our team is moving up the WCC ladder in the standings."
The Toreros found themselves down by 12 in the first half at 25-13 with 9:26 to go, but DeRogatis hit three straight threes for USD to pull the team to within 5 at 27-22. A Brice Vounang basket gave USD a 36-35 lead with :52 seconds to go, but Deron Perkins scored with :30 left for the 37-36 intermission advantage. Perkins had 14 points at the half, while DeRogatis (18) and Gay (10) also reached double digits.
In the 2nd half, Santa Clara edged ahead by six at 44-38 on an Ethan Rohde trey, but a basket by DeRogatis, a trey from Gay and basket by Nick Lewis gave USD a 45-44 lead with 16:40 to go. From there USD would not relinquish the lead and eventually went up by as many as 14 (76-62) with 3:06 to go. The 14 points would also be the final margin of victory at 87-73.
For the game DeRogatis finished 8 made threes, matching USD's school record set by Mark Manor during the 1986-87 season. USD's 13 made threes for the game on 25 attempts was one shy of the school record. Gay's 31 points/10 rebounds was his second straight double-double, while DeRogatis blew past his career high of 15 points. Brice Vounang was also solid with his sixth double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds - his second straight game with 15 boards.
Santa Clara received a solid game from guard Deron Perkins who finished with 23 points and 10 steals. The Broncos also received double digit scoring from Kyle Bailey (17 points) and forward Travis Niesen (15). USD outrebounded the Broncos 43-32. This is the 8th straight season USD and Santa Clara have split their regular-season series.
USD has also clinched a first round bye in the upcoming WCC Tournament due to USF's 81-77 triple overtime loss to Saint Mary's this evening. USD closes out its regular-season on Saturday with a 4 pm game against Saint Mary's. A Torero win, coupled with a USF victory over Santa Clara would move the Toreros into sole possession of third place and the No. 3 seed for the WCC Championships.
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