Toreros hold off Santa Clara 61-59

Roberto Mafra

March 5, 2010

Final Stats

(Las Vegas, NV) - The USD Toreros (11-20), seeded No. 6 in the 2010 WCC Basketball Championships, dealt No. 7 seed Santa Clara (11-21) a 61-59 defeat to advance to Saturday's second quarterfinal game to be played at approximately 8:30 pm against No. 3 Portland. USD was paced by senior center Roberto Mafra who set a new USD school record with 7 blocked shots to go with 14 points and 12 rebounds. USD's other two seniors, Chris Lewis (12 points) and Brandon Johnson (11 points) also reached double digits.

It was a typical USD-SCU grinder type game with 11 ties throughout and 10 lead changes. Both teams held leads of at least 5 points during the contest. The final tie came at 53-all with 3:40 to go in the game on a layup by Mafra. That would be USD's last basket of the game but they would go on to make 7 of their final 10 free throws to close out the game. Brandon Johnson's charity with 18 ticks left gave USD a 60-57 lead, by SCU's Robert Smith scored on a layup 8 seconds later to make it 60-59. The Broncos fouled Johnson again and he cashed in on 1 of 2 for the 61-59 lead with 9 seconds to go. Santa Clara `s Smith missed a shot in close with 2 seconds to go and the ball went off a Torero with 4/10 of a second to go. The Broncos pass in was tipped away by Chris Lewis.

For the game USD finished with 12 turnovers, but only tallied one in the final 20 minutes of action. USD shot 42.9% for the game and 70.4% from the free throw line. Santa Clara, which shot 41.3%, was led by Robert Smith with 16 points.