March 18, 2014
(San Diego, Calif.) - The USD men's basketball team, hosting their first-ever postseason game on campus, took advantage by scoring a season-high 87 points in earning a first round win in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament over the visiting Portland State Vikings (17-15). The Toreros will now await word from the CIT committee on their next opponent, date and site. Junior guard Johnny Dee scored a game-high 22 points to lead all five Torero starters in double-digit scoring. USD also received new career-highs from sophomore center Jito Kok (14 points) and freshman wing Brett Bailey (13 points). Senior forward Dennis Kramer chipped in with 12 points and a game-high 9 rebounds, and junior point guard Christopher Anderson notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists. Now with 200 assists this season he set a new USD single season record passing by current Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale (195; 1995-96).
"I'm excited for our group for them to get this postseason opportunity, and more importantly a win," said head coach Bill Grier. "From the time they heard they were playing in the postseason, they've worked hard in practice all week and had a great approach. We treated this last week like a spring training, and we had a little rust early on tonight, but we finally got untracked and moved the ball well. We had 31 baskets with 24 assists, and to do this without our second leading scorer (Duda Sanadze), it's a credit to our team. It was great for our team that Brett Bailey and Jito Kok stepped up their games to help us to a win."
Portland State, out of the Big Sky Conference, was paced by guard DaShaun Wiggins off the bench with 14 points. He was followed by guard Tim Dougas (10 points) and guard Marcus Hall (8 points). In the first half a Kyle Richardson basket with 3:13 to go pulled the Vikings to within two points at 27-25. From there the Toreros closed out the half with a 11-4 run with Brett Bailey leading the run with 5 points. Bailey had a new career-high by halftime with his 9 points.
In the second half the Toreros immediately jumped out to a 12 point lead on a free throw from Kok and dunk from Dennis Kramer, but the Vikings would battle back to within 39-35 (17:41 to go) and to within 46-41 (14:55). From there Jito Kok made a basket, Dee added a three and Kok added two free throws to put the Toreros ahead 53-41. The Toreros (17-16) would hold their double-digit lead the rest of the way to close out their first postseason victory since Coach Grier's 2008 club (upset over UCONN in NCAA 1st round).
For the game the Toreros shot 54.4% from the field (31-57), 56.3% from beyond the arc (9-16) and held a slim advantage in the rebounding department, 38-33. Jito Kok and Dennis Kramer each contributed 3 blocked shots with Kok improving his single season record to 59.