Nov. 8, 2013
(San Diego, Calif.) - The USD Toreros opened up the 2013-14 campaign with a hard fought 74-70 victory over a very good South Dakota State team that has been to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. Junior guard Johnny Dee
led all scorers with 27 points and Duda Sanadze
chipped in with 14 points. Junior guard Christopher Anderson
, despite having his struggles at the free throw line, came up huge down the stretch with his defensive play to help the Toreros overcome a 6-point deficit (67-61) with 4:36 to go.
Anderson, who finished the game with 11 points and 8 assists, canned a jumper and converted a three-pointer to get USD within one at 67-66 with 3:24 left. South Dakota State went back up 70-66 with 2:12 to go, but Johnny Dee hit his sixth trey of the game to make it 70-69. Anderson stole the ball from Anders Broman and fed Duda Sanadze for a bucket to put USD up 71-70 with 1:00 to go. Following another Anderson steal, USD closed out the game with a free throw from Dennis Kramer with eight seconds to make it 72-70, and two free throws by Sandaze with under one tick left sealed the win.
USD led 41-24 at the break as Dee poured in 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting (4-6 in threes). USD would extend their lead to as many as 9 points (45-36) on a lay-in by Sanadze before the Jackrabbits rallied. SDSU was paced by guard Jake Bittle off the bench with 18 points and 6 rebounds. He was followed by forward Marcus Heemstra (16 points), guard Brayden Carlson (12 points) and forward Cody Larson (11 points).
San Diego also received solid play from senior forward Dennis Kramer (9 points, 10 rebounds) and Jito Kok (5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocked shots). For the game the Toreros shot 47.3% from the field (26-55) and held a slim edge in rebounding, 37-36.
In the first game of the USD Classic, Loyola Marymount held off Grand Canyon University 78-75. LMU will face South Dakota State tomorrow in the 3:30 p.m. contest, while the Toreros will take on Grand Canyon in the 6:00 p.m. late game.