Nov. 30, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Despite 25 points from Johnny Dee and 18 points from Duda Sanadze, the University of San Diego men's basketball team (7-2) just could not hold on, as New Mexico (5-1) rallied past the Toreros to claim a 73-66 win at The Pit Saturday afternoon.
San Diego's offense was paced by Dee with his 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field, including hitting four three-pointers. Sanadze scored his 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field, including hitting four three-pointers. Jito Kok chipped in with nine points, while Christopher Anderson had seven points and dished out 12 assists. As a team, USD shot 40.3% from the field, and was outrebounded 40-26.
"I am really proud of our team today. Just the way that we have gone on back-to-back East Coast trips, and they never complain," stated head coach Bill Grier. "I mean to play three games in four days, I am just proud how we competed today. I told them if you play that hard, and battle that hard, I have no complaints. I think this shows a lot of toughness about our team."
In the first half, San Diego managed to lead for a majority of the frame. A Dee 3-pointer got things started for USD, as they raced out to a 7-2 lead over the first 3:48 of action. New Mexico would respond with a 6-2 run of their own to pull back to within one at 9-8 with 13:59 to go. however a Sanadze 3-pointer then ignited a 18-7 Torero run, that was capped off by a Dee 3-pointer, to give USD its biggest lead of the half at 27-15 with 6:23 to go.
New Mexico then got hot from the field and managed to string together a 9-0 run over the next three minutes of action to pull back to within three at 27-24 on a pair of Alex Kirk free throw's to move the score to 27-24 with 3:26 to go. The Lobos then closed out the frame on a 8-3 run to take a two-point lead into the locker room, up 32-30.
In the second half, New Mexico's lead would be short lived, as a Sanadze 3-pointer jump started the Torero offense, and USD went on a 9-1 run over a span of three minutes to give USD a 6-point edge with 14:37 to go. The Toreros would then manage to remain in front over the course of the next four minutes, until a Cameron Bairstow jumper gave the Lobos back the lead at 49-48 with 9:18 to play.
After the Lobos built up a six-point lead with 7:19 to go, a Sanadze 3-pointer sparked an 8-2 Torero run to tie the score up at 56-all with 4:41 to go. USD would tie the score up one more time at 61-all on a Dee 3-pointer with 2:07 to go, however, New Mexico managed to then regain the lead for good on a pair of Kendall Williams free throws as they held on to claim a 73-66 win over USD.
The Toreros will return to action on Thursday, when they welcome cross-town rival San Diego State University to the Jenny Craig Pavilion for an 8 p.m. tip-off.