SAN DIEGO - Isaiah Pineiro scored a team-high 19 points but it was not enough to overcome a poor shooting night for the Toreros which dropped its first game of the year, falling to San Diego State, 66-57, Thursday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
The Toreros (5-1) fell behind early and weathered multiple scoring droughts in both halves to remain within striking distance of the Aztecs (6-2). USD was ultimately undone by going 23 of 61 (37.7 percent) from the floor, including a 7 of 30 (23.3 percent) mark from behind the three-point line.
"Our guys battled," said head coach Lamont Smith. "The disappointing thing is that the guys in the locker room didn't feel they played their very best. That's a credit to San Diego State. They did some things to disrupt us on the offensive end."
The Toreros defense played well but did not have an answer for SDSU's Devin Watson who posted a game-high 26 points and went 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
USD got off to a quality start in the first half, hitting three of its first six shots to open the contest. However, the Toreros missed their next 14 shots during an 8:31 span and faced a 25-11 deficit with 5:33 to play in the half.
"We have to be disciplined and detailed," said Smith. "That's what makes our offense go and we were a bit undisciplined and that's why we didn't have the flow that we've typically had this season."
A layup by Wright ignited an 11-5 run for the Toreros to finish the half and reduce the deficit to 30-22.
The Toreros opened the second half with a 10-6 run, capped by a three-pointer by Wright that cut the Aztecs lead to 36-32.
That's the closest USD would get, as the Aztecs took control of the half and the Toreros shooting woes continued. SDSU stretched its lead to 13 with 7:21 to play.
USD continued to battle and got its deficit back down to single digits with less than a minute to play but could not hit the shots needed to complete the comeback.
"We're going to continue to get better," said Smith. "We're a young basketball team in terms of playing in a game like this early on in the season and we'll keep getting better."
The Toreros will look to bounce back Saturday at 7 p.m. (PT) when they travel to UC Santa Barbara.
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USD Athletes Sing "Santa's Coming to Town"
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Men's and women's cross country host the USD Invite: the only home race for the Toreros
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2017 Football Season Preview
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