Dec. 5, 2013
(San Diego, Calif.) - The USD Toreros put forth a great effort against the 24th-ranked Aztecs in the 2013 version of the City Championship, but came up just short in falling 65-64 before a sellout crowd at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Despite a career-high 22 points from Christopher Anderson and 21 points from Johnny Dee, it wasn't enough. Sophomore guard Duda Sanadze (12 points) made a brilliant defensive effort at the end of the game to allow the Toreros a game-winning shot, but his three-pointer at the buzzer was just off the mark.
"I thought it was a really hard fought game by both teams," said head coach Bill Grier. "Two really good defensive teams that went at it... a very physical game. We fought back when we got down, and this team has had the ability to do that all season. And we made a really good play to get the ball back at the end, and it was a good look by Duda (Sanadze), and I thought it was in. That's as good a look as we're going to get with no timeouts left and just a few seconds to go. I'm proud of our effort and we have nothing to hang our heads about. It's just disappointing we didn't do a better job on the glass, but that is easier said than done against this team. That was the difference in the game."
The USD defense held the Aztecs to 36.2 percent shooting from the field (21-58), but the difference in the game was in rebounding and second chance points. SDSU outrebounded USD 44-29 with 19 of their caroms coming on the offensive end of the floor. The Aztecs also outscored the Toreros 29-2 in second chance points. SDSU was paced by Xavier Thames (17 points) and Josh Davis (10 points, 15 rebounds).
The game was tied 32-all at the intermission break, but SDSU would eventually pull away to a 57-47 advantage with 6:34 to go in the game. USD rallied back over the next five minutes to get within one at 61-60 on a three-pointer from Dee. Dee scored 8 points during that run and Christopher Anderson helped in the cause by making four free throws.
Over the final twelve seconds of the game, Xavier Thames made four free throws, and Duda Sanadze and Christopher Anderson each converted both of their charity attempts. A hustle play by Sanadze that tied up an Aztec with a jump ball gave USD one more chance with about three seconds left in the game. USD got the ball to Sanadze over on the right wing but his three-point attempt was just off the mark at the buzzer.
The Toreros (7-3) are off this weekend and will return to the JCP next Tuesday with a 7:00 p.m. contest against NAIA Independent Pacifica College.
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