Dec. 22, 2012
(Las Vegas, NV) - The USD Toreros (6-7) dropped a hard-fought 86-79 contest to the Oregon State Beavers (9-2) in the first game of the Vegas Holiday Hoop event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. USD overcame a 15-point halftime deficit (44-29) to rally within two points at 74-72 with 4 minutes to go, but were unable to get over the hump in the final couple of minutes. Senior center Chris Manresa put together his best game of the season with a team-high 18 points and 8 rebounds. The Toreros also received double-digit efforts from Ken Rancifer (14 points), Johnny Dee (12 points) and Chris Anderson (11 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists).
Oregon State gave USD fits in the first half with their size, length and athleticism. In the first 20 minutes the Beavers shot 58.6% from the field (17-29), 4-for-5 from three-point and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Forward Eric Moreland and guard Roberto Nelson each had 12 points at the break, while limiting the Toreros to 37.5% from the field. Moreland would finish the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Neslon would chip in with 20 points and 4 assists.
In the second half USD played possibly their best half of the season as they received key baskets and play from a variety of players. John Sinis hit a key three-pointer to pull USD to within 6 points at 54-48 with 13:15 to go; Chris Anderson connected on a big three-pointer with 6 minutes left to get the Toreros within 3 points at 67-64; and Sinis converted two free throws with 3:59 to go to pull USD to within two points at 74-72.
From there Oregon State answered with some key baskets and rebounds down the stretch. The Beavers went on a 7-0 run to take an 81-74 lead before Johnny Dee connected on a jumper with 1:16 to go. OSU's Moreland got free for a dunk, but Dee answered with a three-pointer and Manresa added a dunk to make it 83-79 with 34 seconds left. Oregon State closed with three free throws to escape with the win. John Sinis gave USD a boost with 9 points and 5 rebounds off the bench before fouling out late in the game.
USD returns Sunday for a 3:30 p.m. contest with James Madison. The JMU Dukes were playing San Jose State in the 2nd game this evening.