Dec. 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Toreros (9-6, 0-2) dropped a heartbreaker 65-62 on the road to Loyola Marymount (10-4, 2-0) Monday evening. Down by three, senior Dennis Kramer had a chance to tie the game with seven seconds left, but his three-pointer just missed.
"We really battled and competed, but down the stretch we had too many silly turnovers," Head Coach Bill Grier said after the game. "To me, that was the difference in the game."
Fueled by a 10-0 run late in the second half, the Lions opened up a 61-54 lead with just over three minutes remaining. The Toreros rallied to close the deficit to one with 44 seconds remaining, but that would be as close as they would get.
Johnny Dee led all scorers with 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting. His 23rd point gave him 1,213 career points vaulting him into 11th place all-time in USD history. Christopher Anderson dished out 12 assists and Duda Sanadze, who came off the bench for the first time this season, chipped in 18 points.
"I'm proud of Duda," Grier said. "It's hard to be a starter for 14 games and then come off the bench, but he didn't pout about it and gave us a huge lift."
Dee and Dennis Kramer combined to score the first 11 points to give the Toreros an early 11-4 lead. However, the Lions, who knocked off BYU on Saturday, put together an 8-0 run to give the game its first tie at 18-18 with 7:12 remaining.
Fueled by a combined 22 first half points from Dee and Sanadze, the Toreros took a 32-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Toreros held on to their lead until the 8:51 mark when the Lions' Ben Dickinson knocked down a jumper to give LMU a 49-48 edge. Shortly after the Lions would go on their decisive 10-0 run and the Toreros never saw the lead again.
LMU had four players score in double figures and were led by Evan Payne's 16 points. Anthony Ireland chipped in ten points and had eight assists.
The Toreros shot 46.2 percent from the field (24-of-52), 47.6 percent from three-point range on 11-21 shooting, and outrebounded the Lions 32-28. However, USD committed 14 turnovers with eight of them coming in the second half.
The Toreros will return to action on Saturday when they travel to BYU for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off. The Cougars and Toreros will both be looking for their first conference win.