Jan. 2, 2013
GAME #16: The USD Toreros (7-8) open up the New Year and their West Coast Conference slate with a Thursday evening contest against the Portland Pilots (7-8). Game time is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100 capacity).
SERIES RECORD: This is the 71st meeting between USD and Portland with the Toreros owning a 43-27 series edge... USD has won the last two, including a 78-75 overtime win in the last meeting on Feb. 16, 2012 at the JCP... Dennis Kramer scored 6 of his career-high 22 points in the extra period - he also pulled down 11 rebounds... USD guard Christopher Anderson also totaled a double-double with 10 points and a career-high 13 assists... Portland closed out the regulation period on a 22-5 run to send the contest to overtime. San Diego earned an 82-63 win in Portland last January 19th... The Toreros tied a USD school record for three-pointers made with 14 (19 attempts) and set a new mark in three-point accuracy (73.7%)... Ken Rancifer led five Toreros in double figure scoring with 15 points... Prior to last season's two Torero wins, the Portland Pilots had won five straight in the series.
RADIO-TV: All USD home and away games will be broadcast live on the Mighty 1090 or ESPN 1700 AM with Andy Masur (6th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game shows air 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Thursday's game will air on The Mighty 1090, as well as be televised on Fox Sports San Diego with Mike Pomeranz (play-by-play), Jud Buechler (color analyst) and Cheryl Gorman (sideline reporter). The game will also be televised in the Pacific Northwest on CSN Northwest.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Toreros are off this coming weekend, then play back-to-back WCC road games at San Francisco (Jan. 10th, 7pm) and Pepperdine (Jan. 12th, 7pm).
WCC STANDINGS (thru Jan. 1st): Gonzaga (13-1), Santa Clara (11-3), Saint Mary's (11-3), BYU (10-4), Pepperdine (8-5), LMU (7-6), USF (7-6), San Diego (7-8), Portland (7-8).
COACH GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the Portland contest with a 7-8 mark... Last season's squad finished 13-18, but won 4 of its final 6 regular-season WCC games and then advanced to the quarterfinals of the WCC Championships before falling to BYU by just 5 points... The 2010-11 season was highlighted by a 74-66 home win over #23 Saint Mary's, along with a 67-64 win over Utah... The 2009-10 season was highlighted by wins over Stanford, #25 Oklahoma, Houston and Boise State... His 2008-09 campaign (16-16) was highlighted by road wins over Oregon and Mississippi State... In his rookie year (2007-08) he guided the Toreros to an overall mark of 22-14 and 3rd place finish in the WCC race at 11-3... He guided the Toreros to three wins and the championship title at the WCC Tournament with wins over Pepperdine, Saint Mary's and No. 20 Gonzaga... The Toreros then upset No. 15 UCONN in the NCAA Tournament opener with a 70-69 overtime victory, before falling to Western Kentucky in the second round... His 11 WCC wins were the second most for league wins in a single season in program history... Grier is USD's 11th head coach overall and just the 4th head coach since the Torero program moved to the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80... His 22 wins in 2007-08 were also the most by a Torero coach in his first season at USD. In addition to knocking off Kentucky on the road, 81-72, the Toreros earned three wins over Top-25 teams: #21 Saint Mary's, #20 Gonzaga and #15 Connecticut... Bill and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Giselle & Ashley.
TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros snapped their three-game skid with a 66-63 home win over Morgan State... In scoring a game-high 24 points, sophomore guard Johnny Dee reached 22 or more points for the 12th time in his career (46 games)... He leads this year's team with 11 games in double-digit scoring, including a season-high 27 points (vs. Siena)... Senior forward Chris Manresa posted his second straight double-double with the exact totals of 10 points and career-high 13 rebounds in win over Morgan State... Over his past four games he is averaging 12.2 points and 10.2 rebounds highlighted by his 18 point effort against Oregon State... Senior forward Ken Rancifer saw his string of five straight double-digit outings come to an end with his 4 point effort against Morgan State... Rancifer and Christopher Anderson follow Dee in double-digit scoring outings with 8 each... For the season Dee leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game... He is followed by Manresa (9.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Rancifer (9.9 ppg) and Anderson (9.3 ppg, 6.2 apg, 2.6 steals)... Anderson ranks 2nd in the WCC in both assists and steals.
TOREROS HOLD OFF MORGAN STATE 66-63: The USD Toreros earned a 66-63 home win over Morgan State to close out their nonconference slate with a much needed victory heading into WCC play next week. Johnny Dee scored a game-high 24 points, Chris Manresa notched his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and career-high 13 rebounds, and Cameron Miles gave the team a huge spark with a season-high 12 points. Miles' play was huge with sophomore guard Christopher Anderson sitting out his first collegiate game with the flu. "Going into the game without Chris (Anderson), certainly I was concerned on how our team would respond without him," said head coach Bill Grier. "I can't tell you how proud I am of Cameron Miles. He gave us such great minutes to go with 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists with just one turnover. We really needed that. And him being a senior leader, I think he really relished in the moment." Morgan State (3-7) held the early lead against the Toreros (7-8) until Dee connected on his third basket of the game and second three-pointer for a 10-8 edge at the 13:13 mark. The Bears inched ahead by four at 14-10, but USD rallied back right away and eventually knot it up at 27-all on a free throw by Simi Fajemisin. A Dee trey and Miles old fashion three-point play gave the Toreros a 33-27 intermission lead. In the second half it was again Miles who hit a jumper with 16:39 to go that put the Toreros ahead 41-34. USD would not relinquish their lead the rest of the way, however, twice the Bears pulled to within one point, the last time coming with eight seconds left on a three-pointer by DeWayne Jackson. Morgan State immediately fouled Dee who cashed in on back-to-back charities for the second time in a span of five seconds for the 66-63 lead. Justin Black's long 3-point attempt glanced off the rim at the buzzer. Manresa matched his point and rebound totals (10 points, 13 rebounds) for the second straight game. It marked the 12th time in Dee's two-year career that he reached 22 or more points. Morgan State was paced by Black (16 points) and forward Anthony Hubbard (12 points).
HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros improved to 6-2 in games played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion this season with the win over Morgan State... USD has won four straight games at the JCP where they average 73.4 points per game and 34.0 rebounds, while limiting opponents to 64.5 ppg and 32.9 rpg... Johnny Dee leads USD players in scoring for home games at 17.5 ppg where he converts 50.5% from the floor, 52.5% from beyond the three-point arc (21x40) and 90% from the charity stripe... He is followed in scoring by Ken Rancifer (9.9 ppg), Chris Manresa (9.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Christopher Anderson (9.7 ppg, 6.1 apg).
SCOUTING THE PORTLAND PILOTS: The Portland Pilots (7-8) have won four of their last six contests... In their final nonconference contest of 2012, the Pilots dropped a 56-52 decision to UT-Pan American on December 29th... Junior forward Ryan Nicholas led the way with 15 points and 12 rebounds in the losing effort... Senior guard Derrick Rodgers came off the bench to chip in with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field... Prior to that contest the Pilots had won four of five with wins over Porltand Bible College (95-66), CSU-Bakersfield (69-51), North Florida (74-64) and against Bradley (57-55) in a neutral site event in Las Vegas before Christmas... The lone loss during that stretch was to Colorado State (70-53) on Dec. 22nd, also in Las Vegas... Against Bradley, Nicholas also notched another double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds... Nicholas leads the team in scoring (13.8 ppg), and ranks second in the WCC in rebounding at 9.7 rpg... Besides Nicholas, sophomore guard Kevin Bailey is averaging in double-digit scoring at 11.9 ppg... Through 15 games the Pilots average 63.1 ppg and 36.5 rpg, while giving up 66.0 ppg and 32.2 rpg on average to its opponents... Portland is 0-5 in "true" away games this season... Head Coach Eric Reveno (Stanford, '89) is in his 7th season at the helm of the Portland program... He returns 4 starters and 11 lettermen from last year's squad.
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