First place Toreros play at BYU on Saturday

USDTOREROSDOTCOM First place Toreros at BYU on Saturday
First place Toreros at BYU on Saturday

Jan. 17, 2013

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GAME #20: The USD Toreros (11-8; 4-0 WCC), winners of five straight games and atop the WCC Standings, head to Provo, Utah to face the BYU Cougars (14-5; 4-1 WCC) this Saturday, January 19th. Game time is 6:05 p.m. (PST) at the Marriott Center (20,900 capacity).

The Last Meeting
San Diego68
BYU (WCC Quarterfinals)73
March 2, 2012
The Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Toreros fall to BYU 73-68 in WCC Quarterfinals
The USD Toreros (13-18) gave the No. 3 seed BYU Cougars everything they could handle but came up a little short in falling 73-68 in tonight's last WCC Quarterfinal. Chris Anderson paced the Toreros with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals in the loss. Dennis Kramer chipped in with 17 points and 9 rebounds, and forward Chris Manresa finished strong with 13 points and 6 boards. The Toreros matched the Cougars in the rebounding department, 30-30, but BYU got a big lift off the bench from Noah Hartsock who was returning from a recent knee injury and tallied a game-high 19 points.

SERIES RECORD: This is the 6th meeting between USD and BYU with the Cougars owning a 5-0 series lead... BYU won all three games last season in the Cougars first year as a WCC member... Last year's first game was played on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31, 2011) in Provo with BYU running away with a 88-52 victory (Ken Rancifer, 12 points)... In the return contest at the JCP on January 16th, BYU won 82-63 (Johnny Dee, 12 points)... USD's best effort against BYU came in the WCC Tournament quarterfinal match-up on March 2nd, with the Cougars holding on for a 73-68 victory (Chris Anderson, 14 points-6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals; Dennis Kramer, 17 points, 9 rebounds)... With 10 seconds to go USD was down just three points and Kramer's 3-point attempt from the top of the key glanced off the rim... BYU closed out the game with two free throws by Noah Hartsock.

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. Saturday's game airs on The Mighty 1090. The game will also be on BYUtv (Dave McCann, Steve Cleveland, and Robbie Bullough).

A LOOK AHEAD: The Toreros continue their road swing with a game at Saint Mary's (14-4; 3-1 WCC) on Thursday, Jan. 24th. Game time is 8:00 p.m. at McKeon Pavilion (3,500 capacity) and will be televised on CSN-California.

WCC STANDINGS (thru Jan. 16th): San Diego (4-0, 11-8), Gonzaga (3-0 WCC, 16-1), BYU (4-1, 14-5), Saint Mary's (3-1, 14-4), Portland (1-2, 8-10), Santa Clara (1-3, 12-6), Pepperdine (1-3, 9-8), Loyola Marymount (1-4, 8-10), San Francisco (0-4, 7-10). Upcoming WCC Games: (Jan. 17) Gonzaga at Portland, Santa Clara at USF. (Jan. 19) USD at BYU, LMU at USF, Santa Clara at Pepperdine, SMC at Portland, Gonzaga at Butler.

COACH GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the BYU contest with a 11-8 mark and his team riding a 5-game win streak... 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 have won five straight games and are off to a 4-0 WCC mark for the first time since Coach Bill Grier's second season (2008-09)... Since jumping to the NCAA Division I ranks and the West Coast Conference in 1979-80, no Torero team has started league play with a 5-0 mark (USD's 13-1 squad from 1986-87 began WCC play with a 1-1 mark)... Johnny Dee continues to lead the Toreros in scoring at 15.0 ppg... He has led the team in scoring in each of the past three games, including two big second half efforts against Pepperdine (15 of 17 points) and LMU (all 15 points in 2nd half)... Over USD's current five game winning streak, Dee is averaging 16.2 ppg and has converted 23-of-24 free throws (95.8%)... Backcourt teammate Christopher Anderson is the other Torero averaging in double-digits during the winning streak with his 10.0 ppg average to go with 17 assists (4.25 apg), 16 rebounds (4.0 rpg) and 10 steals (2.50)... Over the past five games the Toreros are averaging 67.4 points and 33.6 rebounds, while limiting its opponents to 59.8 points and 32.0 rebounds... Senior guard Cameron Miles has been a big spark of late averaging 9.8 ppg during the win streak... Sophomore wing John Sinis scored a season-high 12 points in recent win over LMU as he connected on 4-of-6 three-point attempts.

TOREROS ON THE ROAD: USD won back-to-back WCC road games with wins over USF (70-66) and Pepperdine (62-50)... The Toreros are 3-4 in "true" away games, and 3-6 overall in games played away from the Jenny Craig Pavilion... In its seven "true" away games, Johnny Dee is the lone Torero to average in double figures at 13.1 ppg... Including its two neutral site contests at the Vegas Holiday Hoops event, Dee (13.6 ppg) is joined by Ken Rancifer (10.2 ppg) in the double-digit scoring column... USD's third road win was at Southern Utah (67-53) back on Dec. 1st.

SCOUTING THE BYU COUGARS: The BYU Cougars opened up WCC play with a 4-0 mark before dropping a 70-69 heartbreaker to Saint Mary's College on January 16th... BYU's Tyler Haws hit a jumper in the lane with 2.5 seconds remaining for a 69-67 lead but SMC's Matthew Dellavedova bombed in a desperation three just across the halfcourt line for the game winner... Haws finished with a game-high 23 points for the Cougars... BYU opened up WCC play with wins over LMU (92-51), USF (80-76), Pepperdine (76-51) and Santa Clara (82-64)... The loss to Saint Mary's snapped a six-game winning streak... For overall games, Haws leads the team and WCC in scoring at 21.4 points per game... He is followed by forward Brandon Davies (18.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg)... Through five WCC games the Cougars are being paced by Haws (22.6 ppg), guard Matt Carlino (17.0 ppg) and Davies (12.4 ppg)... Haws has scored 20-plus points in six straight games, with Carlino scoring in double-digits in five straight... Expected to join Haws, Davies and Carlino in the starting lineup is guard Brock Zylstra (7.2 ppg) and forward Josh Sharp (4.7 ppg)... For the season BYU is averaging 78.5 points while limiting opponents to 67.3... Head Coach Dave Rose is in 8th year at BYU (199-59).