Toreros host Santa Clara Saturday at 1pm

USDTOREROSDOTCOM Chris Manresa leads team in rebounding
Chris Manresa leads team in rebounding

Jan. 25, 2013

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GAME #22: The USD Toreros (11-10; 4-2 WCC) return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion for a rare 1:00 p.m. game on Saturday as they play host to the Santa Clara Broncos (15-6; 3-3 WCC). USD will be looking to snap a 2-game skid while the SCU Broncos come to town with a 3-game win streak.

The Last Meeting
Santa Clara65
San Diego70
February 4, 2012
San Diego, CA
Toreros hold on for 70-65 win over Broncos
(San Diego, CA) - Behind a team-high 19 points from guard Johnny Dee the Toreros held on for a 70-65 league win over the visiting Santa Clara Broncos Saturday before 2,905 fans at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. San Diego (9-14, 4-7 WCC) saw its 19 point lead early in the 2nd half disappear but made enough plays in the closing minutes to notch their 9th win of the season and 4th in its last eight outings. Dee's backcourt mate, Christopher Anderson, also reached double figures with 13 points, with 5 coming in the final 2:08 of the game. Santa Clara (8-15; 0-10 WCC) was paced by guards Evan Roquemore (21 points) and Denzel Johnson (20 points).

SERIES RECORD: This is the 73rd meeting between USD and Santa Clara with the Broncos owning a 39-33 advantage... USD has won two straight in the series, sweeping both games last season - at SCU on Jan. 12th (75-62; Johnny Dee with 26 points) and at the JCP on Feb. 4th (70-65; Johnny Dee with 19 points & Christopher Anderson with 13 points). Santa Clara swept both games two seasons ago.

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 airs on The Mighty 1090. The game will also be on Time Warner Cable Sportsnet (Ari Wolfe and Brad Holland) as part of the WCC Game of the Week. The WCC Preview show airs at 12:30 p.m. with a Johnny Dee feature scheduled.

A LOOK AHEAD: The Toreros are off until February 2nd when they return to the JCP to host the Gonzaga Bulldogs in an 8pm contest (ESPNU). That will be the first of four games in a tough 8-day stretch followed by LMU (Feb. 4), BYU (Feb. 7) and Saint Mary's (Feb. 9).

WCC STANDINGS (thru Jan. 25th): Gonzaga (5-0 WCC, 18-2), Saint Mary's (5-1, 16-4), BYU (5-2, 15-6), San Diego (4-2, 11-10), Santa Clara (3-3, 15-6), Pepperdine (2-4, 10-9), San Francisco (2-5, 9-11) Portland (1-5, 8-13), Loyola Marymount (1-6, 8-12). OTHER WCC GAMES FOR SATURDAY: Pepperdine at Saint Mary's (3pm), USF at Gonzaga (5pm), BYU at Portland (7:30 pm).

COACH GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the Santa Clara contest with a 11-10 mark and 4-2 WCC record... 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.

SAINT MARY'S RUNS PAST TOREROS 81-48: McKeon Pavilion on the campus of Saint Mary's College is a tough environment to play in and visitors over the past two seasons have gone a combined 1-27 there, but the USD Toreros didn't help their cause by connecting on just 15 baskets while turning the ball over 15 times on Thursday... After both teams got off to slow starts in the first 7 minutes of the game, the host Gaels (16-4; 5-1 WCC) were able to get their offense untracked and eventually raced to a 42-19 halftime advantage... The second half was no better for the Toreros as the Gaels held a 30-point plus lead the majority of the second half... No Torero reached double-digit scoring with a trio finishing with 8 points (Johnny Dee, Mike Davis and Cameron Miles)... Saint Mary's was paced by Beau Levesque off the bench with 20 points, while starters Brad Waldow (15 points) and Mitchell Young (10 points) also turned in solid performances... Senior guard Matthew Dellavedova just missed a double-double with 9 points and 11 assists... SMC shot 54.7% from the field and totaled 38 rebounds; USD managed just 36.6% shooting and 19 boards.

TORERO TIDBITS: The USD Toreros look to snap their current 2-game skid when they host the Santa Clara Broncos Saturday... Through 21 games this season, sophomore guard Johnny Dee is the lone Torero averaging in double-digit scoring with his 14.7 points per game average... He has converted 48 three-pointers out of his 104 made baskets, and also is one of the nation's best at the free throw line where he has made 52-of-57 attempts (91.2%)... Two Toreros are just below the double-digit scoring mark - Ken Rancifer (9.6 ppg) and Christopher Anderson (9.5 ppg)... Anderson also ranks 15th in the nation in steals (2.45) and 34th in assists (5.6)... Among WCC teams, the Toreros rank 1st in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.303)... Toreros that rank in the top-10 for WCC stats include: Dee - 1st in FT% , 8th in 3-point percent (.403) and 10th in scoring; Anderson - 2nd in steals, 4th in assists, and 6th in assist/turnover ratio (+2.0), Rancifer - 8th in 3-point percent (.403), and Jito Kok - tied for 1st in blocked shots (1.7)... With 35 blocks, Kok needs 4 more to set a new USD freshman mark of 39... Scott Thompson (`83-84) holds the current mark of 38. HOME SWEET HOME: USD is 8-2 at home this season and have won their last six contests played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Toreros are averaging 72.6 ppg while limiting opponents to 63.6 ppg (+9.0 scoring margin)... Johnny Dee averages 16.3 ppg at the JCP, and is followed by Chris Anderson (10.7 ppg)... Ken Rancifer (9.5 ppg) and Chris Manresa (9.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) just miss the double digit scoring mark.

SCOUTING THE SANTA CLARA BRONCOS: The Santa Clara Broncos (15-6; 3-3 WCC) come to town riding a 3-game winning streak following Wednesday's 66-36 home nonconference win over Cal State Bakersfield (66-36)... Forward Mark Trasolini paced the Broncos with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Roadrunners... Bronco forward Raymond Cowels chipped in with 11 points... Prior to that SCU earned back-to-back West Coast Conference road wins over San Francisco (85-54; Jan. 17th) and Pepperdine (83-76; Jan. 19th)... For the season the Broncos are being paced by guard Kevin Foster (19.6 ppg), Trasolini (15.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg), guard Evan Roquemore (12.9 ppg) and Cowels (10.1 ppg)... As a team the Broncos average 77.5 points and 36.2 rebounds while limiting opponents to 66.8 ppg and 33.1 rpg... SCU opened up league play with a 74-69 home win over USF, followed by three straight losses to Gonzaga (81-74), LMU (84-80) and BYU (82-64)... Foster leads the team in WCC scoring at 23.2 ppg... Head Coach Kerry Keating is in his 6th season with the Broncos.