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Toreros host No. 13 Saint Mary's on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 2, 2018

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The Last Meeting
San Diego63
Saint Mary's70
January 6, 2018
Moraga, Calif.
Toreros battle Gaels tough but drop 70-63 decision
The USD Toreros battled the Gaels from start to finish but the host Gaels prevailed with a 70-63 victory to improve to 15-2 and 4-0 in league play. San Diego (12-4, 3-1) was paced by Isaiah Wright (18 points), Isaiah Pineiro (17 points), and Juwan Gray (16 points).

GAME #24: The San Diego Toreros (15-8, 6-5 WCC), under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, return to the JCP this Saturday, Feb. 3, to take on the No. 13/14 Saint Mary's Gaels (22-2, 11-0) in a 6:00 p.m. contest.

SERIES RECORD: This is the 86th meeting between USD and Saint Mary's College with the Gaels owning a 49-36 edge... SMC has won eight straight in the series... In the most recent match-up back on January 6 in Moraga, the Gaels came away with a 70-63 win... USD, which was within two points with just over three minutes to go, was paced by Isaiah Wright (18 points), Isaiah Pineiro (17 points) and Juwan Gray (16 points, 6-6 FG's, 4-4 in threes)... SMC was paced by Emmett Naar (24 points) and Jock Landale (22).

TICKETS: USD single game, 3-game mini-packs, group tickets and season tickets for games at the Jenny Craig Pavilion are available by contacting the USD Athletics ticket office (619-260-7550) or by visiting www.usdtoreros.com. Single game tickets for the Feb. 22 home game with Gonzaga are now also on sale.

RADIO/TV/STREAM: All USD games are broadcast on either The Mighty 1090AM or ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin (4th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show airs 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Cronin's call on Saturday will air on The Mighty 1090AM. The game will be televised by Spectrum SportsNet (Beto Duran and Brad Holland) and also air on NBC Sports California, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain and TheW.tv (out-of-market).

WCC STANDINGS (as of Feb. 2): Saint Mary's College (11-0 WCC, 22-2), Gonzaga (10-1, 20-4), BYU (7-4, 18-6), San Diego (6-5, 15-8), Pacific (6-5, 11-13), Santa Clara (5-6, 8-15), San Francisco (4-7, 12-12), Portland (3-8, 9-15), LMU (2-9, 7-15), Pepperdine (1-10, 4-19).

WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Toreros were picked to place sixth in the 2017-18 Preseason WCC Coaches Poll. Saint Mary's is first with 81 points (9 first place votes). Rounding out the top-5 is Gonzaga (73 points, 1), BYU (62), USF (59) and Santa Clara (44). Following San Diego (37) is Pepperdine (30), Pacific (24), Portland (21) and LMU (19).

COACH SMITH (3RD YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) is in his third year at the helm of the Torero basketball program. This year's team was the first Torero team to reach eight wins in its first 10 contests, and had extended their best start to 12 wins in the first 15 games (since USD joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80). The Toreros enter the SMC game with a 15-8 record, and the 15 wins is a new personal best for Smith. Prior to USD, Smith was at New Mexico where he was the Associate Head Coach. Prior to UNM he spent time at Washington, Arizona State, Santa Clara, Saint Mary's and Saint Louis. Smith was a member of the USD men's basketball team from 1994-99. He started all 27 games his senior year in 1998-99 for the 18-9 Toreros. He was named the Toreros' Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999 and served as the team captain from 1997-99. Smith earned a BA degree in Communications in 1998. Lamont and his wife Kimberly have two daughters -- Payton and Olivia.

PINEIRO EARNS WCC PLAYER OF WEEK HONOR: Junior Isaiah Pineiro led the Toreros to two straight wins by averaging 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in victories over Santa Clara (66-58) and LMU (89-82)... He totaled new season-highs in points (29) and assists (9) against LMU... He converted 14-of-18 shots (.778) over the two games.

A LOOK AHEAD: USD hits the road for back-to-back road games at Pepperdine (Thur., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.) and Santa Clara (Sat., Feb. 10, 1:00 p.m.).

TORERO TIDBITS:
* The Toreros continue to be one of the top defensive teams in the country as they rank #2 in 3-point FG% defense (.279), #12 in FG% defense (.394) and #25 in scoring defense (64.7)... USD has also protected the rim and is tied for first in the WCC for blocked shots per game (4.3).

* With his 21 point effort at Gonzaga, junior guard Olin Carter now has 957 career points (83 games/80 starts; 11.5 ppg career average)... He needs just 43 more points to become the program's 25th player to join the 1,000 point club... His 196 career made threes ranks 3rd all-time and his 557 three-point attempts ranks second... Johnny Dee owns both career marks (333-831).

* Among WCC players, Isaiah Wright is #2 in assists (5.4), #5 in steals (1.3), #7 in scoring (14.5) and #14 in rebounding (5.4); Isaiah Pineiro is #6 in scoring (15.8), #9 in blocked shots (0.9) and FT% (.811), #11 in rebounding (6.0) and #13 in FG% (.498); Olin Carter III is #3 in 3-pointers made per game (2.6) and #18 in scoring (12.2); Tyler Williams is #2 in FT% (.889), Yauhen Massalski is #4 in blocked shots per game (1.3) and Juwan Gray is #8 in blocked shots per game (1.0).

* USD is now 9-3 at home and has won 5-of-6... The Toreros are averaging 71.0 ppg while limiting its opponents to 61.2 ppg (+9.8 scoring margin)... Three Toreros average in double-digits at the JCP - Isaiah Pineiro (15.3), Isaiah Wright (12.3), and Olin Carter (11.7)... USD has made 100 three-pointers at home while limiting opponents to just 54 (4.5 per game).

* The Toreros battled No. 14 Gonzaga tough in Spokane (Feb. 1) but came away with a 69-59 loss... Olin Carter III scored a game-high 21 points (5-11 in threes) but the Toreros as a team struggled from the field (20-61, .328)... USD's defense held GU to 18 points below their average but allowed the Zags to score 24 points on second chance attempts and 38 points in the paint... Jonathan Williams paced GU with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

* Behind 29 points and 9 assists from Isaiah Pineiro the Toreros earned an 89-82 road win at LMU (Jan. 27)... Four other Toreros reached double-digit scoring led by Isaiah Wright (15) and Tyler Williams (11).

SCOUTING THE SAINT MARY'S GAELS:, The first place #13 SMC Gaels (22-2, 11-0) come to town riding a program-best 17-game winning streak... On Thursday they handed USF a 79-43 setback with center Jock Landale leading the way with 26 points and 12 rebounds (15th double-doubles on season)... Landale leads all WCC players in scoring (22.3 ppg) and rebounding (10.5 ppg) and ranks second in field goal percentage (.656)... Landale is joined in double-digit scoring by teammates Calvin Hermanson (11.9 ppg) and Emmett Naar (10.8 ppg)... Naar leads the WCC in assists (9.1; #2 NCAA)... As a team the Gaels average 79.5 ppg and limit opponents to 64.3 ppg (+15.2 scoring margin)... Head Coach Randy Bennett is in his 17th year (384-158; 181-70 WCC) at the helm of the Gaels program.

 

 

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