Feb. 3, 2013
GAME #24: The USD Toreros (11-12; 4-4 WCC) head up Interstate-405 for a 7:00 p.m. contest at Gersten Pavilion on Monday evening against the Loyola Marymount Lions (8-13; 1-7 WCC).
The Last Meeting
January 16, 2013
San Diego, Calif.
Toreros improve to 4-0 in WCC play
The University of San Diego men's basketball team battled to extend their West Coast Conference undefeated streak, beating the Loyola Marymount Lions 78-70 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Wednesday night before 3,079 fans.
With the win, the Toreros sit atop the WCC standings at 4-0, with top-10 Gonzaga right behind at 3-0.
This is the 86th meeting between USD and LMU with the Lions owning a slim 43-42 advantage... The Toreros have won two straight in the series including this season's 78-70 win at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on January 16th... At the time that win gave USD a 4-0 start to WCC play... Johnny Dee
scored a team-high 15 points, followed by Christopher Anderson
(14 points, 6 assists, 4 steals), John Sinis
(12 points; 4-6 in threes) and Cameron Miles
(11 points)... LMU was paced by Anthony Ireland with 19 points... In last year's game at Gersten Pavilion, USD escaped with a 60-57 road win on February 23rd, 2012... Torero guard Darian Norris
canned four three-pointers over the final 10 minutes of play, and Simi Fajemisin
converted two free throws with 15 seconds left to help seal the win... Ireland's three-point attempt for LMJ at the buzzer rimmed out.
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. Monday's game airs on The Mighty 1090. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Ari Wolfe and Jon Crispin).
A LOOK AHEAD: Following Monday's game with LMU, the Toreros return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion to host the BYU Cougars on Thursday, Feb. 7th (7:05 p.m., BYUtv).
WCC STANDINGS (thru Feb. 3rd): Gonzaga (8-0 WCC, 21-2), Saint Mary's (8-1, 19-4), BYU (8-2, 18-6), Santa Clara (5-4, 17-7), San Diego (4-4, 11-12), San Francisco (3-7, 10-13), Pepperdine (2-7, 10-12), Loyola Marymount (1-7, 8-13), Portland (1-8, 8-16).
COACH GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at USD and enters the LMU game with an 11-12 record and 4-4 WCC 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 head up Interstate 405 in hopes of snapping a 4-game losing skid... This season the Toreros are 3-6 in "true" away games, and including two neutral site contests from the Vegas Holiday Hoops event in late December, are 3-8 overall in games played away from the Jenny Craig Pavilion... Johnny Dee is the lone Torero to average double-digits in away contest (13.2 ppg for games played away from JCP)... With his 21 point performance against Gonzaga, the second-year guard now owns 13 games with 21 or more points (his career-high is 30 points vs. Pepperdine in last year's 1st round game in the WCC Tournament; his season-high this year is 27 points vs. Siena)... Dee also grabbed 7 rebounds against Gonzaga, a new personal-best... Point guard Chrisopher Anderson dished out a season-high 11 assists against the Zags - his career-high is 13 (vs. Portland last season)... With 4 blocks against Gonzaga, center Jito Kok set a new USD single season record for freshmen with 42 blocks (heading into game he was tied with Scott Thompson, '83-84, with 38)... With 10 points against Gonzaga, Dennis Kramer hit double-digits for the first time since Nov. 16th (11 points vs. Tulsa)... USD will be without the services of junior guard Mike Davis (knee) for 3-4 weeks.
NO. 7 GONZAGA HOLDS OFF TOREROS 65-63: The Toreros (11-12, 4-4) lost a hard fought battle 65-63 to the No. 7 Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-2, 8-0) in front of a near sellout crowd at the JCP on Saturday. USD had one of their best games of the season and had a shot to win it at the buzzer but Ken Rancifer's long three was deflected by Elias Harris and fell short. The Toreros fed off the crowd's energy in the first half and held a 26-24 lead with 3:18 remaining in the half. However, the Bulldogs were able to put together a 12-1 run to close the first half to put the Toreros down 36-27 at halftime. USD answered back to start the second half with a 10-4 run to bring the score to 40-37 Gonzaga with 16:41 remaining. The Toreros continued to stay within striking distance before taking a 55-53 lead on a Johnny Dee three-pointer with 9:26 remaining. In a game that featured eight ties, the score was knotted at 59 with 4:54 left. The Bulldogs extended the lead to four with 55 seconds remaining, but the Toreros closed the deficit to two with nine seconds remaining on a Dennis Kramer put back. After Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Toreros had a chance to tie it or take the lead, but Rancifer's three at the buzzer was blocked. Guard Christopher Anderson set up his teammates all night long, dishing out a season-high 11 assists to go along with his nine points. Dee led the Toreros with 21 points with 16 points coming in the 2nd half (at one point he scored 12 straight points for the Toreros). Freshman Jito Kok made his presence felt on the defensive end, blocking four shots and altering many other Bulldog attempts. Now with 42 blocks, Kok passed by Scott Thompson's USD frosh mark of 38 set back in 1983-84. Gonzaga was led by senior Elias Harris's 18 points. Kelly Olynyk (15) and Gary Bell Jr. (13) also scored in double-digits for the Bulldogs.
SCOUTING THE LOYOLA MARYMOUNT LIONS: The LMU Lions (8-13; 1-7 WCC) will be looking to snap a 5-game losing streak... Loyola Marymount had a bye this past Saturday, but in their last outing against No. 7 Gonzaga on January 31st, they dropped an 88-43 decision at Gersten Pavilion... Guard Anthony Ireland paced the Lions for the 7th straight game with a game-high 19 points against the Zags... For the season, Ireland leads the team in scoring at 19.9 points per game... He also has team-best numbers for assists (83) and steals (34), and even averages a solid 5.0 rebounds per game... He is followed in the scoring column by forward Ashley Hamilton (14.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and guard Ayodeji Egbeyemi (10.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg)... For the season the Lions average 68.6 points and 36.8 rebounds while surrendering 71.4 ppg and 36.1 rpg on average to its opponents... LMU is 5-5 in home games this season... The Lions one WCC win is a come-from-behind 84-80 home victory over the Santa Clara Broncos on January 10th with Ireland going for 29 points... Ireland (17.6 ppg) and Hamilton (13.4 ppg) lead LMU in WCC scoring... Head Coach Max Good, last year's WCC Coach of the Year, is in his 5th year.