GAME #28: The USD Toreros (11-16, 4-11 WCC) close out the week with their final regular-season road game against the Santa Clara Broncos (15-13, 9-6 WCC). Game time at the Leavey Center is slated for 8:00 pm.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 82nd meeting between the USD Toreros and Santa Clara Broncos with SCU owning a 46-35 advantage... The Broncos edged USD in the first meeting this season, 59-57 back on Jan. 12th at the JCP... Senior Brett Bailey paced USD with 15 points & 9 rebounds... Santa Clara swept the series last season, winning the first contest at the JCP on Jan. 9th by the score of 65-53... The Broncos took care of business at home on Feb. 11th, 74-71.
RADIO/TV: All USD home and away games will be broadcast on ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin (3rd season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show airs 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Saturday's game will be televised on CSN Bay Area, Spectrum SportsNet, ROOT NW, ROOT RM, and TheW.tv (out-of-market); Glen Kuiper, play-by-play, and Dan Belluomini, color analyst with the call.
WCC STANDINGS (thru Feb. 16th): #1/#1 Gonzaga (15-0 WCC, 27-0), #22/#21 Saint Mary's (13-2, 23-3), BYU (10-5, 19-9), Santa Clara (9-6, 15-13), San Francisco (8-7, 18-10), Loyola Marymount (5-10, 12-14), Pepperdine (5-10, 9-18), San Diego (4-11, 11-16), Pacific (4-11, 10-18), Portland (2-13, 9-18).
COACH SMITH (2ND YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) enters his second year at the helm of the Torero basketball program... This year he owns an 11-16 record after he guided the Toreros to a 9-21 mark his rookie year that included a 53-48 win over SDSU at Petco Park, and WCC sweep of Portland... Prior to USD he was at the University of New Mexico where he was the Associate Head Coach... Prior to UNM he spent time at Washington, Arizona State, Santa Clara, Saint Mary's College and Saint Louis University... Smith returns to USD where he was a member of the 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 Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of San Diego in 1998... Lamont and his wife Kimberly have two daughters -- Payton and Olivia.
A LOOK AHEAD: Following the Santa Clara game, USD returns home for its final two regular-season home games. On Thursday, Feb. 23rd, USD will host the No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in a 7:00 p.m. contest. This game is already sold-out. On Saturday, Feb. 25th, the Portland Pilots are in town for a 6:00 p.m. contest. It will be Senior Night for forward Brett Bailey.
TOREROS BATTLE BYU TOUGH BUT FALL 82-70: The Toreros dropped a hard-fought 82-70 decision at BYU on Thursday evening... Senior Brett Bailey (21 points, 7 rebounds) and Olin Carter III (21 points, 8 assists), but it wasn't enough as the host Cougars received a game-high 26 points from guard Nick Emery who was 5-of-7 from beyond the three-point line... He was joined in double-digit scoring by the team's four other starters - Eric Mika (15 points, 10 rebounds), Elijah Bryant (15), Yoeli Childs (12) and TJ Haws (12)... In the first half BYU had a stretch where they made 13 straight shots, but the Toreros overcame an 18-point deficit to get within 4 points with 1:04 left on a three from Tyler Williams... Haws nailed a trey to beat the halftime buzzer for a 7 point lead... BYU would hold a double-digit lead the majority of the second half.
* In their first meeting against Santa Clara, the Toreros saw their second half rally fall short in dropping a 59-57 contest the Broncos... Down by as many as 13 points in the 1st half, USD rallied to take their first lead of the game at 52-51 with 6:42 to go on a Brett Bailey jumper... USD would go up by as many as three at 56-53 on an Olin Carter III three-pointer with 5:15 left, but SCU's Matt Hauser would score on a lay-in followed by two free throws to knot the score at 57-all with 2:29 left... From there Santa Clara's Jared Brownridge (20 points) would provide the only scoring on a lay-in with 1:07 to go... USD, which entered the game No. 24 in the country in free throw percentage, missed their final four attempts... USD got one last chance after Bailey blocked a shot by Brownridge... Following a timeout, Carter's three-point attempt with 4 ticks left missed and Bailey's made put-back was a split second after the final buzzer... Bailey finished with 15 points & 9 rebounds.
* USD owns a 5-7 overall record in games played on the road, and own a 3-5 mark in WCC away games... The Toreros are averaging 66.2 ppg & 34.2 rpg while surrendering 70.5 ppg & 31.8 rpg... A trio of Toreros average double-digits in away games - Brett Bailey (15.9 ppg,7.5 rpg), Olin Carter III (14.9 ppg) and Cameron Neubauer (11.3 ppg).
* Through 27 games the Toreros have converted 218-of-621 three-pointers (.351)... Top marksmen include Juwan Gray (.414, 24-58), Tyler Williams (.397, 25-63) and Olin Carter III (.377, 80-212)... Last year through 27 games USD was 161-593 (.272) beyond the arc... Cameron Neubauer (39-121, .322) and Brett Bailey (27-78, .346) ranks 2nd & 3rd in makes.
* Including games played through Feb. 16th, USD has three players that rank in the top-10 in various WCC statistics - Brett Bailey (#6 in scoring, 16.1; #6 in rebounding, 7.1; #8 in FT%, .772), Olin Carter III (#2 in 3-pointers made per game, 3.1; #6 in FT%, .779; #8 in scoring, 15.5) and Juwan Gray (#10 in rebounding, 6.0).
* Through 27 games the Toreros are being paced by Brett Bailey (16.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Olin Carter III (15.5 ppg) and Cameron Neubauer (10.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg)... As a team the Toreros are averaging 66.2 ppg and 33.7 rpg while holding its opponents on average to 70.9 ppg and 34.0 rpg... Freshman Juwan Gray ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.0) and fourth in scoring (7.4)... Sophomore Tyler Williams ranks 5th in scoring (6.7) and rebounding (4.7).
SCOUTING THE SCU BRONCOS: The Santa Clara Broncos are coming off an impressive 106-55 home win over Pepperdine this past Thursday... The Broncos bombed in 22-of-36 three-point attempts (61.1%); the 22 makes tied a WCC mark... For the game they had 32 assists on 39 baskets... Forward Nate Kratch scored a career-high 32 points as he made 13-of-16 shots from the field... Guard KJ Feagin made all six of his three-point attempts and finished with 18 points... SCU jumped out to a commanding 54-19 halftime lead on the strength of making 9-of-15 threes... SCU has won two straight and own a home record of 10-5 (5-2 WCC)... Season leaders include guard Jared Brownridge (18.2 ppg, #3 WCC), guard KJ Feagin (14.6 ppg) and Nate Kratch (10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg)... The Broncos average 67.0 ppg & 30.4 rpg, while giving up 64.8 ppg & 33.5 rpg... In WCC games only SCU is paced by Brownridge (17.3 ppg), Feagin (15.3 ppg) and Kratch (11.2 ppg)... Head Coach Herb Sendek is in his 1st year; he most recently served 9 years at ASU (2006-15).
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