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Toreros Host Portland Saturday at 4 pm

Feb. 22, 2007

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GAME #28: The USD Toreros (15-12; 5-7 wcc), under the direction of 13th-year head coach Brad Holland, play host to the University of Portland Pilots (8-20; 4-8 wcc) this coming Saturday, February 24th. Game time is 4:05 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

SERIES RECORD: This will be the 61st meeting between USD and Portland with the Toreros owning a 38-22 advantage... USD won this season's first meeting, 74-70, in Portland on January 27th with Brandon Johnson leading the way with 24 points. Coach Holland is 17-10 against the Pilots.

TV/RADIO/INTERNET: The game will be telecast live on Channel 4 San Diego with Jim Stone and Jim Brogan bringing you all the action. The game will also air on 1700 AM, and the audio/video will be available at (Toreros All-Access).

WCC STANDINGS (as of 2-20-07): Santa Clara (10-2; 20-7), Gonzaga (9-3; 19-10), USF (7-5; 12-16), Saint Mary's (6-6; 14-14), San Diego (5-7; 15-12), LMU (4-8; 12-16), Portland (4-8; 8-20), Pepperdine (3-9; 7-21). Other WCC Games This Week: (Sat., Feb. 24) Gonzaga at USF (3:30 pm), Saint Mary's @ Pepperdine (7 pm), SCU @ LMU (7:30 pm). (Mon., Feb. 26) SCU @ Pepperdine (7 pm), Portland at USF (7 pm), Saint Mary's at LMU (8 pm).

Brad Holland (13TH YEAR): Coach Brad Holland (UCLA, 1979) is in his 13th season with the Toreros' program. Last year he guided the Toreros to an 18-12 overall mark and semi-final appearance at the WCC Tournament. Holland entered this season with 126 wins over the past eight seasons, including a personal-best 20 wins in 1999-2000. Four seasons ago he directed the Toreros to an overall 18-12 record and 2nd place finish in the WCC at 10-4. USD won its first WCC Tournament title and played in the 2003 NCAA Tournament for the first time in 16 years. Holland's USD career mark heading into the Portland game is 197-174; including two years at CS Fullerton, his overall coaching record is 220-205. He notched his 200th career victory with the team's 86-78 road win at Saint Mary's. His home win over USF last Feb. 9th, 2006, made him USD's all-time winningest coach for the men's program with 161 victories at the time; he passed Jim Brovelli (160-131; 1973-84). Holland, who played four years at UCLA (1976-79), was the 14th player taken in the 1st round of the 1979 NBA draft by the LA Lakers. He was a member of the 1980 NBA L.A. Lakers championship team. Brad and his wife Leslie, who reside in Carlsbad, have three children: twin daughters Kristin and Lisa, 2005 USD graduates, and a son, Kyle.

TOREROS COME UP SHORT IN LOSS AT SANTA CLARA: The USD Toreros dropped a hard-fought 80-72 contest to first place Santa Clara this past Saturday at the Leavey Center... It was senior night for the Broncos, as well as head coach Dick Davey's last home game - he announced this would be his last season on February 1st after 30 years with the Broncos, the last as head coach... The USD coaching staff paid tribute to Davey by wearing argyle sweaters, a Davey trademark on game day... Down 42-31 at halftime, the Toreros would eventually fall behind by as many as 17 points at 52-35 three minutes into the 2nd half... The Toreros stormed back to within 4 points (67-63) with 4:08 left, but missed on their next two possessions and the host Broncos pulled away... Torero guard Brandon Johnson scored a team-high 20 points, to go with 5 assists and 3 steals, and played a key role in USD's comeback bid... Senior guard Ross DeRogatis chipped in with 14 points... Nir Cohen added 12 points and 6 rebounds, while Gyno Pomare (2 points) saw his streak of consecutive double-digit scoring games end at 17... USD matched the taller Broncos in rebounding (32), and turned the ball over just 10 times, but the key difference was in the shooting department - SCU (57.4%) over USD (43.8%).

TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros will look to gain some momentum as they prepare for the upcoming WCC Tournament to be played next week... USD currently sits in the No. 5 slot for the WCC Tourney... USD still has a shot at the No. 4 seed, and the first round bye that goes with it, but will need help from Saint Mary's... For this to happen, the Toreros need to sweep their final two games, while the Gaels (currently 4th in league) would need to drop their final two road contests at Pepperdine and LMU... SMC owns the tiebreaker over USD should the two teams end the league race with identical 7-7 records... The Toreros are 8-4 in games played at the JCP this season, but just 1-4 in WCC games... USD snapped its 0-4 WCC start in their last home outing, a 97-85 win over Pepperdine... Ross DeRogatis led the Toreros with 25 points... USD has four players that average in double figures - DeRogatis (15.0 ppg), Gyno Pomare (14.9; 8.1 rpg), Johnson (13.1; 4.59 apg) and Nir Cohen (11.7)... Pomare is leading the WCC in rebounding, while Johnson is 3rd in assists and steals (2.0), and DeRogatis is first in three-pointers made per game (2.78)... DeRogatis is the school leader in career three-pointers made with 205; his 75 makes this season is close to his single season record of 82 he set last year.

SCOUTING THE PORTLAND PILOTS: The Portland Pilots (8-20; 4-8) are coming off an 87-67 road loss to Gonzaga... Parker Emeron led the way with 23 points off the bench... Prior to that they earned a solid home win over Saint Mary's (55-47)... Darren Cooper (12.8 ppg) and Jamie Jones (10.4 ppg) lead the team in scoring... The Pilots, under the direction of first year coach Eric Reveno, are 1-11 in "true" away games.

TOREROS DOWN PORTLAND 74-70 (1-27-07): USD came up with some big rebounds and clutch free throws down the stretch to hold off Portland, 74-70... With the win USD improved to 13-8 overall and 3-3 in the WCC standings... USD now owns a 3-1mark in WCC road games... Brandon Johnson scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the 2nd half to lead the Torero attack, and Nir Cohen had his best game of the season as he connected for 15 points and grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds... After back-to-back Portland layups cut USD's lead to 71-70 with 1:07 to go, the game's final points came at the free throw line by Cohen... He made one of two with 18 seconds to go, then blocked a layup attempt by Jamie Jones and got the rebound and was fouled immediately... He iced the game by converting on both charities with two ticks left on the clock... Gyno Pomare also reached double digits with 11 points... Eight of his points came in the first half as USD headed into the locker room tied at 38-all... For the game USD made 10-of-23 three-pointers.

TOREROS IN THE COMMUNITY: Despite coming off a tough 85-78 loss to Saint Mary's College on Monday, January 22nd, USD players and coaches were out in the community the next evening lending a helping hand... Assistant Coach Sam Scholl, along with players Ray Murdock, Danny Brown, Chris Lewis and Josh Miller, were up in the city of Poway helping out with the Poway Challengers League... The league, which is comprised of special needs kids and adults that meet weekly to play basketball at Meadowbrook School, were assisted by the Toreros in drills and live game action.

WCC TOURNAMENT SLATED FOR PORTLAND: The University of Portland will host the conference's biggest event at the Chiles Center in 2007. For the fifth consecutive season, the men's championship will use an 8-Team/Play-In format, while the women's championship will use the traditional 1 vs. 8 format with no byes for the third straight year. The women will play March 1-4, 2007 and the men will square-off March 2-5, 2007. The 2007 Championship is the final Northwest stint for the WCC Tournament, as the event will be held in Southern California in 2008 and 2009. Under the format that was adopted in 2003, the #5 through #8 seeds will compete in the opening round to determine who will advance to the next round of the tournament. Waiting for the winners in the quarterfinals will be the #3 and #4 seeds, who will have first round byes. The winners of the quarterfinal match-ups will go head-to-head with the #1 and #2 seeds, who will have byes through the first two rounds of the tournament.

UP NEXT: The Toreros close out their regular-season schedule Monday with a home contest against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.



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