LAS VEGAS – Sydney Williams erupted for 20 points and San Diego led the entire game as the Toreros defeated Pacific, 66-56, Monday afternoon to advance to the WCC Tournament championship game.
USD (17-14) will play for its fourth WCC Tournament title in program history against top-seeded Gonzaga on Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
The Toreros dominated the paint all game, outrebounding the Tigers, 50-28, and holding a 25-7 edge in second-chance points. USD outscored Pacific in the paint, 38-28.
Williams’ 20 points were just five shy from her season best of 25 against Minnesota. She was automatic inside the three-point line, going 7-for-7 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Aubrey Ward-El added 16 points and connected on a pair of three-pointers to go with six rebounds. Myah Pace also hit double-digits in scoring with 10 points to go along with six rebounds and a team-high five assists.
Caroline Buhr was two points shy of a double-double, pulling down a game-best 12 rebounds and chipping in eight points.
Pacific (15-17) boasted one of the WCC’s best offenses but it was stifled by the Toreros’ defense which held the Tigers to 34 percent shooting on the day, including a 2-for-16 clip from behind the arc.
USD has held opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field in seven of the past eight games.
The Toreros started the game hot and reeled off a 12-2 run in the opening minutes, finishing the first quarter with a 14-6 lead.
The Tigers chipped away in the second quarter and outscored USD, 22-15, to make it a one-point game at halftime, 29-28.
The Toreros entered the game undefeated when leading at the half and improved to 17-0 this season when ahead at the break.
The second half began similarly to the first with the Toreros coming out hot and quickly extending their lead to 11 points midway through the third quarter. USD outscored the Tigers, 27-18, in the third quarter to take a 56-46, lead into the fourth.
USD ran into a bit of adversity in the final quarter. After Williams made a jumper with 9:13 to play, the Toreros endured a five-minute scoring drought.
USD turned to its defense to preserve its lead while it weathered the scoring drought. Pacific was able to cut its deficit to five points before Williams ended the stretch with a pair of free throws.
The two baskets snapped the Toreros out of the slump and USD finished the game on a 7-3 run to secure its spot in Tuesday’s WCC Tournament championship game.
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Football: Week Nine
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Men's Basketball: New Heights
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Football: Week One
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USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
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