Nov. 18, 2012
(San Diego, CA) - Reeling from two straight losses, the USD men's basketball team (3-2) regrouped to take care of the Siena Saints, 77-60, in its final game of the NCUDF Basketball Challenge on Sunday afternoon.
"It certainly was a win we needed, from a confidence standpoint," USD head coach Bill Grier said. "It just energized us going into this next week."
After consecutive outings where they struggled offensively, the Toreros (3-2) took advantage of their day off and managed to find their form, hitting 51 percent of their shots from the field throughout the contest.
USD sophomore guard Johnny Dee headlined the offensive spark, finishing the game with 27 points. Dee also hit 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.
"We didn't have any excuses after that day of rest," Dee said. "We just came out and got it done."
At the tip, Siena (2-3) came out strong and forced a 10-3 run that pushed the Toreros on their heels. But USD fought back and ended up tying the game at 16-all on a Jito Kok statement slam-dunk with 10:24 left to play in the first half.
The Toreros took advantage of the momentum switch and continued to force their style of play on the Saints. They wouldn't surrender the lead for the rest of the game.
Adding to the USD offensive effort was senior forward Ken Rancifer, who played his best game of the season, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Cameron Miles came off the bench to spark the team with a solid outing of 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
On the defensive side, the Toreros had their hands full in trying to contain Siena big man O.D. Anosike. He finished the day with double-double numbers, shooting for 19 points and hauling in 13 rebounds. Sunday marked his fifth consecutive double-double.
The Toreros will look to keep the momentum from Sunday's win going into this week when they begin a 4-game road swing with UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. They'll close out the week at Montana on Saturday, followed by road games at Stephen F. Austin (Dec. 1) and Southern Utah (Dec. 4).
2012 NUCDF Basketball Challenge
Hosted by University of San Diego
Nov. 14-18, 2012 @ Jenny Craig Pavilion
Team Champion: Cal State Northridge (4-0 record in tourney)
Team Runner-up: Tulsa (2-1 record in tourney)
The Most Outstanding Player (M.O.P):
Stephan Hicks from Cal-State Northridge
Chris Anderson, University of San Diego
O.D. Anosike, Siena College
Johnny Dee, University of San Diego
Josh Greene, Cal-State Northridge
Rashad Smith, University of Tulsa
Game #1: San Diego 65, Northern Kentucky 61
Game #2: Tulsa 76, Northern Kentucky 56
Game #3: Cal State Northridge 74, San Diego 71
Game #4: Cal State Northridge 68, Siena 64
Game #5: Tulsa 63, San Diego 51
Game #6: Cal State Northridge 92, Tulsa 76
Game #7: Siena 56, Northern Kentucky 52
Game #8: San Diego 77, Siena 60
Game #9: Cal State Northridge 69, Northern Kentucky 58