Nov. 24, 2012
(Missoula, MT) - The USD Toreros (3-4) played their hearts out against the Montana Grizzlies (3-1) in Missoula, Montana, but eventually had their hearts broken when UM's Kevin Henderson connected on a three-pointer from the right corner with just under three seconds left for a 67-66 loss. Torero guard Johnny Dee, who scored a team-high 22 points, was fouled with 9 seconds to go and made the first of two free throw attempts for a 66-64 advantage. Grizz forward Mathias Ward (23 points) grabbed Dee's miss and Montana pushed the ball up the floor and found Henderson open in the corner for the eventual game-winner. The Toreros called a timeout and got the ball in the hands of guard Christopher Anderson at mid-court, but his desperation three was off the mark at the buzzer.
The Toreros gave Montana a very spirited effort as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead to begin the contest in one of the toughest college environments to play in for an opponent. USD would eventually build an 11-point lead at 27-16 with 8:45 to go in the first period on a three-pointer by Ken Rancifer. From there Montana battled back to take a 31-29 lead with 1:52 to go on a jumper by Mike Weisner. Johnny Dee connected on a three-pointer with 41 ticks left to give USD a 32-31 halftime edge.
In the second half it was all Montana in the first four minutes as they built a 43-36 lead on a three-pointer by Ward at the 15:50 mark. It wasn't until a Dennis Kramer dunk at the 11:20 mark that USD regained the lead at 49-47. Things were looking promising for the Toreros when Dee canned a long three with 5:04 to and was fouled on the play. His made free throw and four-point play gave USD a 65-58 lead. USD would hold onto the lead until Henderson's last second heroics for the Grizz.
The Toreros, who were coming off a tough shooting night at UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 21st, responded by converting 48.1% from the field (26-54). They bombed in 7-of-14 threes, but struggled from the free throw line (7-13). The Toreros outrebounded Montana 29-26 and committed just 11 turnovers to UM's 15. Besides Dee's 22 points, Torero guard Christopher Anderson
reached double-digits with 12 points to go with 7 assists and 2 steals. Ken Rancifer
led the team in rebounding again with 6 boards.
The Toreros are off until a December 1st road contest at Stephen F. Austin State University. Game time is 4:05 p.m. (PST) and Andy Masur will bring you the play-by-play on XX 1090 AM.