Nov. 26, 2013
(Estero, Florida) - The USD Toreros, coming off a tough 74-70 loss on Monday, responded with a great team effort in dealing the UNCG Spartans a 83-71 defeat at the Gulf Coast Showcase. Sophomore guard Duda Sanadze scored a team-high 20 points as all five Torero starters reached double-digits. He was joined by Christopher Anderson (career-high 16), Johnny Dee (15), Jito Kok (12) and Dennis Kramer (10). USD will play in the 5th place contest Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. (PST) against Southern Illinois, a 67-48 winner over Stetson today.
"I thought we established our game inside early" said head coach Bill Grier. "I thought that was one area we did not do a good job of yesterday. Today we played more like a team in terms of the ball movement, going inside, and playing inside out. The result is we scored 83 points. We were way more efficient because of the ball movement today. It was good to see us respond after yesterday's game. And defensively I really felt like our zone saved us today. Duda stepped up and made some big shots for us, but the thing I was most pleased with him was that he really understood the game plan off of our ball screens, and once again Dennis did some good things for us in the interior. And when you have five guys in double figures, that really helps you. It was a very good team win."
The Toreros outscored the Spartans 44-30 in the paint, and also held in the edge in points off of turnovers (19-10), and 2nd chance points (13-9). USD opened the game on a 13-2 run behind eight points from Sandaze. UNCG pulled to within one point at 28-27 on a three-pointer from RJ White with 7:32 to go. Over the next four minutes USD regrouped and outscored the Spartans 11-4 for a 39-31 advantage with 3:40 to go that was culminated by two Johnny Dee free throws after Kyle Cain (21 points) was called for a technical. USD would hold on for a 45-38 intermission lead.
After the break UNCG got right back in the contest and closed the gap to 48-46 on a Spain layup with 16:33 left. Sanadze answered with a bucket for a four-point cushion and the closest UNCG would get the rest of the way is three points (58-55) with 12:36 to go. Over the final eleven minutes Jito Kok
got free for four inside buckets, including three dunks on his way to matching his career-best. USD would make 10-of-12 free throws over the final 3:11, including 7-of-8 by Anderson.
For the game USD shot 53.8% from the field (28-52) and 74.2% from the free throw line (23-31). The Toreros also outrebounded the Spartans, 31-27, with Kramer leading the way with 7.