SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego men's basketball team (5-5) was able to hold off Tulane (7-3) 78-72 in a non-conference game Saturday evening at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. In a game that was neck and neck from the opening tip, the Toreros were able to pull away in the final minutes behind sophomore guard Johnny Dee's hot shooting.
Dee finished the night with 23 points, with 15 of those coming in the second half. Senior forward Ken Rancifer added a season-high 16 points, going 6-8 from the field, and senior forward Chris Manresa chipped in ten points and a team-high six rebounds.
"A huge win against a very good team," head coach Bill Grier said after the game. "I'm really happy with how our guys responded down the stretch, making some plays, getting some big rebounds, and making key stops."
The first half was one full of runs. After USD opened up the game with a 7-1 run, the Green Wave followed that with a 9-2 run of their own, which was followed by another 7-1 USD run. Eventually both teams started trading baskets, with the lead changing seven times in the first half.
The Toreros were plagued with foul trouble for the entire first half, limiting their starting guards Christopher Anderson and Dee to single-digit minutes. USD committed 16 total first half fouls, which resulted in 22 Tulane free-throw attempts (14-22), but USD was able to go in to the locker room at halftime down just two (37-35) because of 54.2% shooting from the field.
The game remained close in the second half (ten ties) until the final few minutes. With the game tied at 64-64 with 4:20 remaining, the Toreros went on a 7-0 run. The Toreros would lead the rest of the way earning their second consecutive win and evening their season record at 5-5.
The Toreros finished the night 26-51 from the field (51%), making nine of 22 three-point attempts (40.9%). Turnovers played a huge part in the game as the Toreros were able to score 22 points off 12 Green Wave turnovers, while the Toreros committed a season-low six turnovers in the game.
Tulane, who is now 0-3 on the road, finished with four players in double figures with Josh Davis leading the way with 19 points.
The Toreros return to the hardwood Tuesday night for a home game against Arizona Christian (4-1). Tip is at 7:00 and the game will be broadcast live on XX 1090 AM with Andy Masur on the call.
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