USD Weekly Update | 1-29-18
USD Men’s tennis picked up it’s first victory of a top 10 team since 2000 on Saturday with a 4-3 win over #10 TCU. Despite falling behind in both singles and doubles play the Toreros were able to rally for a victory, capped off by redshirt senior Alexandros Araouzos 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win. The victory was third year coach Ryan Keckley’s first over a top ten opponent.
The Toreros however were unable to carry the momentum from Saturday’s win into Sunday falling to #24 Duke 4-0. The Toreros hung in there but ultimately came up short in every match. Men’s tennis is back in action February 11th at home as they take on UCSB.
USD Women’s basketball suffered a pair of tough losses last week, losing 59-50 at Santa Clara on Thursday and falling 67-53 on Saturday at home vs Loyola Marymount University.
The Toreros shot just 38.5% from the field on Thursday and 26.7 percent from three point land, while also getting out scored 34-20 in the paint. Senior Maya Hood let the team with 12 points on Thursday and seniors Sydney Williams and Aubrey Ward-El each scored 10 but the Toreros were ultimately done in by their cold shooting Thursday night in Santa Clara.
On Saturday at the JCP, the Toreros shot much better but could not slow down a hot LMU team that shot 50% from beyond the arc. USD shot 47% from the field but only 10% from three. Ward-El and Hood both led the Toreros with 10 points each but Ward-El struggled to find her stroke shooting 3-12 from the field and 1-8 from three. The two losses drop USD to 12-9 and 5-5 in WCC play and tied for 5th place in the WCC.
The Toreros have two games coming up this week: first a home clash this Thursday against first place Gonzaga who is 10-0 in conference and then on Saturday the women will travel up to Moraga, California to take on St. Mary’s.
After starting out 2018 with a poor 2-4 record (that including losing 4 of 5) the USD Men’s basketball needed a win to restore their confidence and keep pace in the WCC. Last week they faced off against Santa Clara at home in what could only be described as a must win game.
Led by junior guard Isaiah Wright’s 21 points the Toreros got a much needed win last Thursday 66-58 over the Broncos. Sophomore forward Juwan Gray got his first start of the season continued his recent run of tremendous play with 14 points and junior guard Olin Carter III added 10 of his own, although his best effort came on defense.
Carter was given the task of shutting down KJ Feagin, Santa Clara’s leading scorer, and Carter did so, holding Feagin to 9 points. As has been the case all season, defense won this game for the Toreros. On Saturday, the Toreros traveled up to LMU for matchup against the Lions (who the Toreros defeated 75-71 in San Diego on January 13th). Led by junior Isaiah Pinero’s 29 points and 9 assists, USD completed a season sweep on LMU with a 89-82 win at Gersten Pavilion. Pinero’s effort on Saturday was good enough to win him WCC player of the week honors.
USD also received double digit scoring performances from Wright (15 points), Carter III (10 points), junior guard Tyler Williams (11 points) and freshman forward Yauhen Massalski (10 points). After leading by as many as 24 in the first half, the Toreros held off a pesky LMU team that cut the lead to single digits in the second half. USD had one of its best shooting performances of the season shooting 57.7% from the field, 43.8% from behind the arc and 88.2% from the free throw line.
With the two wins, USD improves to 15-7 overall and 6-4 in WCC play. The Toreros currently sit in 4th place, one game behind third place BYU. Getting two wins last week was imperative for the Toreros considering they’re next two opponents. On Thursday, USD travels up to Spokane, Washington for a battle with #14 Gonzaga and on Saturday the Toreros come back home to face #13 St. Mary’s who sit at the top of the WCC.
My prediction for the two games: Two losses for USD. The Toreros are a good team but don’t have enough fire power yet to take down the two big dogs on the WCC.
If USD wants to have any chance to winning, they have to do three things:
- Olin Carter III and Isaiah Wright need to have tremendous shooting nights and not turn the ball over.
- Make free throws! Up until these last two games, the Toreros have struggled from the line all year. They need to be take advantage of the charity stripe in these two games.
- Slow down Gonzaga and St. Mary’s bigs. Isaiah Pineiro and Yauhen Massalski will need to play tremendous defense. If the Toreros can do all three of those, along with getting a few breaks to go their way, then they have a shot of pulling off the upsets.