Toreros Make Statement With First Win At SDSU Since Y2K
December 9th 2000. Up until Wednesday night, that was the last time the University of San Diego defeated San Diego State in Men’s Basketball at Viejas Arena. 6,570 days.
Back then it was called Cox Arena and the Toreros left there with a 55-52 win. 18 years later USD once again found themselves victorious on the Mesa, defeating the Aztecs 73-61. The Toreros won 53-48 three years ago when the two faced off at Petco Park but something about this one felt different. Now USD can claim their spot as the best college basketball team in San Diego.
Isaiah Pineiro led the team with 21 points and Isaiah Wright added 18 of his own has the Toreros outscored the Aztecs 47-28 in the second half to turn a 7 point halftime deficit into a 12 point victory.
After starting the game 0-11 from three, USD caught fire in the 2nd half shooting 7-13 from beyond the arc.
Trailing 33-26 at halftime, the Toreros were never shaken, carrying a quiet confidence that they could comeback. After all, USD has outscored opponents 338-273 during the second half this season. That trend continued Wednesday night as coach Sam Scholl out-coached SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher in the second half. While Scholl was proactive, Ducther was reactive.
The turning point in the game came early in the second half. With the Aztecs leading 36-31, Wright hit the Toreros first three of the game and after two made SDSU free throws, freshman Finn Sullivan knocked down a three pointer to cut the deficit to one.
The following possession SDSU sophomore Jalen McDaniels was called for a technical foul. Pineiro hit both technical free throws to give USD a 39-38 lead. From that point on the momentum was all on the Toreros side.
Perhaps the biggest story of the game was freshman Finn Sullivan. The local 18 year old had 9 points, led the team with 7 rebounds, had 2 blocks and made numerous plays down the stretch.
Eventually the lead grew to 57-49 with just 7:23 left as nervous looks began to spread across SDSU fans sitting in the crowd. The Aztecs cut the Torero lead to as little as four with 3:04 to go the USD never panicked, making free throws down the stretch to seal a huge victory.
USD’s record now stands at 7-2 overall. The team will be in action again this Sunday as they take on CSUN at 1pm.