USD Weekly Update | 2-5-18
USD women’s tennis got its first dual match victory of the season on Friday with a 4-1 win over Grand Canyon University in Tucson, Arizona. The Toreros got off to a slow start falling behind 0-1 after doubles play but preceded to win four straight wins in singles play. On Saturday, the Toreros faced off against University of Arizona Wildcats in their third match-up versus a Pac-12 foe in four matches and fell in a hard fought battle 4-3.
After falling behind 0-2, Arizona won three straight singles matches to take a 3-2 lead. USD won its next singles match to even things up a 3-3 but lost their final singles match in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. The Toreros are now 1-3 on the season and return to action Thursday February 8th for a home match-up against Hawaii.
USD Women’s basketball fell to 12-11 and 5-7 in WCC play with losses last week against Gonzaga and St. Mary’s. Thursday game, a 63-44 loss against conference leaders Gonzaga saw the Toreros trailing by one one midway through the second quarter when Gonzaga went on a 9-0 run to take a 29-20 lead and expanding that to 35-24 by halftime.
The Toreros only had seven points in the third quarter and trailed 54-31 at the end of three. They started off the 4th quarter with a quick 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 16 but that would be as close at the Toreros got and Gonzaga clamped down defensively and extinguished the rally.
USD continued to struggle from the field shooting just 30% (17-55) and 25% (3-12) from three. Aubrey Ward-El led the Toreros with 14 points and freshman Maya Pace, graduate student Maya Hood and redshirt junior Caroline Buhr all registered 6 points each. On Saturday the team traveled up to Moraga California for a match-up with the second place St. Mary’s Gaels. After falling behind by 10 after one, the Toreros cut the deficit to six by halftime. In the second half, the Gales turned up the pressure defensively, recording five steals and nine blocked shots going up 17 by the end of three.
The Toreros once again rallied, outscoring the Gaels 19-9 in the final quarter but it was not enough as the Toreos fell on the road 66-57. One of the problems for the Toreros on Saturday afternoon was foul trouble. USD recorded 24 fouls and St. Mary’s cashed in shooting 76% for the charity stripe.
Aubrey Ward-El once again led the Toreros in scoring with 15 points, while redshirt senior Alexandria Young had 10 of her own. Leading rebounder Maya Hood pulled down 7 rebounds to lead the Toreros. They will be back in action this Thursday at home at 6:00 pm vs Pepperdine and will follow that up with another home match-up against Santa Clara.
USD Men’s basketball suffered two tough defeats last week to fall to 15-9 overall and 6-6 in WCC play losing 69-59 (last season when these two teams played Gonzaga won 96-38) at #14 Gonzaga and 65-62 (last season when they played St. Mary’s won 71-27) at home vs #13 St. Mary’s.
Thursday night at Gonzaga, guard Olin Carter II scored 21 points and shot 5-11 from three point land as the Toreros gave all the Bulldogs could handle on the defensive end. Gonzaga, one of the better offensive teams in the country, shot just 41% from the field and 38% from three.
After starting out with a 15-10 lead with 13 minutes to play in the first half, the Toreros quickly fell behind 31-20 with 4 minutes to go before halftime. This trend continued as USD battled back from multiple deficits throughout the second half, trailing by only two with less than five minutes to play but were outscored 6-0 over the final two and ultimately bowed out.
Aside from Carter’s 21, Isaiah Pineiro scored 13 points and Isaiah Wright scored 12. USD was ultimately done in by Gonzaga’s presence inside. The Bulldogs outscored the Toreros 38-20 inside the paint and 24-7 on second chance points.
On Saturday night in San Diego, the Toreros were once again hurt my a dominant presence inside. Last week, I said that one of the key’s for USD to pull off the upset was to find a way to slow down St. Mary’s center and National Player of the Year candidate Jock Landale. He proved to be a huge problem for the Toreros as he scored 34 points and pulled down 18 rebounds.
After getting off to a strong start, USD fell behind 26-15, aided by a 17-1 run by St. Mary’s. The Toreros ended the first half strongly but still trailed by 12 at the break. USD spent the entire second half chipping away at the deficit aided by clutch threes from Wright, and Tyler Williams along with huge baskets from Pineiro. Trailing by four with just a minute to go, Wright hit brought the Toreros to within two with 47 seconds to left.
St. Mary’s Jordan Ford responded with a layup to put the Gaels back up 4 but Wright hit another trey to cut the deficit to one with 11 ticks left. Gaels guard Emmett Naar was fouled with second seconds left and hit both free throws to put St. Mary’s up three. Wright had a good look to tie the game at the buzzer but his shot rimmed out and USD just fell short of beating their highest ever ranked opponent. Pineiro lead USD in scoring with 24 points and Wright finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.
Up next for the Toreros are two must win road games at Pepperdine on Thursday night and at Santa Clara on Saturday afternoon. USD defeated Pepperdine 74-66 at home on December 30th and Santa Clara 66-58 at home on January 25th.
The key for USD in both these match-ups will be their guard play. Against Pepperdine back in December, Olin Carter III had 27 and against Santa Clara Wright had 21. Both of them need to play well for the Toreros to win. If they do that, then USD should come out of these next two 2-0.