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Athletics Roundup: Men's Basketball Splits Two in WCC; Spring Sports Underway

Senior guard Isaiah Wright had a pair of strong West Coast Conference basketball game performances last week for the USD men's team. Nonetheless, USD split two road games against LMU and Pepperdine.Senior guard Isaiah Wright had a pair of strong West Coast Conference basketball game performances last week for the USD men's team. Nonetheless, USD split two road games against LMU and Pepperdine.

There are no easy games or weeks for the University of San Diego men's basketball team. Since entering the West Coast Conference schedule each and every game is a critical one for their hopes. Last week, it was a two-game road trip to Los Angeles that was vital. Furthermore, Olin Carter III was back in the lineup after missing five WCC games after suffering an abdomen injury in a Jan. 12 home game against Pepperdine.

Nevertheless, the end result was a split of two closely contested games against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. The Toreros edged LMU 65-63 on Feb. 7, but lost to Pepperdine in the closing seconds, 70-67. The results moved USD's record to 16-9 overall and 5-5 in the WCC, good for fifth place.

Against LMU, Isaiah Wright made three consecutive layups in the final two-plus minutes to give the Toreros the narrow victory. His final layup came with 37 seconds left for a 64-63 lead. Yauhen Massalski's free throw with 14 seconds provided the game's final point. LMU attempted a 3-pointer that bounced off the backboard, off the front of the rim and out. Carter's return resulted in a team-leading 15 points. Wright had 14 points and seven assists. Isaiah Pineiro had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The bulk of his points came on 7-of-9 free-throw attempts. Massalski also had a double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. This win completed a regular-season sweep of the Lions for the Toreros.

The loss to Pepperdine, which completed a Waves' sweep of the regular-season series with USD, was another nail biter. There were 15 lead changes and 10 ties throughout the game. Carter made a three-point shot with 1:15 left for a 67-64 USD lead, but Pepperdine scored six points in the final 17 seconds to pull out the victory. Wright led all Toreros with 14 points and seven assists, followed by Pineiro's second double-double of the week with 13 points, 10 rebounds. Finn Sullivan had a career-high 11 points.

Next Games: USD hosts BYU, Thursday, 7 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion, Spectrum Sportsnet TV, 1090 AM; USD hosts Gonzaga, Saturday, 7 p.m. (Standing Room Only tickets remain), JCP, ESPN TV, 1090 AM

Women's Basketball

The USD women's basketball team suffered two more West Coast Conference losses this past week inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion and the schedule doesn't get any easier with a road trip to the Pacific Northwest to play Gonzaga and Portland on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

USD (8-16 overall, 1-12 WCC) dropped a 70-53 decision against Pacific on Feb. 7. Prior to the game, USD Athletics and USD Women's Basketball co-hosted a special National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Los Angeles Sparks' President and COO, Danita Johnson, was the featured guest speaker in the Warren Hospitality Suite area. After that, the Toreros had three players score in double figures, but it wasn't enough against the Tigers. Leticia Soares led the way with 13 points, Kiera Oakry had 11 points and four assists and Madison Pollock had 10 points and seven rebounds for USD.

Two days later, Saint Mary's dominated USD, 80-49, in the JCP. Only one Torero player, Aminata Dosso, had double-digit scoring with 10 points. Pollock had nine points and eight rebounds and Oakry scored eight.

Next Games: USD at Gonzaga, Thursday, 6 p.m., Spokane, Wash.; USD at Portland, Saturday, 2 p.m., Portland, Ore.

Men’s Golf

The USD golf team opens its spring season today in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., when it hosts the The Farms Invitational at The Farms Golf Club. The two-day, three-round event field will have USD, Cal-Berkeley, UC Riverside, New Mexico State, Sacramento State, Idaho, Long Beach State, Wichita State, Loyola Marymount and Cal Baptist in the team standings. Individuals from San Diego State and Arizona State will also compete.

The field will play 36 holes of golf today on the par-72, 6,947-yard course. The final round of 18 holes will take place on Tuesday morning.

Women's Tennis

The USD women's tennis team defeated Arizona from the Pac-12 Conference 4-2 in the Toreros' home-opening match of the spring season.

The Toreros claimed the doubles point on wins at No. 1 by the team of Maria-Paula Torres and Solymar Colling and No. 2 Daniela Morales and Maria Tyrina at the Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center.

In singles play, Colling, Kati Kukaras and Gemma Garcia each won at the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 positions, respectively, to seal the nonconference win and even USD's record to 1-1.

Next Matches: At Eugene, Ore., USD plays Montana, Friday, 11 a.m.; USD at Oregon, Saturday, noon.

Softball

The spring season opened for the USD women's softball team by hosting its own USD Softball Tournament at the USD Softball Complex. The Toreros finished the weekend with a 2-4 record against Marshall, Portland State, Cal Poly and UC Riverside, but there were a few highlights.

In USD’s two wins, a 3-2 triumph over Portland State Friday and a 6-3 win Sunday against UC Riverside, Torero pitchers Delaney Heller and Madison Earnshaw pitched a complete game. Heller allowed seven hits, two runs, walked one and struck out three against Portland State. USD rallied for the win as Rion Simms’ seventh-inning single scored Madison Casiano for the game-winning hit. Earnshaw struck out 10, walked three, allowed five hits and three runs against UC Riverside. Offensively, Shelbi Evans had a pinch two-RBI hit and Simms, Bella Vick and Lindsay Clare each had two hits.

The losses came against Marshall, 10-1, on Friday with Hailey Freeman getting the lone RBI for USD and Earnshaw allowing eight runs — five earned runs — on five hits, five walks and six strikeouts; Against Portland State on Saturday, 3-2, when USD rallied for two runs in the seventh inning. Clare had three hits and an RBI. Earnshaw went 5.1 innings, allowing six hits, two runs, two walks and four strikeouts. UC Riverside, on Saturday, defeated USD 6-2. Casiano doubled in a pair of runs in the first inning, but that and Sara Silveyra’s two hits were the highlights for USD. On Sunday, USD dropped a 7-3 decision to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. USD scored the first run, but Cal Poly had a five-run third inning to pull away. Taylor Spence and Clare each had two hits. Clare drove in two runs, Spence scored twice.

Next Games: USD at Arizona State University Tournament, Tempe, Ariz.: USD vs. Utah State, Friday, 4:30 p.m.; USD vs. Central Michigan, Saturday, 9 a.m.; USD vs. Florida, Saturday, 11:30 a.m.; USD vs. Illinois State, Sunday, 11:15 a.m.; USD at Arizona State, Sunday, 4 p.m.

Men's Tennis

The USD men’s tennis team was able to overcome losing the doubles point in its road match against UC Santa Barbara to pull out a 5-2 nonconference victory on Feb. 10. The win improved USD’s record to 4-2 on the early season.

The doubles point loss was USD’s first this spring. The Toreros’ top team of August Holmgren and Joel Gamerov lost and the Nico Borter-Gui Osorio duo fell to give UCSB the 1-0 lead heading into singles play.

Thankfully, USD came through in singles with Osorio, Gamerov, Borter, Guus Koevermans and David Norfeldt winning their respective matches. The lone blemish was Holmgren at No. 1. He fell to UCSB’s Joseph Guillin, ranked 25th, 6-0, 6-1.

Next Match: USD hosts University of San Francisco, Saturday, 1 p.m., USD's Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center. 

Baseball

The USD baseball season officially opens this Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the Toreros will play host to Wagner, a team from Staten Island, N.Y., in a three-game series at Fowler Park.

The Toreros come into the season picked to finish fourth in the annual preseason poll by West Coast Conference coaches. Defending WCC champion Gonzaga was the top vote-getter with 74 points and five first-place votes. Pepperdine was second with 66, Saint Mary's, with 65 and other four first-place votes, was third. USD had 52 points.

Also, the All-WCC Preseason Team was revealed this past week. USD was represented by sophomores Adam Kerner and Shane McGuire. Kerner is a catcher who finished last year with a .338 overall batting average, 31 runs, 23 RBI and a team-leading 15 doubles. He started 44 of 47 games, including 33 behind the plate. McGuire hit .287 with 23 runs and eight doubles. He made 46 starts in 53 games, including 34 at first base.

Next Games: USD hosts Wagner College, Friday, 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m., Fowler Park. 

More USD Athletics Information

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Contact:

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