Athletics Roundup: Basketball Teams Adjusting to WCC Schedule, Competition

Isaiah Pineiro continued his strong season by recording a double-double (points and rebounds) in each of USD's West Coast Conference games last week.

After a host of promising nonconference performances against quality competition, the USD men’s basketball team looked to carry it over to the start of the West Coast Conference schedule last week.

The result was a split of its first two WCC games, a 68-56 road loss at Santa Clara on Jan. 3, but then a 73-64 decision at home against Pacific on Jan. 5 to improve to 12-5 overall.

A slow start against Santa Clara proved to be too much for USD to overcome. The Toreros made just two of their first 14 shots — missing the first nine — en route to an 18-point first half, USD’s lowest point total for a half at any point this season. Also, Santa Clara’s Tahj Eaddy, who finished with 30 points, scored 21 in the first half. Santa Clara led 35-18 at halftime.

Tyler Williams was USD’s top scorer with 19 points and the Toreros got a double-double from both Isaiah Pineiro (12 points, 16 rebounds) and Yauhen Massalski (11 points and 11 rebounds).

One reason for USD’s early-season success has been its play at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Against Pacific, the Toreros improved to 9-0 in games played in the JCP on the strength of play by Pineiro, Massalski and Olin Carter III.

Pineiro had his third consecutive double-double effort, this time with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Massalski had 11 points, nine rebounds and blocked a career-high seven shots. Carter added 15 points and all eight USD players in the game scored at least one basket.

The Toreros only play once this week, on Saturday at 1 p.m. at home against Pepperdine, so USD will look to extend its magic formula within the JCP.

On another note, single-game tickets for USD’s two premium WCC home games against BYU and Gonzaga, on Feb. 14 and 16, respectively, are now on sale. 

Next Game: USD Hosts Pepperdine, Saturday, 1 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Women’s Basketball

The West Coast Conference games are here and the USD women’s basketball team needs a boost.

The team played three WCC games last week and four in a week’s time for a 1-3 WCC record out of the gate. After a loss to San Francisco on Dec. 20, the Toreros defeated Santa Clara, 57-49, on Dec. 31, but fell at home to Loyola Marymount, 69-52, and Pepperdine, 74-55, on Jan. 3 and 5, respectively. USD is 8-7 overall.

In the win over Santa Clara, Patricia Brossmann had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Sydney Shepard led all USD scorers with 15 points, 12 of which came on four 3-pointers. Sydney Hunter added 11 points. USD was at its most dominant point in the third quarter as it outscored Santa Clara 19-4. USD then outscored Santa Clara 17-8 in the final quarter.

In the loss to LMU, Madison Pollock tied her season-high point total with 20 and had seven rounds, but LMU broke open a tight game with a 26-16 advantage in the final quarter. Hunter was the only other Torero to finish in double figures with 12 points.

Against Pepperdine, the visiting Waves outscored USD 19-4 in the third quarter to pull away for the victory. USD did, however, outscore Pepperdine 22-21 in the fourth quarter. Brossmann notched her fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Pollock had 12 points and seven rebounds and Hunter had 10 points and five rebounds.

Next Games: USD at Saint Mary’s, Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Moraga, Calif.; USD at Pacific, Saturday, 2 p.m., Stockton, Calif. 

Women’s Swim and Dive

San Diego recorded five top-five finishes to highlight its double-dual meet against host UCLA and Harvard on Monday.

The Toreros produced highlight performances throughout the meet but it wasn’t enough to take down the Bruins and Crimson. USD fell to UCLA, 215-77, and 242-55 against Harvard.

Danielle Taylor earned a pair of fourth-place finishes to lead the Toreros. She touched the wall at 24.23 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and 52.12 in the 100 free.
Liza Kuznetsova notched a fifth-place result in the 1000 free with a time of 10 minutes, 50.89 seconds. Mackenna Briggs also earned a fifth-place result, going 4:38.21 in the 400 individual medley.
The Toreros capped the afternoon with one of its best performances, finishing third in the 400 free relay. The quartet of Alexa PhillipsAlex HubelKailyn Evans and Taylor combined to finish in 3:32.91.

Next Meet: USD hosts Fresno State, Saturday, 10 a.m., USD’s Sports Center Pool.
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