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USD Meets USIU in Regular-Season Finale

Three years ago, the University of San Diego and the U.S. International University resumed their men’s basketball series that was discontinued when USD became Division I in 1979-80.

USD senior Danny Means is the only player from either school to have played in every game in the recent series.

Tonight at 7:30, Means will be making not only his final appearance in the series, but he will be suiting up for his last game in the USD Sports Center.

So might USIU, which has threatened to halt the series if a home-and-home arrangement can’t be worked out. So far, all three games have been at USD. And the Toreros hold a 3-0 advantage (25-13 overall).

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USIU Coach Gary Zarecky would like USD (and San Diego State) to have to play at least one game in the Gulls’ nest: Golden Hall.

“I don’t want it to become a negative thing,” said Zarecky. “I just feel that (USD and SDSU) should have to play us on our court too.”

Saturday in the San Diego Sports Arena, USIU lost to SDSU, 97-82. The Gulls were paced by Paul Wilson’s 29 points.

Demetrius Laffitte, USIU’s leading scorer (18 points per game), sprained his right knee in the first half and is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game. Also doubtful is USIU’s only senior, Matt Judd, who has bronchitis.

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For USIU, an independent, this is its final game. The Gulls are 11-16 and assured of a better record than last season when they finished 10-18.

“Their program is very much improved, and that is evidenced by their record,” said Hank Egan, USD coach. “They gave away a little size to SDSU. Against us, they may be bigger.”

USD (7-19) is coming off a split over the weekend in its final two West Coast Athletic Conference games. The Toreros, on the road, defeated Portland (51-31) Friday and lost to Gonzaga (88-71) Saturday.

Tonight’s game is USD’s regular-season finale. The Toreros play Pepperdine Saturday in the first round of the conference tournament.

Senior guard Efrem Leonard also will be playing his final game at home. Leonard led the Toreros with 24 points in an 80-71 victory over USIU last season.


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