The University of San Diego men's basketball team began its season with a 91-81 exhibition victory over Australia's Eastside Melbourne Spectres Friday at the USD Sports Center.
Senior John Jerome, who red-shirted last season, led USD with 21 points. Senior Craig Cottrell added 10 points. Shawn Hamilton, a community college transfer from Mesa, Ariz., had seven rebounds, and freshman Pat Holbert had eight assists.
USD took an 8-2 lead and never trailed. It took its biggest lead of the half, 42-26, with a 10-0 run with four minutes remaining. The Toreros, who substituted freely, had a 27-point lead five minutes into the second half.
In the first 7:35, Jerome (6-feet-8) scored 14 of the Toreros' first 23 points, including two three-pointers.
USD shot well from the floor--58% (38 of 66)--but converted on just 10 of 17 free throws, three of seven in the first half.
Eastside Melbourne was led by Steve deLaveaga's 22 points. DeLaveaga normally plays for San Diego's High Five America, but Melbourne was permitted to use two American players.
U.S. International opens its season tonight (7:30) at Serra High against the same Eastside Melbourne team.