USD Finds the Range in Victory : College basketball: Two nights after dismal performance, Toreros shoot 63% in 108-92 victory over Centenary.
Two days after one of the worst shooting games in school history, the University of San Diego shot 63% and matched its eighth-highest point total in history in a 108-92 victory Friday over Centenary College in the first round of the Pizza Hut Classic at Southwest Missouri State.
With the victory, not to mention its rediscovered shooting touch, USD (3-2) advanced to tonight’s final against tournament host Southwest Missouri State, a 97-51 winner over Morgan State in the other first-round game.
USD shot only 25.4% Wednesday in an embarrassing 70-47 loss at Stephen F. Austin and the Toreros’ top scorer, Gylan Dottin, had only nine points.
Against Centenary (3-2) in front of 3,500, six Toreros scored in double figures and a seventh, point guard Geoff Probst, had nine points and a game-high six assists.
Dottin, a junior forward, and Chris Grant, a sophomore forward, led the charge with 19 points apiece, season highs for both players.
Michael Brown broke out of his season-long slump, tossing in 17 points. Kelvin Woods added 15, Reed Watson 13 and Wayman Strickland 12.
USD shot 61% (22 of 36) in the first half and 65.5% (19 of 29) in the second.
“It’s early in the season, and we’re going to have games like (the one Wednesday night),” USD Coach Hank Egan explained. “It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde these past two games.”
USD had been averaging 58.5 points per game, but nearly reached that by halftime. Behind Watson’s 13 points, the Toreros took a 58-43 lead into the locker room.
After Woods made a 17-foot jump shot to open the second half, Centenary went on a 6-0 run to pull within 11, 60-49, but that was the closest the Gents would get. Within 4 1/2 minutes, USD built a 21-point lead, 81-60, and coasted.
A short bank shot by Woods with 2:58 remaining lifted the Toreros over the 100-point mark for the first time this season.
Woods, Brown and Strickland each had eight rebounds and Dottin seven as USD dominated that category, 48-37. The Toreros also got a season-high seven blocked shots, including three by Grant.
Louis Lumpkins led Centenary with 28 points and eight rebounds. Despite being the smallest Division I school in the NCAA with an enrollment of 980, Centenary finished 17-12 and 22-8 the past two seasons in the Trans America Athletic Conference.
Egan is expecting a much tougher game tonight in the final. Southwest Missouri State, which improved to 3-0 and advanced to its tournament final for the fifth year in a row, is going for seventh consecutive 20-victory season under Coach Charlie Spoonhour.
“I’ve known Coach Spoonhour a long time,” Egan said. “And he’s a very good defensive coach. I told our kids to enjoy themselves tonight, because if it’s (SMSU) tomorrow night it’s going to be a war.”