GAME NOTES: The San Diego Toreros try to bounce back from their first loss of the season, as they clash with the UNC Greensboro Spartans in the second round of the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase.
The Toreros had rattled off five straight wins to begin the 2013-14 campaign, but the team came up just short in their battle with Illinois-Chicago on Monday, 74-70. The 74 points were the most allowed by USD to this point, and a far cry from the 44 and 46 points given up to Northern Kentucky and San Diego Christian in the two previous games, respectively.
The Spartans also find themselves on the losers side of the bracket after suffering a lopsided 99-62 loss to Louisiana Tech yesterday. The defeat snapped a brief two-game win streak by UNCG, the team having beaten Chowan and Greensboro College before landing in the Sunshine State.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams, and they will be back in action again on Wednesday to finish off the event.
San Diego remained close to the Flames throughout their meeting, even as the Toreros shot only 38.2 percent from the field and 8-of-27 behind the 3-point line. Except for Jito Kok who tallied just two points in 24 minutes, every starter landed in double figures for the Toreros as Johnny Dee dropped in 19 points to lead the way. Duda Sanadze added 14 points and five rebounds, followed by Christopher Anderson and Dennis Kramer with 13 points apiece, the latter also clearing eight boards.
Dee, the leading scorer for San Diego in four of the first six games, is producing 17.0 ppg, followed by Kramer and Sanadze with 11.8 ppg apiece and Anderson who accounts for 11.0 ppg and is also first in assists with 6.2 dishes per contest. The rest of the roster is averaging a collective 4.1 apg. Defensively, USD is still holding opponents to only 59.0 ppg on 34.2 percent shooting from the floor and 23.0 percent on the perimeter.
The perimeter defense for the Spartans was sorely lacking on Monday as they allowed Louisiana Tech to knocked down 14-of-25 shots from 3-point range, leading to a massive 37-point setback for UNCG. Jordan Potts scored 13 points in 16 minutes off the bench to lead the UNCG offense, but that same offense registered just 21 baskets, while turning the ball over 19 times. Kayel Locke and RJ White chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Although he didn't score in double figures yesterday, Kyle Cain remains the leading scorer for the Spartans overall with 16.6 ppg, shooting 57.6 percent from the field along the way. Tevon Saddler accounts for 16.2 ppg and is first on the unit with 21 assists, but still he could stand to spend more time working on his touch at the free-throw line where he is only 61.7 percent accurate and the team 66.0 percent.
The Spartans were bound to get a wake-up call after having a few too many easy targets on the early schedule, and that might be the case yet again today as San Diego aims to get back into the win column.
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