It is pretty unusual that two teams from the same conference face off late in March, but that is exactly what happened when the San Diego Toreros traveled up to Stockton, Calif. to take on Pacific in the CIT quarterfinals.
Usually, postseason tournaments are designed so such a thing does not happen. However, with the CIT’s emphasis on cutting down on travel time, and Pacific and San Diego being the only team’s left on the West Coast, the Tigers and Toreros squared off for the final WCC tilt of the season.
In the end, it was Pacific that came up victorious. The Tigers defeated the Toreros 75 to 60 in front of their home crowd. The Tigers shot 50 percent from 3-point range tonight, and their ability to shoot the long ball was the difference maker.
Senior point guard Andrew Bock made possibly his last game in the Spanos Center count by leading the team in scoring with 23 points. He shot 5-10 from the field and 4-6 from 3-point range, while also getting to the charity stripe 10 times and knocking down nine free throws.
Tony Gill had an efficient 18 points off 5-6 shooting, and led the team in rebounding with 11 rebounds. Sama Taku, David Taylor and Bock led the team in assists with three each. Taku was the only other Tiger to finish in double figures with 10 points.
San Diego was led primarily by Duda Sanadze, who scored 16 points on 6-13 shooting, despite going 0 for 6 from beyond the arc. Johnny Dee and Dennis Kramer led the team in rebounding with six apiece, while Christopher Anderson dished out six assists for a team-high. Anderson also finished with 10 points, rounding out the Toreros double-digit scorers.
Johnny Dee had a rough night, scoring only nine points on 2-7 shooting, (0-4 from 3). Dee struggled today, and the Toreros inability to get him going led to their immediate doom.
In general, the Toreros struggled to shoot an abysmal 2-20 from beyond the arc (10 percent), a clip that will not win a lot of ballgames.
Up next for the Tigers: who knows. Yale and VMI won their respective games today, making the winner of Murray State and Towson the only team yet to be named to the CIT “final four,” if you will. As I alluded to before, the CIT is based on travel times, so the Tigers will likely go out east to play their next game. The winner of the fourth and final quarterfinal matchup will likely determine the time and place of Pacific’s next game.
As for the Toreros, their season is unfortunately over, and they will have to say goodbye to seniors Michael Marconi and Dennis Kramer. Mike Davis is also a senior, but since he was injured the whole season he could possibly get a medical hardship, earning him a sixth year of eligibility. That remains to be seen though.