Dec. 2, 2007
San Diego, CA - The USD defense put the clamps on the visiting Hawaii Rainbow Warriors today to earn a hard fought 81-67 victory. With the win the Toreros improve to 4-5 on the season and will try to get back to .500 this coming Wednesday when they host San Jose State at 7 pm. The first half was the difference as the Toreros took a 49-33 advantage into the locker room. Junior guard Brandon Johnson scored 13 of his game-high 25 points in the first half as USD overcame an early 12-6 deficit. Gyno Pomare, who scored the team's first eight points, finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Chris Lewis came off the bench to tally his second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"That's the best 20 minutes of defense we've played this year," said head coach Bill Grier. "It allowed us to get out and run and get some easy baskets. Our guys did a good job moving and screening, and BJ hit some big shots for us. The bottom line is we played pretty good defense."
Hawaii's Bobby Nash was saddled with 3 first half fouls and was limited to just 5 minutes of action. He would finish with a team-best 15 points which was matched by Stephen Verwers. In the second half USD built a 23-point lead twice, the last coming with 13 minutes to play at 69-46 on two free throws by Pomare. From there Hawaii made a strong comeback bid getting to within 10 points at 72-62 with 4:40 to go on a Nash jumper.
USD's Brandon Johnson connected on a driving layup at the 5:00 minute mark to end a stretch of 8:52 where USD did not make a basket and give the Toreros a 72-60 advantage. Hawaii would not get closer than that 12-point margin as USD would go on for a 81-67 fourteen point victory.
For the game the Toreros shot 57.1% from the field (28-49) and made 7-of-12 three-point attempts (58.3%). More importantly, the Toreros turned the ball over just 12 times while dishing out 15 assists. Hawaii edged the Toreros on the boards, 35-33.