The USD’s men’s basketball team always has a tough time playing in Stockton and Thursday night was no different.
Pacific (8-10, 3-2 West Coast Conference) was nearly perfect at the foul line, making 33-of-35, and all the Toreros (12-5, 3-2 WCC) could do was watch in the 74-70 loss.
“I thought we did a good enough job outside of our fouling. We’ll have to figure that out,” USD coach Lamont Smith said. “They got to the free throw line. They shot 35 and we shot 15. We need to adjust. We’ll go back and watch film and see what we need to do differently.”
Outside of the free-throw line, the Tigers shot just 36 percent, making 18-of-50. USD out-shot Pacific at 48 percent and out-rebounded the Tigers 34-29.
It was the Toreros’ sloppy ball handling, however, that was key to the loss. USD committed 16 turnovers for the game, five of them in the first half.
“If you don’t protect the ball you lose games,” Smith said. “We gave up 17 points off of turnovers.”
With three minutes left to play, the Toreros were trailing by as much as 13 points at 63-50 before rallying back to within five at 68-63 with 23 seconds left. On the next inbounds play, the Toreros grabbed a loose ball on the floor but called a timeout during the scramble with no timeouts left. The Tigers converted both free throws to make it 70-63. Pacific would make four more free throws before the Tigers made the final score with a tip-in for the win.
This marks the fifth straight time USD lost to Pacific at Stockton.
Isaiah Pineiro led the Toreros in scoring with 23 points. Both Tyler Williams and Isaiah Wright reached double-digits in scoring at 20 and 17, respectively. Pacific was paced by Miles Reynolds with 17 points.
Up next, USD returns to Jenny Craig Pavilion to host the Loyola Marymount Lions at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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