Photo courtesy of USD

USD men’s basketball team easily dispatched Hartford in the first round of the Basketball Tournament on Monday at Jenny Craig Pavillion.

The Toreros (19-13) was first on the scoreboard with a basket by Isaiah Pineiro, that was followed by an alley-oop between Pineiro and Isaiah Wright. The Hawks (19-14) answered back, making 5 of 6, for a 10-9 lead. That would be the first and last time Hartford led in the game.

At one point, the Toreros led by as much as 17 points. This is the first meeting between USD and Hartford, who finished third in the America East Conference. The Toreros finished fourth in the West Coast Conference.

USD’s lone senior, Cameron Neubauer led the team in scoring with 16 points, two shy of his season high. The Toreros was 58 percent from the field and connected on 12 3-pointers, four of those were from Neubauer.

Wright, who leads the Toreros in assists coming into this game, had a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists. As a team, USD tied with its season-high 24 assists.

All five of the Toreros starters scored in the double digits. Tyler Williams had 15 points, Pineiro scored 13 and Olin Carter III added 11 points for USD. Yauhen Massalski also scored in the double digits off the bench with 10 points.

The win is interim head coach Sam Scholl’s first postseason win. He led USD to a loss against BYU a week after coach Lamont Smith was suspended following his arrested in Oakland for alleged domestic violence. Smith resigned after prosecutors declined to press charges.

Up next, the Toreros will host the Portland Pilots in the second round of the CIT at 7 p.m. Saturday. In their last meeting, USD lost to Portland, 55-49, for the Pilots’ first conference win. Portland finished ninth in the WCC.

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