The University of San Diego (USD) Toreros men’s basketball squad evened their record at 9-9 overall as they took down Brigham Young University (BYU), clawing the Cougars by a final score of 88-75 in a West Coast Conference (WCC) ballgame played at the Jenny Craig Pavillion on the campus of USD in Linda Vista.
“I thought Cameron Neubauer was the difference maker tonight,” said Toreros head coach Lamont Smith.
The six-foot-seven-inch, 220-pound Neubauer, a junior forward, contributed 22 points, a team-high nine rebounds, and five assists to the cause, but maybe more importantly, held the Cougars 6-foot-10-inch, 230-pound sophomore forward Eric Mika to only 11 points in the winning effort for USD.
“Neubauer did a good job locking in on Mika and at the other end he had an outstanding game,” said Smith. “Our players did a good job of getting him the ball down the stretch.”
The other player the Toreros were looking to get the ball to was 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore shooting guard Olin Carter III, who finished with a game-high 28 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and one steal on the evening.
“Our players knew our backs were against the wall after dropping two close home games and knowing the importance of wining your home conference games and protecting your home court,” said Smith.
Helping to protect their home floor for USD were 6-6, 205-pound senior forward Brett Bailey with 16 points, five rebounds, and one steal and 6-8, 190-pound freshman forward Juwan Gray with 10 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
“This is a program win for our players and it equals the amount of victories from last season,” said Smith.
Despite being held to only 11 points by Neubauer, Mika still managed to pull down 15 rebounds for Brigham Young, while 6-4, 170-pound freshman T.J. Haws went off for the Cougars with a team-high 27 points to go along with two rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Brigham Young, the third place squad in the WCC, came into the contest with the Toreros with impressive wins over the likes of the Princeton Tigers (82-73), Saint Louis Bilikens (92-62), Colorado Buffaloes (79-71), and San Francisco Dons (85-75) and close losses to the likes of the USC Trojans (91-84), Illinois Fighting Illini (75-73), and Saint Mary’s Gaels (81-68).
Rob Stone is a lifelong resident of the San Diego area and is also a certified talent scout through Sports Management Worldwide. He may be reached at: (858) 262-3966 or Sportsguyrob@att.net