SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Toreros hope to make some noise in the West Coast Conference this year. Dominating on their home court could be key.
Isaiah Pineiro had 24 points — making all 11 free throws — and 11 rebounds for San Diego, which used a 16-0 run in the first 7 ½ minutes of the second half to beat cold-shooting Pacific 73-64 Saturday night.
Olin Carter III added 15 points while Yauhen Massalski had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots for the Toreros (12-5, 1-1 West Coast), who bounced back from a 12-point loss at Santa Clara in their conference opener. They improved to 9-0 at home.
"It's nice to see them have that much pride in their home floor," first-year coach Sam Scholl said.
Pacific (10-7, 0-2) shot only 38.2 percent.
"We did a great job, got back to our identity," Scholl said. "Contrary to Thursday, we didn't let some slow offense break our defense and kind of compromise how we approached each possession defensively. We kept sticking with it, guys made some good plays at the midline and we finished possessions, so I was happy with our defensive effort."
Yauhen Massalski, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward, was a force inside with seven of USD's 10 blocked shots.
"He was excellent," Scholl said. "We knew they were going to be a team that was going to look to drive, drive, drive, and he did a fantastic job of coming over and making midline plays and being a playmaker at the rim."
Jahlil Tripp scored 24 and Roberto Gallinat 19 for Pacific, which is coached by former NBA star Damon Stoudamire. Lafayette Dorsey added 15.
The Toreros were leading 31-27 when they went on their 16-0 run to get a comfortable lead. The run started with a 3-pointer by Carter in the opening minute of the second half and ended when he drained another 3 for a 47-27 lead with 13:41 to go. Pineiro and Tyler Williams also hit 3s in the run.
The Tigers got the score within single digits in the closing minutes thanks to a 9-3 run that included a 3 by Gallinat.
"San Diego played well," Stoudamire said. "They did a great job tonight. To play come-from-behind, they're a tough team to do that against. They pretty much controlled it for the last 30 minutes."
Shooting poorly "was a combination of us not being patient offensively and them packing the lane and us not figuring it out," Stoudamire said.
San Diego led 31-25 at halftime. Andrew Ferguson, a 7-foot redshirt freshman, hit two 3-pointers in the final two minutes and just missed another right before the buzzer.
Pacific shot only 37 percent in the first half.
Pacific: The Tigers were coming off a 90-87 loss to BYU in their conference opener in which they trailed by 21 points.
San Diego: The Toreros were coming off a season-high 20 turnovers in a 68-56 loss at Santa Clara. They had 10 in the first half Saturday night and only two in the second half. They continue to be without Isaiah Wright, who's been out with a stress fracture in his right wrist since Dec. 23.
Pacific plays at No. 7 Gonzaga on Thursday night.
San Diego hosts Pepperdine next Saturday afternoon.