USF finishes fourth in WCC despite loss

WAR MEMORIAL GYM — Juwan Gray’s 3-point play with 12.1 seconds left proved to be the difference as the San Diego Toreros overcame a 10-point halftime deficit for a 64-61 win over the San Francisco Dons in the regular-season finale for both

The loss puts San Francisco (17-14, 9-9 WCC) in a three-way tie for fourth place in the West Coast Conference. But with last Thursday’s win over St. Mary’s, the Dons hold the tiebreaker and the fourth seed in next week’s conference tournament. They’ll match up with fifth-seeded Pacific next Saturday at 3 p.m. in Las Vegas. San Diego (18-12, 9-9) also finished locked in that three-way tie, but will enter the tournament as the sixth seed and take on BYU.

USF was abysmal from the line, making just six of 14 free throws. The only bright spot was seven-footer
Jimbo Lull, who made all four of his.

“It was brutal,” said head coach Kyle Smith.

Three-point shooting was much better, as the team connected on seven of 16. Frankie Ferrari, who finished with a game-high 19 points, hit a pull-up three to give the Dons a 31-21 lead at halftime, and Jordan Ratinho hit a pair of threes from well beyond the arc as part of his 12-point performance.

Chase Foster, the lone senior on the roster, scored nine and was honored during a pregame ceremony.

“He’s been a great role model for a lot of the guys,” said Smith.

San Diego was the exact opposite, shooting just 3-of-12 on threes but 13-of-17 from the line, including Gray’s free throw to make it 63-61 after his go-ahead basket. He went 7-for-8 from the line en route to his 18 points, while Olin Carter III (16 points) went 6-of-7. Auburn native Isaiah Pineiro scored 14 for the Toreros in front of a large group of supporters.

Montse Reyes

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