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Baylor Takes On San Diego In Diamond Head Classic

The Sports Network

By John Agovino, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,252) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: San Diego 2-4, Baylor 7-0. Away Record: San Diego 0-4, Baylor 0-0. Neutral Record: San Diego 0-0, Baylor 0-1. Conference Record: San Diego 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: For the first-time ever Baylor and San Diego will collide on the hardwood when the Bears take on the Toreros in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic at Stan Sheriff Center.

The Toreros head into this matchup coming off just their second win of the season. The victory came against La Verne and snapped San Diego's eight-game losing skid.

As for the Bears, they head to Honolulu hoping to bounce back into the win column. Baylor opened the season with seven straight wins, but that streak was dashed with a 68-64 setback to Gonzaga this past Saturday.

Tonight's winner will have to take on the victor of the Mississippi State/Washington State on Thursday.

The Toreros snapped their eight-game funk with one of their better offensive showings on the year, as San Diego pounded La Verne. Clearly, that is should not be a tough task for a Division I school, but maybe it will start the Toreros on a nice run. In the win, the team finished with a 47.3 percent shooting effort and also made 21-of-26 attempts from the foul line. Darian Norris, Ken Rancifer and Chris Gabriel each posted 14 points, while Jordan Mackie and Matt Dorr contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. Norris is leading the team on the year with 11.0 ppg, while Rancifer is helping out with 10.8 ppg. However, as a whole the Toreros are producing just 65.5 ppg, so despite the play against La Verne, San Diego still has plenty of room for improvement.

Unlike their counterpart the Bears have had little trouble putting points on the scoreboard, as they head into Hawaii averaging a respectable 75.1 ppg. LaceDarius Dunn is leading the pack with 21.8 ppg despite missing some time, but the tandem in the frontcourt of Quincy Acy and Perry Jones III is what keeps this team going. Acy is currently registering 14.3 ppg and 8.5 rpg, while Jones III is helping out with 13.9 ppg, and a team-high 8.9 rpg. Unfortunately, Baylor's first loss of the season coincides with one of the team's worst offensive showings on the year, as the Bears tallied just 64 points against Gonzaga. Baylor shot below 40 percent in the contest and finished just 2-of-12 from long range. Jones III led the way in the loss with 19 points and eight boards, while Dunn and Acy finished with 17 and 11 points, respectively. If the team runs cold offensively, the Bears can always rely on their play at the other end of the floor, as Baylor heads into this tournament holding opponents to just 53.9 ppg.

Baylor has gotten the job done at both ends of the floor and should have no problem returning to the win column against a weaker San Diego squad.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.