San Diego (17-16) at Sam Houston State (24-10)

The Sports NetworkMarch 22, 2014 

GAME NOTES: With both teams claiming easy victories in the first round, the San Diego Toreros and the Sam Houston State Bearkats mix it up in the second round of the Tournament at Bernard Johnson Coliseum on Saturday night.

San Diego wasn't carrying much momentum into this event, having lost seven of its previous 10 games, including a 69-60 setback against San Francisco in the West Coast Conference Tournament. However, the Toreros looked much better in the first round of this event as they blew past Portland State, 87-65.

Sam Houston State made up for a 68-49 letdown to Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Conference Tournament finals, by crushing Alabama State, 71-49, in the first round of this event. The Bearkats are now 24-10, with their current win total being the most since the 2009-10 season.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs, with the winner moving on to face an opponent to be determined.

Johnny Dee scored 22 points and handed out five assists to lead five players in double figures for San Diego in its first-round win over Portland State. The Toreros connected on 54.4 percent of their shots from the floor and limited the Vikings to six points in the paint.

Dee (16.9 ppg) is a potent scorer for the Toreros, who don't perform especially well at the offensive end as a team. They are netting just 67.4 ppg on 44.8 percent shooting. Missed shots really hurt, considering they are not a strong rebounding team (33.3 rpg). Dee still gives them a chance to score at a high level, with his ability to heat up from 3-point range (.427). Christopher Anderson (10 ppg, 6.1 apg) teams with Dee in the backcourt and is a strong passer, while Dennis Kramer (11.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) provides depth.

Sam Houston State spread out its scoring a bit more than San Diego in the first round, but the result was just as convincing. The Bearkats rolled to a 22-point triumph over the Hornets by limiting them to just 25.9 percent shooting, while holding a 47-33 edge on the glass.

The Bearkats are a much more formidable offensive team than San Diego, netting 75.7 ppg on 46.2 percent shooting on the season. They do not rely heavily one single individual, however, with seven players averaging at least 6.4 ppg. Jabari Peters (12.5 ppg, 4.2 apg) leads the team in both scoring and assists, despite shooting just 37.7 percent from the field. Kaheem Ransom (11.6 ppg, 3.6 apg) is also shooting below 40 percent from the floor as Peters' partner in the backcourt. Michael Holyfield (6.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) anchors the team in the paint.

Dee is a dangerous player who can keep San Diego competitive with his outside shooting. However, he may have some trouble in this game, going up against a a more balanced Sam Houston State team.

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