Tag Archives: USf Basketball

San Francisco Basketball Teams Finish Season and Focus on the Future

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The WCC  Tournament 

The San Francisco men’s basketball team lost a nail-biter in overtime to the Loyola Marymount Lions in the second round of the West Coast Conference tournament on March 7 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. San Francisco had a first round bye. LMU was able to pull off the win even under the pressure of 23 points and 18 rebounds from Dons junior forward Cole Dickerson. Dickerson was the lone bright spot for the Dons – redshirt freshman forward Mark Tollefsen was the only other Don to reach double digits in scoring.

“Cole was fantastic…it was fun to watch. He’s an all-league player and if he has a great spring and summer, he can be the player of the year in this conference next year,” Head Coach Rex Walters said to usfdons.com.

The Dons shot just 38% from the field and were ice cold from the free throw line, shooting a mere 8-19 from the charity stripe. The Dons were out-rebounded 42-36 and managed to score only four points in overtime. Overall, the Dons were out-hustled and couldn’t match the intensity or effort of the Lions.

“I thought Loyola Marymount wanted it a little more than we did. You have to go through the battles. They made more plays down the stretch,” Walters said to usfdons.com.

 

The Final Game

The Dons were able to quickly rebound and build some momentum for next season as they defeated the Northern Kentucky Norse 73-68 in the final scheduled game of the season March 14 at War Memorial Gym. Dickerson starred once again as he posted his 13th double-double of the season with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Tollefsen led the team in scoring with 22 points and chipped in six rebounds. The Dons were red hot from the field, shooting 49% from the field and 40% from three-point land. With ten three pointers, USF set a new school record for three pointers made in a single season with 249. The Dons struggled from the free throw line once again, making only 13 of 21 attempts, but they beat the Norse on the glass, out-rebounding them 36-25.

The Dons finished the season winning four out of their last five games and finished fifth in a highly competitive West Coast Conference that featured Gonzaga, the number-one ranked team in the nation.

The Dons started the season strong back in November and December, winning five of their first six games including a big win over St. John’s, a traditional basketball powerhouse from the Big East Conference.  However, the team lacked senior leadership and struggled with inexperience, leading them to lose their next five in a row. San Francisco recovered later in the season and ended strong. The team did not feature a single senior and has a bright future with junior stars Dickerson and guard Cody Doolin returning for their final seasons next year. The team also has a plethora of talented young players returning next year such as Tollefsen and sophomore guard Chris Adams. The Dons hope to build off of their more impressive play at the end of the season and carry it over into the 2013-14 season.

 

On the Women’s Side

The San Francisco women’s basketball team had a strong showing at the West Coast Conference tournament with a win in the first round over Pepperdine, while falling just short to Loyola Marymount in the second round. The win was the first postseason victory for the Dons since 2007. The team has made strides over the past couple seasons and is hoping to carry momentum into next year. The Dons finished 4-12 in conference play, with many of the losses coming from very close games that could have gone their way with some minor adjustments. Senior guard Mel Khlok and senior forwards Bailey Barbour and Whitney Daniels are graduating this spring, leaving open spots for the young talent that is ready and waiting to step in to fill new roles. San Francisco will definitely miss Khlok, the Dons’ current leading scorer. However, freshman guard Zhané Dikes has made strides in her first season and has even led the team in scoring in a few games. The team will also return their leading rebounder, sophomore forward Alicia Scafidi. Overall, the Dons will continue to strive toward being a competitive team in the West Coast Conference next season and in seasons to come.

USF Comeback Falls Short Against Gaels, Dons Find Success in Malibu

For the third straight game, last Wednesday night, Jan. 30, saw the Dons trailing at the half without any semblance of offensive rhythm, only to see them come back and outplay their competition in the second half. The visiting St. Mary’s Gaels escaped War Memorial Gym victorious by a tally of 67-63, but the score undersells the Gaels second half collapse as well as the Dons late game rally.

Things did not start well for the Dons. St. Mary’s, led by Queensland native Jorden Page (19 pts), opened up a nine point lead just five minutes into the contest. Much like USF’s previous game against Gonzaga, the Dons struggled to find their shot early, as the home side shot 2-10 from the field to start the game. The two successful shots came from behind the arc by the hand of the struggling junior guard Cody Doolin. The usually dynamic point guard had been rather quiet in San Francisco’s past four games, averaging just six points per contest. Doolin, however, found his stroke  Wednesday and paced all USF players with 16 points.

Despite the reinvigorated Doolin, USF struggled to get production on offense, particularly in the paint. The Gaels were more physical down low in the first half, offering no quarter to any Don trying to in close on the rim. The lack of a strong post game allowed St. Mary’s to strengthen their defensive game against the Dons shooters in the half court, smothering them in the corners and forcing USF to settle for contested jump shots. With the Dons recent shooting struggles, St. Mary’s was able to open up a comfortable 37-23 halftime lead.

The first portion of the second half was essentially a continuation of the first half. USF struggled to shoot the ball effectively and St. Mary’s bullied the Dons down low, as evidenced by their 44 rebounds compared to San Francisco’s 22. Despite a quieting crowd and a slumping offense, The Dons would not go quietly into the fog ridden night. Down by 16 at the six minute mark, USF willed themselves to a 10-2 run to cut the lead to eight with just over four minutes to play. After another three by Page, USF had to come up with an answer, and fast. Freshman guard Avry Holmes (10 pts) and Doolin netted a quick four points for USF, cutting the Gaels lead to 62-55 with 90 seconds remaining.

Needing to save time and limit the St. Mary’s offensive, the Don’s fouled Gael’s point guard Matthew Dellavedova on the inbound, sending him to the line. He missed one of his two free throws, giving USF the ball back at the bargain cost of a single point. Grabbing the rebound off the missed free throw, junior guard De’End Parker pushed the ball down the court, drew a foul, and with USF in the bonus, headed to the line where he sank two pressure free throws. USF fouled again on the inbound pass, which sent Gael’s guard Stephen Holt to the free throw line. Don’s fans and players watched gleefully as he clanked both off the rim. Pulling down the defensive rebound, Cole Dickerson got to ball to Doolin who found Parker for a deep three pointer with 00:27 left in the contest. Parker’s free throws and jumper closed the scoring gap to three, with USF trailing 63-60. St. Mary’s, however, was able to net a swift two points off a lay-in by guard James Walker, giving them a five point advantage with 16 seconds left to play. With the clock running, San Francisco’s freshman guard Tim Derksen (10 pts) headed straight for the bucket and put up an acrobatic two points, while simultaneously drawing a foul, earning him a chance at a three point play. Derksen netted the free throw but with only ten sconds left on the clock, USF had to foul immediately. Sadly for the Dons, who were down just two points with four seconds left, Page sunk both attempts and sealed the game for St. Mary’s. A meaningless desperation three by Holmes hit harmlessly off the rim as time expired.

The loss dropped USF to 2-7 in the WCC and 9-13 overall, but USF had little time to dwell on what could have been. Three nights later the Dons were in Malibu, again down at the half to the Waves of Pepperdine. The Dons, now well versed in second half comebacks and their fickle nature, shot the Waves out of their own gym. Connecting on 14 of their 24 three point attempts, the Dons were able to fight back from a seven point second half deficit to claim their third WCC win of 2013 by a mark of 86-78. Junior forward Cole Dickerson dropped a game high 27 points.

USF now travels to Utah to take on BYU on Saturday night.

 

Dons Go 1-1 on Northwest Road Trip

As classes started on the Hilltop, the USF men’s basketball team was on the road, tipping off Thursday night in Portland against the Pilots. The Dons shot down the Pilots in dramatic fashion on a buzzer-beater by junior forward Cole Dickerson that gave USF the 75-72 victory. Dickerson and the Dons battled back from an 11-point deficit in the second half to record their sixth straight win over the Pilots. After struggling to find their shooting rhythm during their last two contests, the Dons drained nine three pointers, none bigger than Dickerson’s with 0.01 left on the clock.

Things started out well enough for USF as Dickerson, who put up 15 points, netted the game’s first basket, giving USF a 2-0 lead two minutes into the game. Portland, however, had an answer for everything and traded buckets with the Dons until junior guard Korey Theileke hit a deep three with 11:40 left in the first half, giving the Pilots an 8-point lead. For a team struggling to find its shot, being down early on the road is treacherous territory. The Dons shot a combined 32.6% percent from the floor in their two pervious games, losing both by a combined 40 points. Instead of forcing low percentage shots, San Francisco started its comeback on the defensive end of the floor, forcing five turnovers during a 10-3 run that gave the Dons a one point advantage with 7:00 left in the first. That lead would not last, as Derrick Rodgers put Portland back on top 15 seconds later. The half would end in ironic fashion as senior guard Oskars Reinfields hit a deep three with 0.01 left in the first, giving the home team a four point edge at the break.

The second half started with an outburst of scoring from the Pilots, highlighted by 15 point half from junior forward Ryan Nicholas, who scored a game high 26 points. Things looked dire at the nine minute mark, as Portland held a commanding 11 point lead and showed no signs of slowing down. The Dons, however, were saving their best defense for the final act, as they forced Portland to settle for contested, long range jump shots for the remainder of the half. USF kept Portland from making a single shot for over seven minutes, from the time they took the 11-point lead until the 2:20 mark. During that stretch, the Pilots were hard pressed to get a clean look at the basket and when they did, the Dons fouled the shooter, forcing the Pilots to make pressure free-throws and stopping the clock, giving USF ample time to tie it up. With a minute left in the contest, senior guard Cody Doolin sank a clutch three, tied the game, and set the stage for a USF win.

After the Doolin three, Portland used up 30 seconds of the allotted 35 second shot clock and had nothing to show for it as Reinfield’s missed a challenged three pointer. With the miss giving USF the last possession of the game, the Dons slowed down their offense and looked for an open shot. With time running out, Doolin spotted Dickerson in the left corner and sent his seventh assist of the night into the hands of the junior forward.
The last second win was short lived for the Dons, as they were slated to tip-off in Spokane on Saturday night against the 10th ranked Zags, a game which they lost 66-52.

Thanksgiving Break Not Kind to USF Basketball

Men’s Basketball

On November 24, while most students were thinking about turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, the men’s basketball team was on the road to play the Bobcats of Montana State. The Bobcats are 4-1 this season after recent routs of Cal Poly (73-57) and Minot State (92-67). USF entered the match with confidence after an exciting 83-81 win in overtime against the Colorado Buffalos. Junior forward Angelo Caloiaro played a huge part in the victory scoring a career high 26 points and was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Even with the momentum the Dons failed to turn out a result against the Bobcats falling 76-59 in the Midwest. Montana State took control of the game early, leading 17-8 after six minutes, and USF never would respond with a lead.

USF shot terribly from beyond the arc making only two 3-pointers throughout the contest. Overall, both teams shot at about 40% but the Bobcats were able to convert from outside the arc, which tipped the balance in their favor. Michael Williams and Perris Blackwell lead the scoring for USF putting up 17 points each. Blackwell also hit the boards aggressively, tallying 7 rebounds for the Green and Gold.

The Dons’ next match was Saturday the 27th at home versus the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. The Ramblers started off the 2010-2011 season very strong posting an undefeated 6-0 record but have only played marginal teams like Western Michigan and Alabama State. The Dons looked to stretch their home-unbeaten streak to 7 games but couldn’t close out an early lead for the win.

San Francisco lead the Ramblers until 4 minutes left in the game when Loyola’s Ben Averkamp sunk two free throws making the score 55-54 Dons. The game continued to go back and forth as each team exchanged the lead 4 times. With 10 seconds left and the Dons up 62-61, a fight for a loose ball led to a controversial foul against USF sending Ramblers’ Terrence Hill to the free throw line. Hill would go on to sink both shots shifting the lead 63-62 Loyola. USF took the ball down the court and with 4 seconds to go Cody Doolin threw up a shot but couldn’t find the basket. Rashad Green crashed the backboard for the rebound but missed the put back.

USF will face Holy Names on Wednesday, December 1 at War Memorial Gym. Tip off is set for 7 p.m..

Women’s Basketball

The Lady Dons spent Thanksgiving week playing in the 2010 Holiday Inn Express-Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament at University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. First, the Dons tipped off against the Lobos of UNM on Friday, November 26. USF couldn’t find their rhythm and trailed the entire match while UNM came out firing and controlled the game 40-15 at half. New Mexico’s Jasmine Patterson led the team on offense with 11 points and Jourdan Erskine led the defense with 7 boards.

Turnovers continue to be the Lady Dons biggest weakness as they gave up 23 to the Lobos that resulted in 29 points. Offensively San Francisco struggled to complete passes recording only 7 assists for the night. No USF player had more than one assist.
After an opening loss to New Mexico the Lady Dons went on to play a consolation game against the University of Rhode Island, Saturday November 27. The URI Rams are 3-3 this season and gave USF a run for their money. The game was a nail-biter with momentum going back and forth resulting in a half time tie at 32 points apiece. Down by 2 with seconds to go in the first half Lady Dons Kelly Jo Mullaney received the inbound pass and went from coast to coast making the fast break lay-up to give San Francisco the momentum going into halftime.

To open play in the second half strong three point shooting gave the Lobos the lead until USF’s Mel Khlok hit basket to put the Lady Dons up 50-48. The next ten minutes of the game were all about USF, as Khlok would continue to score 8 more points putting the Lobos away for the rest of the game. Katy Keating led the scoring for the Lady Dons with 19 points 4 rebounds and 2 assists. San Francisco also improved their passing drastically, guard Rheina Ale recorded 7 assists leading the teams 18 overall. At the buzzer the Lady Dons led the Lobos 87-76.

The Lady Dons will continue play on Wednesday, December 3 against Sacramento State in Sacramento at 7 p.m.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Sports Editor: Matt Steinbach