The Dons bounced back from a tough loss last Wednesday against UC Santa Barbara to beat Delaware State by a 20 points, 67-47. Sophomore guard Devin Watson was the leading scorer for the Dons in their win posting an impressive 18 points. Watson also tacked on seven assists, five rebounds and one steal during his 35 minutes on the floor.
While the Dons ended up on top by 20 points at the end of the game it was Delaware that scored the first bucket of the game, a three pointer by Deandre Haywood in the first minute. The first points for the Dons were put on the board a minute later when senior guard Tim Derksen made a layup. This was a very low scoring game, especially in the first half and it would be another minute and a half before either team would sink a shot. This time it was Watson with a layup off the fastbreak to give the Dons their first lead of the game. For the rest of the second half the score would go back and forth with neither jumping to a comfortable lead. At the buzzer the Dons went to the locker room for halftime down two, 23-25.
Part of the reason for the low score at the half were turnovers; Delaware had eight while the Dons had six of their own. USF’s abysmal three-point shooting was also a factor in the low scoring game, making just three of their 15 attempts. In addition, San Francisco didn’t make a single trip to the free throw line showing their non aggressive play.
The second half began with freshman forward Nate Renfro going to the charity stripe who sank both free throws to even the score. That was the last time Delaware would ever hold the lead. The Dons continued to widen the gap until it reached 20 points. San Francisco was a little more careful with the ball in this second half, turning it over just four times in comparison to six times in the first half. Another big factor that led to the Dons running away with the game in the second half was their shooting which improved in all three categories. Their accuracy from inside the arc jumped from 34.5 percent in the first half to 61.5 percent in the second. Their three point shooting skyrocketed from 20 percent to 60 percent after the half. Lastly their free throw shooting was ugly to look at at just 54.4 percent, but even that was better than their free throw-less first half
Four days previous the Dons played at home in a game where they were nearly blown out but managed to make it close in the end. For a while it seemed as if the Dons would be lucky to lose by 20 points, their largest deficit of the game came in the first half when they were down 28. USF managed to rebound big time in the second half and made it a much closer contest than it had been. Sadly it was too little too late and the Dons looked up to the scoreboard to a final score of 61-68.
These two games bring the Dons overall record to 4-2. San Francisco will return to action at home on December 1st at 7PM against Eastern Washington University. Then they’ll be heading to Missoula three days later for a matchup against the University of Montana. Be sure to support the Dons during their home game at War Memorial and follow live stats and usfdons.com
Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics