Men’s basketball: DOns Come Close to victory twice

Steffen Deetjen 
Contributing Writer

The Dons lost a close contest against San Diego on Saturday the 31st. Senior forward Kruize Pinkins led the Dons in scoring with 22 points.

The Dons were unable to achieve a win against USD due to their late turnovers and missed opportunities with free throws. The Dons were shooting 62.5 percent from the free throw line while USD was well ahead of them with a free throw percentage of 83.3 percent. In the first few minutes of the game, the Dons were left trailing behind USD with a moderate point deficit. By halftime, the Dons were able to secure a one point lead but it would not last. During the second half the Dons were unable to sustain their advantage and fell behind. With a little over a minute left in the game, the Dons allowed USD to take control of the game through their excess of turnovers.

It was more of the same story two nights before when the Dons travelled to Provo, Utah to face off against BYU. In an exciting yet regretful game, the Dons came up short against the Cougars with a final score of 78-74. Although the Dons suffered a loss, junior forward Mark Tollefsen had an exceptional game by leading the Dons with 22 points.

The Dons started off well in the first five minutes of the game by scoring a total of eight points off of field goals, leaving BYU trailing behind by two points. In a matter of minutes BYU chipped away at the lead by scoring well in the paint and found themselves ahead. The lead by BYU did not deter USF who trailed closely behind as multiple Dons made it a goal to close the gap. Struggling to get anything going from long distance, the Dons ended up scoring most of their points from field goals and free throws. By the end of the first half, the score ended up being 34-30, with the Dons in pursuit.

In the second half the Dons continued to come up short. Although this was the case for most of the half on three occasions the Dons managed to attain a one point lead over BYU. However, this was not enough to close out the game. Despite their loss, the Dons excelled in field goal percentage and in three point percentage. The Dons had an average of 48.2 percent compared to BYU’s 40.0 percent in field goals and an average of 23.8 percent in comparison to BYU’s 15.0 percent. Overall, it was an extremely close game, and the Dons were just short of coming out on top.

The next two games on the Dons schedule will be played at home in the War Memorial Gym. On Thursday the 5th USF will face off against Portland at 6pm, two days later their opponents will be BYU who are ranked third in the nation currently. That game will begin at 8:30pm and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Photo Credit:  Courtesy of Dons Athletics

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