Winning Big at Home

Mitchell Lobetos
Staff Writer

It’s been an up and down season for the Dons so far but one thing they’ve done is defend home court. Last week San Francisco continued the trend and pulled out a pair of big home wins. Big as in blowout and big as in WCC play. Heading into last week USF was 11-10 and 5-6 in West Coast Conference play but with wins against Menlo (8-19) and Santa Clara University (8-16, 4-8 WCC) the Dons improved to 13-10 and 6-6 in WCC play.

On Saturday, San Francisco took the court at War Memorial against WCC rival SCU and edged them out in a thrilling 89-86 overtime victory. Out of the gate it was a grind-it-out game. Every point each team scored in the first four minutes was either in the paint or from the free throw line. It wasn’t until the 16:00 minute mark that a Bronco player hit a three-pointer to tie the game 9-9. SCU finally pulled ahead by eight points after a driving layup to give them the 29-21 lead with 7:16 remaining in the first half. But USF battled back with a quick response three and two layups to bring the score back to within one after just 75 seconds. San Francisco continued on their scoring stretch and finished the half on a 24-4 run in the final 7:16 and led 45-33 going into the break. The Dons were able to maintain their double-digit lead until there was 12:52 remaining left in the second half, 63-54. The lead continued to dwindle and flux until the 00:27 mark when the Broncos were able to tie the score at 78. A last second possible game-winning jumper was missed by sophomore guard Devin Watson. In overtime USF jumped out in front but found themselves down by three with 2:52 of play remaining. Watson and junior guard Ronnie Boyce each had one made field goal and together shot 7-of-8 from the free throw line for all 11 extra time points en route to the 89-86 victory.

Four days prior during their Tuesday tilt with Menlo College, San Francisco wreaked havoc 100-68. Senior guard Tim Derksen exploded for 22 of USF’s 52 points first half points on 9-of-10 shooting. At the break the Dons were leading in rebounds 22-14, assists 10-8, and only gave up six fouls and two turnovers. In the second half Watson added 13 more points in addition to his seven in the first half. Watson shot 4-of-6 from the field and 3-of-5 from distance. By the end of the game Derksen had 26 points and 10 rebounds, Watson had 20 points and five assists, and sophomore forward Chase Foster and freshman guard Marquill Smith each had 10 points and five rebounds. Boyce and junior guard Uche Ofoegbu each had six rebounds apiece out of USF’s 52 total rebounds. San Francisco also bullied Menlo down low by racking up 54 points in the paint. The Dons shot 51.4% from the field and 45.5% from range. Pure domination by San Francisco.

Catch the next game here at home at War Memorial against Brigham Young University on Thursday, February 11. Tip-off is scheduled for 7PM.

Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics

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