Dons Overcome Second Half Deficit to Defeat Pepperdine


The San Francisco Dons Basketball team overcame a large second half deficit to defeat the Pepperdine Waves in a highly contested match last Saturday, Feb 23. The Dons came out slow as they shot 4-14 in the first ten minutes of the game. Meanwhile, the Waves came out riding on the hot play of freshman forward Stacy Davis, who had seven points and three assists in the first ten minutes and helped put the Waves up 19-10. Momentum started to swing in favor of the Dons after a technical foul was called right after USF junior forward Cole Dickerson drained a three pointer. The Dons ended the first half on a 17-5 run and took a 27-25 lead into halftime.

San Francisco fans would have liked to see the Dons momentum carry over into the second half, but they came out just as slow and ended up trailing the Waves once again. After a three pointer by Waves’ junior guard Nikolas Skoulen, Dons head coach Rex Walters called for a time out with USF trailing by nine with ten minutes left in the half. The Dons returned to the court after that timeout with a fire lit under them  as they went on a 16-3 run behind the excellent play of redshirt freshman forward Mark Tollefsen. The 6’9” California native carried the team for the rest of the game, hitting two big three pointers along with four crucial free throws.

Pepperdine’s Skoulen hit two free throws after a technical foul was called on Dickerson, bringing the Waves within two at 60-58. However, that is as close as the Waves would get as they missed their next four shots. The Dons would held on for a 68-54 victory in their home finale of conference play.

Tollefsen finished with 18 points, five rebounds, one steal and one block to lead the Dons. He contributed a pair of huge three pointers to help the Dons claim a lead.

Tollefsen was all smiles after the game.

“It felt great. I had great rotation on my shot. [my teammates] were hitting me and I just felt it. Coach always says find the open man and if you’re open [then] you’re the best option.” he said when asked about his two big shots.

Junior point guard Cody Doolin chipped in 13 points, four assists and three rebounds and Dickerson had 11 points and 6 rebounds for the Dons (13-15, 6-9 West Coast). The Pepperdine Waves were led by Davis, who finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Skoulen added 19 points for the Waves (12-15, 4-10 West Coast).

The Dons take on San Diego on Thursday in what will be their last game of conference play before the West Coast Conference Tournament. USF has won six out of their last ten and are currently on a two game winning streak.

“Our momentum is great. We gotta get on more next Thursday at San Diego. That’ll be a tough one but right now our momentum is great,” Tollefsen said.

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