Dons Weekly Roundup

The Dons bench riled up by Ioanna Krimili’s shot that sent the game into overtime against University of Portland. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS                                    

anaged to only score nine points in the following quarter, allowing the Pilots to take a 32-30 lead going at the end of the first half. 

Momentum returned to the Dons in the third quarter, going on a 14-point scoring run midway through the quarter. They continued to control the pace in the third quarter, preventing the Pilots from making a field goal for five minutes, until finally making a layup with three seconds left in the quarter.

After fourth-year Kennedy Dickie’s three pointer to start the fourth quarter, the Dons had a commanding 13-point lead. Momentum quickly changed once again as Portland fought their way back into the game, holding the Dons scoreless for eight straight minutes. “When something knocks us off our rhythm offensively, we have a really hard time finding that rhythm again,” said USF head coach Molly Goodenbour after the game

The Dons never fully found that rhythm again despite Krimili’s heroic efforts. In addition to her bankshot three to send the game to overtime, Krimili hit another clutch three pointer with six seconds left in overtime to cut the deficit to one point. After the Dons were unable to quickly foul during the inbound play, the clock ran down too low for USF to attempt another shot after free throws from the Pilots, losing the game 83-80 after overtime.

The Dons’ following game against Gonzaga was not nearly as exciting, as USF was outmatched against the top 25 team. USF never led in their 78-56 loss to the Bulldogs, struggling on both sides of the ball. Fourth-year Jasmine Gayles led the Dons in scoring with 14 on 5-10 shooting. Fourth-year Kaylynne Truong was dominant for the Zags, scoring a career high 27 points along with five assists and five rebounds. Truong was also lethal from three point range, scoring 21 of her 27 from behind the arc.  

The men’s basketball team had their own difficulties this past week. Their first loss was on the road against the Saint Mary’s Gaels, who were ranked 18th in the country. The game was close for the majority of the first half but USF found themselves in foul trouble with just under seven minutes still left in the half. In result, the Gaels were able to consistently get to the free throw line, extending their lead to nine once the half was over. 

Although the Dons held SMC to only five made shots in the second half, the Gaels continued to find ways to get to the free throw line, scoring 21 points in the second half off free throws and 32 total points from the line for the game. 

The Dons made a late push thanks to three made three pointers by second-year guard Marcus Williams. The third shot from deep put the Dons up two points with under five minutes left. But after more made free throws and a three point dagger from SMC’s first-year phenom Aidan Mahaney, the Gaels sealed the win with the final score 68-59.  

USF could not get a win in the following game at home against Santa Clara either. In the postgame press conference USF head coach Chris Gerlufsen summed up the game against Santa Clara succinctly, saying, “In every facet of the game they beat us tonight, and that’s super tough to take as a coach… We took a step back tonight and I will own that and take full responsibility for it.” The Santa Clara Broncos were in control for most of the game, holding the Dons to less than 35% shooting from the field. The Dons also struggled at the charity stripe, shooting only 62% from the free throw line.

Graduate students Khalil Shabazz and Tyrell Roberts did their best to keep the Dons in the game, scoring 31 and 17 respectively, but it was no use against the Broncos’ relentless play. USF’s bench struggled immensely, scoring only five points, an unusual sight to see from the Dons. “Our bench has been the strong point for us all year. If you go back and look at our games, whether we won or not, our bench has almost always outscored the other team’s bench,” said Gerlufsen. Nothing seemed to go the Dons way as Santa Clara easily took care of business, winning 83-70.

The Dons could not find success on the tennis court either this past week, losing 4-3 against the University of Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado started strong, winning the doubles point, winning both completed matches. The Dons kept it close by winning three of their single matches with wins from graduate student Arianna Capogrosso, fourth-year Chiho Mushika, and second-year Simran Chhabra but unfortunately were not able to capture the fourth point they needed, resulting in a victory for the Buffaloes.  

USF lost in similar fashion against Colorado State, losing the doubles point before coming up just one point short in singles. Third-year Maria Martinez Vaquero won the first doubles match of the day alongside Chhabra but the Dons were unable to win the point, losing the next two doubles matches, 7-6 and 6-4. Martinez Vaquero was a top contributor for the Dons, also winning her singles match that day. Second-year Hana Gamracy and Mushika were also able to win their single matches, but still the Dons were one single match short of a victory, falling to Colorado State 4-3. 

The women’s tennis team looks to bounce back this Saturday, Feb. 11 against Texas Christian University, while both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have big road games against Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s respectively, today, Feb. 9. 


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