First Basketball Game of the Season is a Success for the Dons

The San Francisco Dons came out of the gate with a bang and never looked back on their way to a 93-77 victory over the San Francisco State Gators in an exhibition game last Saturday night at War Memorial Gym.

The Dons brought a ferocious energy to their first game of the year, as junior forward Cole Dickerson lead the charge with 21 points, including an emphatic dunk, and 15 rebounds. Junior guard De’End Parker, a transfer from City College of San Francisco who also played briefly at UCLA, chipped in with 20 points.

USF sustained a balanced attack throughout the game, with four other players also reaching double digits in scoring. Freshman guard Tim Derksen had 13 points, while sophomore guard Chris Adams added 12, all of which came on three-pointers. Junior guard Cody Doolin scored 12 points and dished out nine assists, and sophomore forward Frank Rogers rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.

Fueled by solid three-point shooting along with swarming defense, the Dons raced out to a 25-12 lead. They extended their lead to 49-35 heading into halftime, despite a desperation shot from near half court by the Gators’ Nefi Perdomo that found the net as the halftime buzzer sounded. 

USF came out just as strong in the second half, stretching their advantage to 25 points at 62-37 with 15:47 to play. However, the Gators had some fight left in them, and with a string of points by Robbie Herndon, SFSU cut the lead to 10 numerous times, and for the last time at 66-56 with 11:10 remaining in the game. At this point in the game, San Francisco regained control and got back to doing what got them the lead in the first place. Their defense and shooting picked up once again, and soon the Dons built a 20-point lead that they would not relinquish.

Although the Dons had a comfortable lead for most of the game, it was a hard-fought, physical battle that was surrounded by a spirited and competitive atmosphere at War Memorial Gym.

“They are a hard match up,” USF head coach Rex Walters told “They are a very good test for us.”

While they were active on the defensive end, the Dons did allow a somewhat unimpressive 77 points. Walters was not enthused with this statistic, but he praised Dickerson for his standout, game-changing performance.

“Cole (Dickerson) was really active tonight,” Walters told “He has a real nose for the basketball both as a scorer and rebounder.”

San Francisco is undoubtedly happy with the way they played on Saturday evening, but what is most important is that they carry this success over into the regular season.

The Dons play their second and final exhibition game on Monday, Nov. 5, when they play UNC-Pembroke at War Memorial Gym. After that contest, they have a week to rest, practice, and prepare before opening their season with a big game against Stanford at Oracle Arena, the home of the Golden State Warriors, on November 9th.

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