The Dons closed out the 2015 regular season with two wins at home. On Saturday USF faced off against Pacific who they beat handily by a score of 91-79. Just two days earlier the Dons were up against the Saint Mary’s Gaels who gave them a run for their money but still fell short, 65-63.
For the last game of the regular season the Dons put up their best offensive performance of the year, scoring a total of 91 points. USF got off to a quick start in their game against the Tigers when junior forward Taylor Proctor hit a jumper to put the Dons up by two. USF kept up the intensity and soon found themselves up 8-0. The Tigers wouldn’t be beaten that easily however, they fought back hard and under five minutes later were tied with USF. The two teams were neck in neck for the rest of the half which resulted in thirteen different lead changes. When the halftime whistle finally blew, the Dons found themselves clinging to a one point lead, 41-40.
The Dons excelled in field goal percentage in the first half shooting 63% from the field. While they were phenomenal from inside the arc, the same could not be said of their three point shooting. The Dons only attempted three three-pointers the entire half and did not make a single one of them. They were able to keep their turnovers to a minimum, however, with only seven compared to the Tigers 10.
The score remained close for the start of the second half with more ties and lead changes in the first 10 minutes. Slowly the Dons were able to loosen the grasp the Tigers had on them and continue the climb to victory. Consistent offensive production from the Dons led to them being up by 13 when the two minute warning sounded. It wasn’t much work to close it out from that point and the Dons went home that night with a 91-79 win.
Proctor was the standout player for the Dons with a double double of 26 points and 12 rebounds. Next up were junior guard Zhane Dikes and senior forward Paige Spietz who each had 15 points of their own. This would be the last regular season game ever in a Dons uniform for Dikes and Spietz, as well as senior guard Aundrea Gordon. All three players will be graduating this Spring.
On Thursday night the Dons were in War Memorial Gym for a game but this time it was against the St. Mary’s Gaels. Much like their game against Pacific, this match started out extremely close. Unlike the Tigers game, however, it stayed that way right up until time expired. The Gaels were within one field goal of the lead with less than a minute left but two free throws from senior guard Taj Winston sent St. Mary’s packing, 65-63.
These two wins bring the Dons regular season record to a final mark of 17-12 with a West Coast Conference record of 8-10. This record earns the Dons a sixth seed in the WCC Championships meaning their first game will be against third seeded Pacific at 6pm on March 5th. Tune in to TheW.tv to watch the Dons battle the Tigers.
Photo Credits: Dons Athletics