FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (4,800) -- San Francisco, California. Television: None. Home Record: Columbia 1-1, USF 1-0. Away Record: Columbia 2-0, USF 1-0. Neutral Record: Columbia 1-0, USF 0-1. Conference Record: Columbia 0-0, USF 0-0. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The San Francisco Dons seek their third straight win on Saturday as they host the Columbia Lions as part of the San Francisco Hilltop Challenge at War Memorial Gym.
Since opening the campaign with a 74-62 setback against Stanford, the Dons have rebounded with consecutive victories over Cal State East Bay (73-58) and American on the road on Monday, 67-53.
Meanwhile, the Lions are also enjoying a two-game win streak and have won four of their first five contests this season. The team tipped off their portion of this event on Friday with a 75-63 triumph over Wayland Baptist.
The Dons won the only previous meeting between the teams by a count of 85-74 back in 1992.
Four Columbia starters scored in double figures against Wayland Baptist on Friday, as Grant Mullins, Brian Barbour and Mark Cisco all dropped in 14 points, while Alex Rosenberg followed close behind with his 11 points to go along with five assists and a pair of steals. Also having an impact on the outcome were Cory Osetkowski and Zach En'Wezoh who both tallied eight points as the team made good on an even 50 percent from the field. As one of the most experienced players on the roster, Barbour leads the group in scoring through five games with his 13.6 ppg, even though he is shooting only 4-of-23 behind the three-point line. Barbour is also first in terms of both assists and steals with 25 and 12, respectively, for a group that is outscoring the competition by 16 ppg at the moment.
Against American on the road earlier this week, the Dons led almost the entire way, trailing only once in the first half when the score was 20-19 in favor of the Eagles. Cole Dickerson scored a game-high 20 points for the Dons, while De'End Parker ended up with 19 to help push the visitors to victory. Cody Doolin didn't reach double figures, but he did fill in his stat line with nine points, eight assists and four rebounds as the squad shot a season-best 53.1 percent from the floor and beat American on the glass, 28-19, the third time that's happened in as many games for USF. Parker, an astonishing 72.7 percent shooter behind the three-point line who is just 57.1 percent accurate at the charity stripe, leads the Dons in scoring overall with 16.7 ppg, followed by Dickerson who is not only scoring 15.0 ppg, he is also one of the nation's top rebounders with close to 14 per outing.
The Lions have an impressive record for sure, but the fact that they didn't blow out their last opponent on Friday and are having to turn right around and hit the floor once more will not be good for the long-distance visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 68, Columbia 64
11/24 10:38:11 ET
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