San Diego (16-15) vs. San Francisco (20-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 8, 3 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (7,471) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: BYUtv. Home Record: San Diego 9-7, San Francisco 13-5. Away Record: San Diego 5-7, San Francisco 7-5. Neutral Record: San Diego 2-1, San Francisco 0-0. Conference Record: San Diego 7-11, San Francisco 13-5. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 38-34.
GAME NOTES: The West Coast Conference quarterfinal round of the league tournament kicks off on Saturday with a matchup featuring the sixth-seeded San Diego Toreros against the third-seeded San Francisco Dons at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Both teams received a first-round bye, and the winner of this contest will play the winner of BYU and Loyola Marymount in the semifinals on Monday.
San Diego had won three games in a row prior to the team's season finale against BYU, which the Toreros dropped, 78-70, last Saturday. San Diego finished the season with a 7-11 mark in conference action, but had highlight wins over Saint Mary's and Gonzaga.
San Francisco enters the tournament having won its last five games in a row of the regular season. The Dons defeated Loyola Marymount, 65-61, last Saturday in the team's most recent action.
San Francisco holds a slim lead in the all-time series between the two sides, 38-34. The Dons swept the season series against San Diego, winning on Jan. 18 at home and on Feb. 6 at San Diego.
San Diego guard Christopher Anderson became the school's all-time leader in assists in the season-ending loss to BYU, notching his 527th career helper. Unfortunately for the Toreros, that didn't help their goal of picking up a win. BYU led by eight points at the end of the first half, then coasted the rest of the way in the second half for the victory. Anderson led all San Diego scorers with 22 points, dishing out six assists in the defeat. Johnny Dee chipped in 12 points, and Jito Kok tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Dee was sensational for USD on the year, netting 16.9 ppg to pace his squad and check in at fourth in the conference. Duda Sanadze added 13 ppg, and Anderson led the team and the conference with 5.9 apg. Dennis Kramer chipped in with 11.4 ppg on the season, and led the team in rebounding at 6.8 rpg. That's about all that can be said about San Diego's offense, which averaged a West Coast Conference-worst 67 ppg. The Toreros' defense however, gave up a league-best 64.6 ppg through 31 games played.
San Francisco took advantage of a Loyola Marymount team that struggled mightily in the conference this season. The Dons led by eight points at the end of the first half, which proved to be enough. The Lions made up four points in the second period, but that still left San Francisco with a four- point victory. Avry Holmes scored a team-high 25 points, while Cole Dickerson contributed 14 points with eight boards, and Kruize Pinkins tallied a double- double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Tim Derksen came off the bench to score 10 points, and Matt Glover grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Dons finished fourth in the conference in scoring offense (75.3 ppg), fifth in scoring defense (71.6 ppg allowed) and was second in field goal percentages (47.9 percent) this season. Dickerson led a group of five Dons players averaging a double-digit point total with 14.6 ppg, adding 7.6 rpg to top his squad. Both Pinkins and Holmes added 12.5 ppg, and Mark Tollefsen contributed 11 ppg. Glover dished out a team-best 101 assists on the year, and Dickerson topped the team in rebounding with 7.6 rpg.
San Diego had some unpredictable wins and losses this season, but stayed pretty consistent against the Dons by losing both contests. San Francisco doesn't have a big-time scorer, but is an efficient team that beats opponents with strategy. It might be a close contest, but the Dons should move on to the semifinals.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 76, San Diego 69
03/08 11:21:35 ET