Montana (3-2) at San Francisco (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 30, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (5,300) -- San Francisco, California. Television: None. Home Record: Montana 2-0, San Francisco 2-0. Away Record: Montana 1-2, San Francisco 1-0. Neutral Record: Montana 0-0, San Francisco 0-1. Conference Record: Montana 0-0, San Francisco 0-0. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 4-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Montana Grizzlies come calling on the San Francisco Dons for a Friday night matchup at War Memorial Gymnasium in the City by the Bay.
Montana had just a single day off between this matchup and its most recent outing which ended in an 85-60 loss on the road to BYU. Before that setback the Grizzlies had won three straight games after opening the season with a road loss to Colorado State. Montana returns home in its next two games beginning against NAIA foe Carroll College.
San Francisco is riding a three-game win streak after having disposed of Columbia in a 79-59 final during the Hilltop Challenge at War Memorial Gym last Friday. During the win streak the Dons also collected a victory in their only road contest against American University (67-53). The Dons will remain at home for their next game when they host St. John's.
There have only been four games in the all-time series between these two squads, and USF has secured wins in each contest, the most recent of which occurring last season.
In the loss to BYU, Montana shot 38.8 percent from the field, which included a paltry 7-of-24 effort in the second half. The Grizzlies were also outscored 27-18 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 17 times compared to just seven miscues by the Cougars. Kareem Jamar was the lone standout for Montana with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Jamar (13.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.4 apg) along with Mathias Ward (14.0 ppg) are the only players averaging in double figures for Montana this season. The pair have done so by each shooting at least 50.0 percent from the field. Jamar also contributes on the glass while serving as the leading passer. Keron DeShields (9.2 ppg) has shown the ability to put up bigger scoring numbers but is shooting just 36.8 percent from the field. DeShields is one of very few members of the roster to not shoot well as the Grizzlies connect on 47.1 percent of their shots from the floor while limiting foes to 42.1 percent. However, that advantage has largely been washed out as Montana has a scoring differential of just +0.2. Montana also has a negative differential on the boards (-6.2) by only bringing in 29.0 rebounds per game.
San Francisco shot better than 50 percent in both halves against Columbia and nailed nine 3-pointers en route to the 20-point win. The Dons also brought down 40 rebounds to just 28 by the Lions. If there was a negative in the contest for USF it was its effort from the free throw line (16-of-23). De'End Parker was sensational in the win, pouring in 31 points while Cole Dickerson posted a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
The Dons have been scoring at a decent clip this season (70.2 ppg) while shooting 45.6 percent from the field. With that type of offensive production, the team has enjoyed a +9.2 scoring differential. San Francisco has been strong on the boards as well with a massive +12.0 edge in rebounding early on. Parker (20.2 ppg) has been filling it up at a torrid pace as he nets 54.5 percent of his field goal attempts, including 66.7 percent from beyond the arc. In the interior Cole Dickerson (13.8 ppg, 13.8 rpg) has been a monster on the glass as he is second in the country in rebounds per game. Cody Doolin (10.2 ppg, 5.2 apg) can score when called upon, but he is more important as a facilitator.
Montana hasn't had much time to reflect on its loss to BYU, and since San Francisco has the advantage of playing this at home, the Dons clearly get the nod.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 71, Montana 64
11/30 10:34:48 ET