Idaho State (1-1) at San Francisco (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 18, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gym (5,300) -- San Francisco, California. Television: None. Home Record: Idaho State 1-0, San Francisco 2-1. Away Record: Idaho State 0-1, San Francisco 0-0. Neutral Record: Idaho State 0-0, San Francisco 0-0. Conference Record: Idaho State 0-0, San Francisco 0-0. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 4-0.
GAMES NOTES: Coming off their first loss of the season, the San Francisco Dons will attempt to bounce back when they bring in the Idaho State Bengals to War Memorial Gym for a non-conference battle on Monday night.
Idaho State has faced widely different levels of competition. In the season opener, the Bengals easily bested NAIA Evergreen State at home by a 99-62 score. In their second game, and first on the road, the Bengals were on the short end of a rout as they fell to Arizona State, 88-60, in Tempe. Such a lopsided score on the road is to be expected for the Bengals, who had just a single win in 15 road trips last year.
San Francisco nearly managed to stay perfect through its first three games, but fell short in a 92-90 defeat to Nevada at War Memorial Gym last time out. The setback ended a two-game win streak to start the year for the Dons, who have scored 90 points in each game this season. The two victories on the year came against Cleveland State (91-82) and Notre Dame De Namur (95-57). San Francisco did not have much of a homecourt advantage last year as it clawed its way to an 8-7 mark on its home floor.
These teams have played four times previously. All four of those contests were played on a neutral court and each one ended in victory for the Dons, including an 85-56 triumph in the last meeting during the 1997-98 season.
Production from beyond the arc was the difference in the Bengals' loss to Arizona State. While the Sun Devils nailed 12-of-29 shots from 3-point range, the Bengals had just a pair of 3-pointers in the contest on nine attempts.
There are five different players averaging in double figures for the Bengals in the first two games. Those numbers are sure to diminish quickly as the bulk of the scoring came in the season opener. Jeffrey Solarin (15.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg) should be able to continue his strong play both on offense and on the boards, as he is netting 61.9 percent of his field goal tries. Solarin had seven points and as many rebounds against Arizona State. Andre Hatchett (10.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg) was a key contributor for the Bengals last year but he is netting just 25 percent of his shots this year. Fellow backcourt contributor Tomas Sanchez (11.0 ppg, 2.5 apg) has also been marred by poor shooting (.389). Chris Hansen (11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Evann Hall (15.0 ppg) are also scoring in double figures, with Hall providing his efforts as a reserve.
San Francisco really let itself down defensively against Nevada. The Dons let the Wolf Pack connect on 56.9 percent of their field goal attempts, while letting up an 8-of-19 effort from beyond the arc. The Dons also left far too many points at the free-throw line, as they went 23-of-35.
Cody Doolin certainly did all he could to give the Dons a chance against Nevada. Doolin finished with a career-high 33 points in the contest. Doolin (13.0 ppg) is a solid scorer but normally gets his teammates involved more often, as he has 22 assists to just four turnovers on the season. Doolin gets help from the rest of the roster as he is one of several players averaging in double figures early on. Mark Tollefsen (14.3 ppg) is the top scoring option, though he was held to just 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting in the loss to Nevada. Cole Dickerson (12.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg) is also a double-figure scoring threat but he has been more critical for his work on the glass.
Even in a loss, San Francisco was still difficult to stop on offense. The Bengals haven't proven in recent years they have the type of defense to slow teams down and they will fail again on Monday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 89, Idaho State 69
11/18 10:33:19 ET