Loyola Marymount (8-10) at San Francisco (7-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (4,800) -- San Francisco, California. Television: TWCSN, CSN-CA. Home Record: LMU 5-3, USF 5-4. Away Record: LMU 2-6, USF 1-4. Neutral Record: LMU 1-1, USF 1-3. Conference Record: LMU 1-4, USF 0-5. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 97-35.
GAME NOTES: The two teams at the bottom of the West Coast Conference standings get together on Saturday afternoon, as the Loyola Marymount Lions pay a visit to the San Francisco Dons at War Memorial Gym.
The Dons are the only team in the WCC still without a league victory, coming up empty in five attempts. The last time the team took the floor two nights ago USF was dominated by Santa Clara in an 85-54 final. Outside of wins over Dominican and East Tennessee State in late December, San Francisco has been very disappointing since putting together a five-game win streak in late November-early December.
As for the Lions, they are only slightly better in conference play this season with one win in five chances. On Wednesday night, LMU was pitted against San Diego on the road and came up short in a 78-70 final, the second straight defeat and the fourth in five games for the program.
The Dons head into this meeting with a huge 97-35 advantage in the all-time series against Loyola. Last year, the Lions won both games during the regular season, but in the WCC Tournament it was USF that picked up a 67-60 victory.
Despite shooting just 1-of-11 behind the 3-point line in the first half three nights ago, the Lions actually led by as many as eight points in the period, but the defense let LMU down after that. Anthony Ireland scored a game-high 19 points, followed by Ashley Hamilton and Ayodeji Egbeyemi with 15 and 14 points, respectively, as the squad came up with 17 turnovers. Ireland, who is playing more than 36 minutes per game, is one of the nation's top scorers with his 20.7 ppg, shooting an impressive 41.6 percent from 3-point range. Hamilton (15.1 ppg) and Egbeyemi (10.7 ppg) are also crucial pieces to the offensive puzzle for a program that is putting up 71.5 ppg at the moment.
The Dons had a hard time finding the basket on Thursday night, hitting just eight field goals in both halves, including a dismal 3-of-19 shooting behind the 3-point line, which was more than enough to send the group to the loss column yet again. Matt Christiansen came off the bench to record 12 points, the only double-digit scorer for the group as the starting five combined to shoot only 4-of-27 from the floor. Cole Dickerson was pretty much a non-factor for the Dons the last time out, yet he is still averaging a double-double with 14.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest. The same goes for Cody Doolin (13.1 ppg) who is one of the nation's top passers with 107 assists through 18 contests.
Assuming that the starters for the Dons get the wake-up call that they need, San Francisco should be more competitive this weekend and perhaps finally break through in conference play if all goes according to plan.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 71, Loyola Marymount 67
01/19 10:39:18 ET