San Francisco Dons (10-6, 3-1) at Pacific Tigers (9-5, 0-3)
Date: Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Location: Spanos Center, Stockton, Calif.
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Radio: San Francisco – USFDons.com
Pacific – PacificTigers.com
Last Season: Pacific defeated USF by a score of 67-59 on Dec. 8th.
The Pacific Tigers are 0-3 in conference play, and the road does not get any easier for the WCC newcomers. The Tigers (9-5, 0-3) will take on the San Francisco Dons (10-6, 3-1) with hopes of amassing their first win in WCC play since the 1970-1971 season.
San Francisco has been a bit of a surprise this season, despite being picked to finish fourth in the WCC’s preseason coaches’ poll. Players such as Matt Glover and Chris Adams have been unlikely major contributors for the Dons in WCC play.
Keys to the Game
Never let your guard down: As apparent by the Gonzaga game – where Pacific was down 21 points at halftime, but furiously cut the lead down to 10 in a short span – the Tigers are a resilient bunch. Head Coach Ron Verlin is the leader of a team that features 7 seniors, which have a boatload of experience. This battle-tested squad does not give up very easily, thus making it very important that the Dons play hard for all 40 minutes in order to keep up with the Tigers (or just drive them into the dirt, depending on how the game is going).
Defend the three-point line: The Tigers were absolutely brutalized by the Zags last Saturday from beyond the arc. Gonzaga shot 76.9 percent from three-point range.
The Tigers cannot have the same thing happen with the Dons, who shoot a great deal of three-pointers themselves. San Francisco is tied with Gonzaga at 2nd in the WCC in three-pointers attempted with 314. If the Dons get hot from behind the arc, it could be fatal for the Tigers chances in this game. It’s their responsibility to make sure that does not happen.
The Dons have played some of their best basketball of the season as of late with convincing victories over Loyola Marymount, Portland and Pepperdine. The Tigers on the other hand are struggling to adapt to the game-in and game-out challenge that is presented in the WCC. Based on this alone, it would be easy to pick the Dons.
However, the Dons have a go-to scorer in Cole Dickerson, something that the Tigers do not have. On top of that, the Dons just have more shooters than the Tigers, which will be a huge factor in this game.
The Dons win with little trouble at all. San Francisco 83, Pacific 71.