The San Francisco Dons used an excellent performance from their frontcourt to defeat the Portland Pilots by a score of 84-71. Cole Dickerson led the Dons with 21 points, followed by Kruize Pinkins with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Guard Avry Holmes scored 15 points on 8/10 free throws, and Mark Tollefsen also contributed with 12 points. Matt Glover led the Dons with 4 assists.
Portland was led by their young backcourt of Bryce Pressley and Alec Wintering. Wintering had 15 points and 5 assists, and Pressley matched him with 15 points. Kevin Bailey added 10 points (7 below his average), and Riley Barker also contributed 10 points off the bench (2nd consecutive game in double figures).
San Francisco jumped out to a 17 point lead 16 minutes into the game and never looked back. Portland cut the deficit to as little as 5 points in the second half, but San Francisco had a comfortable victory in hand in the final few minutes of the game.
KEYS TO THE GAME
✓ - Ride the hot hand: Cole Dickerson continued his torrid offensive pace as of late, scoring 21 points on 8/12 shooting and 3/5 from three point range. If he keeps playing like the all-WCC conference player he was last season, the Dons will be tough to beat for the rest of the season.
X – Look for Ryan Nicholas: Nicholas did manage to get 9 shots up, but he wasn’t particularly effective on the offensive end. He only recorded 7 points on 3/9 shooting, 3 rebounds (6 below his average), and 2 turnovers (0 assists). Portland needs him to play well as he is the glue that holds this team together and he also has the most experience on the Pilots’ roster.
Thomas van der Mars vs. Mark Tollefsen: Tollefsen wins this matchup with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals, though he also got a great deal of support from his frontcourt mates Kruize Pinkins and Cole Dickerson. Van der Mars had a rough game to say the least, only scoring 4 points on 2/6 shooting with 4 rebounds in 17 minutes.
San Francisco looks ready for Saturday’s game against Gonzaga. They have won 3 out of their last 4 home games against Gonzaga, and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them do it again. Gonzaga has had two questionable wins against San Diego and Santa Clara in the last week, so the Zags are certainly vulnerable.
Portland needs to look to re-establish their defense. The Pilots had trouble guard the Dons’ big men, but the good news for them is that the Santa Clara Broncos (their opponent on Saturday) have no legitimate inside threats. The Pilots will still have their hands full with the guards of SCU, so that will certainly be an interesting matchup come Saturday.