San Francisco Ends Losing Streak, Defeats Portland 89-77


San Francisc – 89

Portland – 77

Closing it out for the win, the San Francisco Dons took down the University of Portland Pilots in Portland in a WCC matinee game on Saturday.

Jan 8, 2015; Spokane, WA, USA; San Francisco Dons guard Devin Watson (21) puts up a shot against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Dons led the entire game and looked like a brand new team after Thursdays beat down in Spokane at Gonzaga. Double teaming Alec Wintering was an effective strategy leaving him scoreless in the first half of the game. Even with Kevin Bailey’s 20 point return to the floor after sitting out the last few weeks with a foot injury, the Pilots were not able to capitalize on opportunities to pull ahead of the Dons. D’Marques Tyson had a killer 3 point shot from the corner with 40 seconds left in the game helping the Pilots pull within 9 points of the Dons. Too little too late.

Devin Watson led the Dons in scoring with a career high 20 points. He grew up during this game and has settled into his role as the starting point guard for the team. Kruize Pinkins finished with 18 points, fouling out of the game with 17 seconds to go after hanging on the rim and receiving a technical foul. Go big or go home, right? Uh, don’t ask Coach Walters to comment. The icy stare spoke volumes. Even the cameraman knows to avert the camera lens from Coach Walters in moments like these.

Mark Tollefsen and Tim Derksen had 15 points and 5 rebounds. Derksen finished with 5 assists. Matt Christiansen pulled down 7 rebounds. The Dons free throw shooting was reborn this game, adding important points at every turn. They shot 88% and landed 28 out of 32 free throws for the game. Contrast this with having the 3rd worst free throw shooting record nationally out of 151 teams so far this season at the start of the game. This win feels really good for the team and hopefully is a turning point for their otherwise disappointing season.

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Portland must be disappointed with this loss, stopping their positive winning trend after a difficult week with injuries leading to personnel changes on the floor, like Joe Lunardi’s last 4 in, first 4 out bracketology predictions. Out were Riley Barker and Bryce Pressley, In were Gabe Taylor and Jason Todd stepped up nicely finishing todays game with 8 points and 7 points each.

Thomas Van Der Mars finished with 12 points and led the Pilots in rebounding with 8 rebounds. Alec Wintering had 8 assists. Hey, if the point guard can’t score, he can contribute in other areas, which he did abundantly.

The Dons improve their conference record to 2-4. They will return home and play Santa Clara next Saturday. The Pilots will hit the road themselves and will face Loyola Marymont in California on Thursday Evening.