Despite scoring 87 points and taking the game to overtime, the Dons were unable to overcome Loyola Marymount University who hit the century mark and stole the win in last Saturday’s contest. Even though they took a loss, the Dons had a strong showing with three different players scoring 15 points or more.
San Francisco came into the game ahead in the standings with 15 wins and 11 losses, and were 8-7 overall in West Coast Conference games. LMU on the other hand was 11-16 and just 4-12 in WCC games.
The game started out in LMU’s favor with the Lions getting out to a quick 15-5 lead. USF managed to stay relatively close for most of the first half as LMU continued to push their advantage. Unfortunately for the Dons the Lions really managed to get the better of them after the five minute mark, widening the gap until the scoreboard flashed 45-31 at halftime in the Lions favor. Senior Sean Grennan managed to hit a three pointer with just six seconds left on the clock, but it was too little too late as the Dons went back to the locker room staring down a major deficit.
In the beginning of the second half it seemed like it would be more of the same as the Lions held onto their lead through the first five minutes. But then something lit a fire under the Dons offense and they managed to bounce back to within just two points before the halfway point. The game stayed neck and neck right up to the last seconds when senior guard Tim Derksen converted an and-1 to put the Dons just two points away from a tie. Sophomore guard Devin Watson missed the game tying shot but junior forward Dont’e Reynolds was there to collect it and score with just three seconds left, sending the game to overtime.
Sadly the Dons’ effort would be in vain. The offense managed just five points in the five extra minutes while the defense gave up 18, allowing the Lions a comfortable 13-point victory in a game that had seemed so close. Even with the loss USF was led by some great performances. Derksen notched a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds in addition to five assists. Watson got over 20 as well with 22 points alongside three assists. Grennan was the final double digit scorer with 15 points.
This loss came just two days after a 10 point victory over Pepperdine University, 82-72. Both these results bring the Dons overall record to 15-12 and their WCC mark to 8-8. USF sits at fifth in the WCC standings behind Pepperdine.
For their next game the Dons will travel to Stockton to face off against Pacific on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7pm before coming back home to play St. Mary’s at 8pm just two days later. These will be their final two regular season games before the WCC Championships.
Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics