The Don’s went on the road for the last time this regular season to visit Santa Clara and Provo, Utah. After a pair of losses to SCU (12-13, 7-7 WCC) and Brigham Young (16-9, 10-4 WCC), San Francisco holds a record of 13-12, 7-7 WCC. With four games remaining USF will look forward to finishing the final four games of the season at home where they’ve found success. This year they’ve gone 8-2 at home but have struggled to 4-10 on the road.
On Saturday’s matchup with the BYU Cougars, San Francisco got run out in the first quarter. The Don’s didn’t have their sharpest showing of possession when they turned the ball over a horrid eight times in the first 10 minutes. The Cougars made sure to take advantage of that fact and held USF to a subpar 11 points on an abysmal 4-of-14 shooting. San Francisco scored their final point of the quarter with 4:51 remaining and didn’t get up a single shot in the final three minutes, except for a last-second three-point attempt that couldn’t find the bottom of the net.
The second and third quarter went much better. The Cougars and Dons matched each other, dropping in 21 points each. Senior Hashima Carothers dropped in two shots from long range and finished with eight points in the second quarter. Going into the break USF was shooting a respectable 44.8 percent from the field but BYU was scorching hot going 17-for-27 from the field, an eye-popping 63 percent.
Down by 11 going into the second half, San Francisco dug themselves a deeper hole by letting the deficit inflate to 21 by the end of the third quarter. Once again the Dons weren’t taking care of the ball with another four turnovers. With a 44-65 deficit going into the final quarter, USF rallied back and held BYU to eight points but the comeback fell short as they looked up to a final score of 61-73.
The game against Santa Clara was two nights prior to the loss to BYU. The Dons were unfortunately on the losing end of that game as well. In the first quarter San Francisco didn’t shoot efficiently from the field, going 4-for-12 and also having eight turnovers in the first 10 minutes. But knocking down all six of their free throw attempts and holding the Broncos to 6-of-16 from the field and limiting open shots, led to a three-point lead after one quarter of play, 17-14.
After a competitive second quarter and even building the lead to seven points, San Francisco were down by one-point going into halftime, 29-30.
After the break Santa Clara took over and outscored USF 27-12 in the third. The Dons looked lost, giving up another seven turnovers and paired it with an abysmal 5-of-15 from the field. With a score of 41-57, San Francisco needed to lockdown at force tough shots in the fourth but it just wasn’t happening. SCU built up to a 19-point lead and by game’s end notched a 74-61 victory. Senior Rachel Howard tallied 26 points and knocked down five three’s.
With four games remaining, all of which are at home, USF will be looking to improve their seeding before the WCC tournament in a few short weeks. Next up is Gonzaga on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8pm and Portland on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2pm. Be sure to come out to War Memorial Gym or follow live on theW.tv.
Photo Credits: Dons Athletics/ Flickr