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San Francisco (19-10) at Loyola Marymount (12-17)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 10 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Gersten Pavilion (4,156) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: None. Home Record: USF 13-5, Loyola 6-5. Away Record: USF 6-5, Loyola 3-10. Neutral Record: USF 0-0, Loyola 3-2. Conference Record: USF 12-5, Loyola 4-13. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 108-39.

GAME NOTES: The West Coast Conference regular season comes to an end on Saturday night, as the San Francisco Dons venture to Gersten Pavilion to take on the Loyola Marymount Lions.

USF has had a strong campaign overall at 19-10, and at 12-5 in the WCC, it is tied for second place with BYU. The Dons are riding high as the season comes to a close with four straight victories, most recently making easy work of Pepperdine on Thursday night, 77-53, to improve to 6-5 on the road.

LMU had been losers of a season-long seven straight games coming in to its latest bout but managed to break out of that funk on Thursday with a 75-71 home victory over Santa Clara. The Lions are a mere 12-17 this season at 4-13 in league play, but they have been solid at home at 6-5.

The Dons dismissed the Lions in the first meeting this season, winning at home back on Jan. 2, 75-61, to improve their standing in the all-time series to 108-39

USF actually trailed Pepperdine at the half of its most recent game, but after shooting just 40 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, it improved to a lofty 65.2 percent in the second stanza as it pulled away for the 24- point victory. The squad made good on 10-of-23 from 3-point range and also won the rebounding battle, 40-29. Cole Dickerson was the spark plug with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Avry Holmes netted 17 points on 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and Kruize Pinkins added 12 points.

Offensively, the Dons have played very well this season, shooting just shy of 48 percent from the field (including 36.8 percent from 3-point range) for 75.7 ppg, which has successfully masked their lackluster scoring defense (71.9 ppg). Dickerson is one of the league's top forwards with 14.7 ppg and 7.6 rpg, but while he shoots an impressive 51.8 percent from the floor, his free-throw efficiency (.481) has been dreadful. Pinkins (12.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has also been stellar in the frontcourt, while Holmes (12.0 ppg) ad Mark Tollefsen (11.3 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers.

LMU also overcame a halftime deficit earlier in the week to capture a victory, as it held off Santa Clara down the stretch in the four-point final. It shot 45.5 percent from the floor, made the most of its free-throw tries (23-of-28) and scored 23 points off of 20 Santa Clara turnovers. Evan Payne was outstanding with 27 points on 11-of-17 from the field and perfect 5-of-5 at the free-throw line. Anthony Ireland poured in 20 points, Gabe Levin netted 10 and Alex Osborne narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 11 boards.

Scoring points hasn't been the Lions' problem this season, as they shoot 44.1 percent from the field and 76.2 percent at the charity stripe for 73.9 ppg, but they have been held back by one of the nation's worst scoring defenses, as they yield 77.7 ppg. Ireland runs the point, scoring 18.9 ppg, handing out 5.3 apg and swiping 1.7 spg. Payne is in the midst of a strong freshman campaign with 15.5 ppg, while Levin is a solid presence in the frontcourt with 11.1 ppg and 7.0 rpg.

Despite LMU owning the homecourt advantage and coming off a solid win, USF has been rolling of late and likely won't be intimidated by its road surroundings with a double-bye in next week's WCC Tournament still in play.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 78, Loyola Marymount 73

03/01 11:57:02 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
 
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
 
4th
DET 80
DAL 94
 
4th
BOS 95
ORL 86
 
4th
MIA 59
UTA 77
 
3rd
TOR 58
BRK 60
 
2nd
SAN 35
MEM 48
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
HOU
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
IND
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
 
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
 
2nd
UCF 73
DET 68
 
2nd
UNCW 57
LIB 53
 
2nd
LOYC 55
ABCHRIST 37
 
2nd
MURST 65
ALCOR 39
 
Half
HOU 16
ARKPB 27
 
2nd
NW 50
CMICH 59
 
2nd
WKENT 54
CHIST 43
 
2nd
ODU 42
UGST 44
 
2nd
SMU 41
ILLCH 32
 
2nd
LALAF 97
MLGN 62
 
2nd
TULSA 58
MIZST 55
 
2nd
UWGB 45
MORE 31
 
2nd
NEOM 67
NCOL 49
 
2nd
TTU 71
SCST 28
 
2nd
DEN 51
TAMCC 39
 
Half
STEPH 27
TXST 30
 
2nd
STLU 49
TXPA 41
 
Half
MEM 42
USCU 29
 
2nd
ILLST 41
TENNM 42
 
1st
MSU 17
EMICH 10
 
1st
GRCN 27
INCWORD 23
 
1st
STAN 15
LMU 24
 
1st
BAY 16
NMST 16
 
1st
CIN 10
SDST 16
 
1st
AUB 21
WINT 9
 
10:00pm Tonight
NMU
CARK
 
10:00pm Tonight
PEPP
HOW
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
NE
 
10:30pm Tonight
UNLV
PORT
11:00pm Tonight
OREG
CSNO
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
GRAM
3rd
NJD 0
OTT 1
 
2nd
MIN 1
BOS 2
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL