The San Francisco Dons pulled out an ugly win tonight in Missoula against the Montana Grizzlies. Star point guard Cody Doolin was a late scratch as he had to miss the game for personal reasons. Anytime you pull out a win on the road against a tough team you can’t complain but the Dons did everything possible to leave Montana with a loss.
For the second game in a row, Matt Glover missed crucial free throws that could have put away the game for the Dons. Fortunately, Cole Dickerson pulled down the huge offensive rebound with 14 seconds left. Dickerson immediately passed the ball to Avry Holmes to ice the game but Holmes inexplicably threw wild elbows and was called for a technical foul.
The Grizzlies were rewarded two free throw shots and the ball which could have easily led to a Dons loss. However, Grizzlies guard Keron DeShields missed his first free throw and Kareem Jamar missed the last second shot to give the Dons a much needed win.
Stars of the Night
JUCO transfer Kruize Pinkins was a monster inside the paint tonight for the Dons. For the second game in a row, Pinkins was almost perfect as he made 10/11 shots for 22 points. Pinkins has rebounded from his first two rocky performances against D-I competition by going a combined 16/17 shooting in his last two games. The 6’7 Pinkins career high performance came at a crucial time for the Dons because point guard Cody Doolin had to miss the game for personal reasons. It looks like the Dons will have a three-headed monster in the paint with Pinkins, Dickerson and Tollefson.
The pressure was on Cole Dickerson tonight as he was the only senior on the team with the absence of Doolin. Dickerson responded by scoring 17 points and getting a game high 12 rebounds. Hopefully, tonights season best performance will translate into bigger numbers for the rest of the season for Dickerson. For most of the year it looked like Dickerson was a third or fourth scoring option but tonight he put the onus on himself to be the scoring threat for the Dons.
Plain Old Luck
There is no excuse for the Dons to miss three huge free throws in a row to end the game. Matt Glover almost lost the game for the second game a row as he missed a chance to ice away the game. To top off the missed free throws, Avry Holmes inexcusable technical foul at the end of the game could have cost the Dons the win. The Dons are lucky to head to Eugene with a 3-2 record. We can kiss that killer instinct from the Cleveland State game goodbye as the Dons don’t look like they have the closing prowess of a NCAA tournament bound team.
The Dons travel to Eugene to take on 17th ranked Oregon Ducks. Although the Dons defense looked decent tonight against the Grizzlies, they will be playing an explosive offense on Sunday night. We saw what Nevada Wolfpack’s Deonte Burton did to the Dons last week, which does not bode well as the Dons take on the unstoppable Joseph Young who is averaging over 26 points per game. Hopefully, Cody Doolin is able to join the team in time for the game as he we will be needed if the Dons want any chance of pulling off the upset.