The San Francisco Dons continued their road trip north to Eugene, Oregon where they faced the 17th ranked Oregon Ducks. The Dons came into tonight’s game with a 3-2 record and fresh off of a victory at the University of Montana. Tonight’s opponent proved to be a much tougher task.
The Dons were down before the game even started as key point guard Cody Doolin was out for the second straight game. Doolin had previously started 102 straight games for the Dons. Sophomore Tim Derksen got the start in place of Doolin.
The first half began with both teams showcasing their up-tempo offensive styles. The Dons used their speed to get to the basket and draw fouls but were unable to finish the easy shots when they were not fouled. Oregon’s transition offense and quick ball movement seemed too quick for the Dons who tried to respond with 3-point shots. The Dons, who came into tonight’s game shooting 40% from beyond the arch, were unable to respond and missed their first eight attempts from 3-point range. Despite their poor shooting, 31% from the field and 21% from 3-point range, USF only trailed 40-35 at halftime.
The second half displayed more of the same problems as the first as the Dons poor 3-point shooting continued. USF finished the game shooting an uncharacteristically low 28% from three-point range and 36% from the field. On the other side of the ball the Oregon Ducks continued to drain their 3-point attempts. The Ducks, averaging 35% from 3-point range on the season, made 11 of their 19 three-point shot attempts. This clearly was the difference maker in tonight’s game.
The Dons battled tough all game as the score clearly does not due justice to how hard the Dons played. This was a tough road game versus a very strong and talented Oregon Ducks team, who won the Pac-12 tournament and made the sweet-16 in the NCAA tournament. Although the Dons lost this was a great non-conference test for the team. With Doolin back in the starting line-up the Dons are a much more effective team on both ends of the floor. USF hopes to have Doolin back for their next game. The Dons, projected to finish 4th in the WCC, have a lot to build upon and will look to do so when they come back to the bay on Wednesday night versus Sonoma State.
USF Dons Player of the Game: Kruize Pinkins
The 6’7 forward from Florida was the lone bright spot for the Dons tonight. Pinkins came in to tonight’s game off of a brilliant shooting performance versus Montana where he made 10 of his 11 field goal attempts. Dinkins finished tonight’s game with a double double, 20 points and 11 rebounds, and shot 50% from the field.