Mark Tollefsen’s 3-pointer with 2:48 remaining gave the USF Dons the lead and they hung on down the stretch for a 75-74 win over the Montana Grizzlies in Missoula, Mont., Friday night to snap a two-game losing streak.
USF (3-2) led 74-69 after Kruize Pinkins made one of two free throws, but a series of missed charity shots almost wrecked the night for the Dons. USF made just 1-of-7 from the line in the final 39 seconds, including three misses by Cole Dickerson, two by Matt Glover and one by Tollefsen.
But Keron DeShields couldn’t convert a three-point play after making a layup with 15 seconds left that brought Montana (1-2) to within 75-73 and missed the first of two free throws with 11 seconds left. He made the second to make it 75-74 and then USF had to survive a Kareem Jamar jumper at the horn that clanked off the iron.
Kruise Pinkins came off the bench to score 22 points in 25 minutes for the Dons, who were a dreadful 10-for-22 from the line. Dickerson added 16 points and 12 rebounds, Tollefsen scored 14 points and Avry Holmes had 13 points and five steals.
Jamar led the Grizzlies with 25 points, eight assists and six rebounds, while DeShields finished with 12 points and reserves Chris Kemp and Jordan Gregory scored 10 each. Montana’s free throw shooting was worse than the Dons, as the Grizzlies were just 6-for-14.
USF dominated the glass 35-25.
The Dons will be back at it Sunday evening when they visit No. 17 Oregon (3-0). Tipoff is 5 p.m. Pacific.