The University of San Francisco Dons rallied in the second half to match the Pacific Tigers before pouring it on in overtime to conquer the Tigers 81-72 in Stockton. The Dons (11-6, 4-1 West Coast Conference) refused to quit despite falling behind 36-30 at the first intermission. USF went on a 24-12 run to take a 54-48 lead in the second half, before the Tigers (9-6, 0-4) responded to tie the game again at 56-all with 4:25 left in regulation.
The lead changed hands several times, with Avry Holmes finishing in the lane to give USF a 62-61 lead with 37 seconds left on the clock. Pacific’s Sama Taku hit a clutch drive to tie the score at 63-all with six seconds left. USF’s Matt Glover missed the potential game-winner at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
The overtime period belonged to USF, as the Dons scored the first five points before stretching the lead to 79-69, and closed out the game for the final 81-72 margin.
Holmes led a balanced USF attack with 18 points, followed by Glover (16 points) and Cole Dickerson (14 points). Mark Tollefsen chipped in nine points and Kruize Pinkins added eight points. Glover posted nine rebounds followed by Dickerson with eight rebounds. Holmes dished out eight assists, while Glover completed an all-around game with five assists.
It was the Dons’ tough defense which was the key to the victory, as the Dons held the Tigers to 31.6 percent shooting from the field.
The host Tigers were led by Andrew Bock (17 points), Tony Gill (15 points), reserve Ross Rivera (14 points), and Trevin Harris (10 points). Aaron Short, Taku, and Gill shared the rebounding lead with seven apiece. Bock also led Pacific with four assists.
USF shot 42.9 percent (27-63) from the field, an outstanding 47.1 percent (8-17) behind the 3-point arc, and 70.4 percent (19-27) from the charity stripe. USF was out-rebounded 44-38.
Pacific shot 31.6 percent (18-57) from the field, 26.1 percent (6-23) behind the 3-point arc, and 81.1 percent (30-37) from the free throw line.
USF travels to Moraga to take on Saint Mary’s Mary’s Saturday, January 11. Tip off is 3 pm Pacific time.