The USF Dons defeated the visiting Portland Pilots handily 84-71 behind the dominant post play of Cole Dickerson and Kruize Pinkins.
Dickerson posted 21 points and five rebounds while Pinkins scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Avry Holmes added 15 points while Mark Tollefsen contributed 12 points and five boards. Matt Glover led the Dons (14-8, 7-3 West Coast Conference) with four assists, in addition to helping clamp down on defense, holding the Pilots’ leading scorers below their season averages.
The trio of leading Pilots (12-10, 4-6 WCC) scorers Kevin Bailey, Ryan Nicholas, and Thomas van der Mars were held to 10 points, seven points and four points, respectively. In their absence, Alex Winterling and Bryce Pressley stepped up to lead the Pilots by scoring 15 points apiece. Winterling dished out five assists while van der Mars and Riley Barker paced the Pilots with four rebounds each.
USF led throughout the game, but the Pilots closed the gap to 70-64 after Winterling drained a 3-pointer. USF then proceeded to score the next seven points to put the game out of reach 77-64 with 1:12 remaining.
The Dons shot a torrid 66.7 percent from the field in the first half on their way to building a 47-37 lead at the intermission.
USF shot 56.3 percent from the field (27-for-48) from the field, 43.8 percent (7-for-16) behind the 3-point line, and 66.7 percent (22-for-33) from the free throw line. USF controlled the boards 32-24.
Portland shot 49.1 percent from the field (26-for-53) from the field, 50.0 percent (10-for-20) behind the 3-point line, and 69.2 percent (9-for-13) from the free throw line.
USF hosts Gonzaga Saturday Memorial Gym. Tip off is 7 p.m. Pacific.