The Docket 2/8: Battle For Second Place In WCC As Dons Visit BYU

Dec 18, 2013; Jamaica, NY, USA; San Francisco Dons guard Avry Holmes (12) drives past St. John’s Red Storm forward Orlando Sanchez (33) during the first half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The USF Dons already scored one road win this week, winning Thursday night at San Diego. Now they face an important challenge Saturday night as they head to Provo, Utah, to face the BYU Cougars.

With six games remaining on their West Coast Conference schedules, it’s unlikely either the Dons or the Cougars can catch Gonzaga for the regular-season title. The Zags are 11-1 while the Cougars and Dons are each 8-4 entering the fray Saturday evening.

The No. 2 seed isn’t quite as big a deal in the WCC this season as it was in recent history. For the last two seasons, the top two seeds were given a double-bye to the tournament semifinals, but with the addition of Pacific this season, the WCC has returned to a more traditional format. The No. 7 and No. 10 seeds and the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds will play in the first round, with the top six teams beginning their tournament journey in the quarterfinals.

But for the Dons (15-9 overall), it’s been 16 years since they won their first—and only—WCC tournament title in 1998. BYU, in just its third year in the conference, has not won a tournament title.

THE GAME: USF Dons (15-9) at BYU Cougars (16-9), 6 p.m.
LAST MEETING:
Jan. 16 at War Memorial Gym. BYU 83, USF 76: The Dons held Tyler Haws—the nation’s third-leading scorer—to 15 points, but Kyle Collinsworth led five Cougars in double figures with 19 points. Cole Dickerson had 26 points and 14 rebounds for USF.
ALL-TIME: BYU leads 9-6
CURRENT STREAK: BYU won last meeting.

Elsewhere on Saturday’s Docket:

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Saint Mary’s Gaels (17-7) at Pepperdine Waves (14-10), 1 p.m.
CONFERENCE RECORDS:
Saint Mary’s 7-4, Pepperdine 7-5
LAST MEETING: Jan. 23 at McKeon Pavilion. Saint Mary’s 80, Pepperdine 74: Brad Waldow scored 21 points and Stephen Holt had 20, while Brendan Lane scored 18 points for the Waves. Pepperdine cut the Gaels’ lead to 62-60 with 7:15 left, but Saint Mary’s hit 13-of-18 from the line down the stretch to seal the win.
ALL-TIME: Pepperdine leads 66-60
CURRENT STREAK: Saint Mary’s has won last 14 meetings.

MLS PRESEASON: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo at Tucson, Ariz., 2 p.m.
The Earthquakes play the second of their two matches at the Desert Diamond Friendlies in Tucson. The Quakes lost to the Seattle Sounders 2-1 on Wednesday in their preseason opener, while the Dynamo lost later that day to the Portland Timbers 2-0.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: San Jose State Spartans (6-16) at Fresno State Bulldogs (10-13), 4 p.m.
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE:
San Jose State 0-10, Fresno State 3-7
LAST MEETING: Feb. 9, 2012, at the Event Center. San Jose State 79, Fresno State 71 (2OT): Keith Shamburger scored 13 of his 21 points after regulation time expired to lead the Spartans to a win when both teams were still in the Western Athletic Conference. Will Carter had 23 points and 12 rebounds for San Jose State, while Kevin Olekaibe had 21 points for the Bulldogs.
ALL-TIME: Fresno State leads 55-34
CURRENT STREAK: San Jose State won last meeting

NBA: Golden State Warriors (30-20) at Phoenix Suns (29-20), 6 p.m.
LAST MEETING:
Dec. 27 at Oracle Arena. Warriors 115, Suns 86: Stephen Curry had career highs of 16 assists and 13 rebounds while Klay Thompson scored 21 points and the Warriors routed the Suns.
SEASON SERIES: Tied 1-1
ALL-TIME: Suns lead 127-78 since Warriors moved to Oakland in 1971.
CURRENT STREAK: Warriors won last meeting.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UC Irvine Anteaters (15-9) at UC Davis Aggies (8-15), 7 p.m.
BIG WEST CONFERENCE:
UC Irvine 6-2, UC Davis 3-5
LAST MEETING: March 9, 2013, at The Pavilion. UC Irvine 88, UC Davis 85: Will Davis II scored 18 points to go with 12 rebounds and the Anteaters rallied from 19 points down at the half to beat the Aggies. Corey Hawkins scored 21 for UC Davis and J.T. Adenrele added 18.
ALL-TIME: UC Irvine leads 13-7
CURRENT STREAK: UC Irvine has won last five meetings.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Santa Clara Broncos (10-15) at San Diego Toreros (13-12), 7 p.m.
WEST COAST CONFERENCE:
Santa Clara 3-9, San Diego 4-8
LAST MEETING: Jan. 16 at the Leavey Center. San Diego 69, Santa Clara 66: Duda Sanadze made two free throws with five seconds left and the Toreros held off the Broncos. Sanadze led San Diego with 25 points, while Brandon Clark scored 21 points and Jared Brownridge added 19 for Santa Clara.
ALL-TIME: Santa Clara leads 39-33
CURRENT STREAK: San Diego won last meeting.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Pacific Tigers (12-10) at Loyola Marymount Lions (11-13), 7 p.m.
WEST COAST CONFERENCE:
Pacific 3-8, Loyola Marymount 3-9
LAST MEETING: Jan. 23 at the Spanos Center. Loyola Marymount 92, Pacific 81: The Lions broke open a game that was tied 32-32 at the half with a 60-point second-half explosion. Evan Payne led LMU with 25 points and Anthony Ireland added 24. Ross Rivera scored 16 points for the Tigers.
ALL-TIME: Loyola Marymount leads 24-22
CURRENT STREAK: Loyola Marymount won last meeting

Sunday Lookahead
NBA
Kings at Washington, 3 p.m.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Stanford at Washington, 12:30 p.m.
Cal at Washington State, 2 p.m.

Topics: Golden State Warriors, Pacific Tigers Basketball, Saint Mary's Gaels Basketball, San Jose Earthquakes, San Jose State Spartans Basketball, Santa Clara Broncos Basketball, UC Davis Aggies Basketball, Usf Dons Basketball

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