San Diego (8-8) at San Francisco (7-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (4,800) -- San Francisco, California. Television: WCC Digital. Home Record: USD 7-2, USF 5-2. Away Record: USD 1-4, USF 1-3. Neutral Record: USD 0-2, USF 1-3. Conference Record: USD 1-0, USF 0-2. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 35-33.
GAME NOTES: The San Diego Toreros shoot for their second three-game win streak of the season on Thursday night, as they challenge the San Francisco Dons in West Coast Conference action at War Memorial Gym.
San Diego, although just 1-4 in true road game here in 2012-13, is an even 8-8 on the campaign overall. The team was in action last week against Portland in the conference opener and posted a 61-50 home win. The Toreros have now won two straight after losing three in a row.
As for the Dons, they are still seeking their first WCC win after bowing in their first two. The squad closed out 2012 with back-to-back triumphs over East Tennessee State and Dominican, but last week the team began the new calendar year with a 74-69 setback versus Santa Clara, and then bowed to BYU, 80-76, at home over the weekend.
In terms of the all-time series, the Dons are ahead by a mere two games at this stage, 35-33. San Francisco, which is set to host the Toreros in the final game of the regular season at the end of February, won the most recent meeting by a score of 81-70 last season.
Even with Portland after 20 minutes of action, the San Diego defense went to work in the second half and held the Pilots to a mere 31.0 percent shooting from the floor, including 1-of-9 behind the 3-point line, thereby securing the double-digit win last week at home. Chris Anderson scored a game-high 14 points and pulled down six rebounds for the hosts, while Ken Rancifer accounted for 10 points and Chris Manresa nine and 11 boards for the victors. Manresa, who missed several games earlier in the campaign, has now collected double-figures rebounds in three straight outings and that has him up to 7.8 rpg, which is by far the highest rate on the roster. Although he didn't reach double digits against Portland, Johnny Dee is still the top overall scorer for the group with his 14.8 ppg, with Rancifer (9.9 ppg), Manresa (9.8 ppg) and Anderson (9.6 ppg) all approaching the double-digit barrier.
Any other time, when a team shoots 61.5 percent from the floor in the first half, including 9-of-13 (.692) behind the 3-point line, you would expect to see a win, but that wasn't the case for the Dons against BYU last weekend. Cole Dickerson and Cody Doolin both scored 22 points for the hosts, the former clearing nine rebounds and the latter handing out 10 assists, and still the team came up short. Through 15 games, Dickerson is the leading scorer for the program with his 15.9 ppg and is also one of only a handful of players in the nation who is averaging a double-double with his 11.7 rpg as well. Not only is Dickerson a huge interior presence, he has also shown a knack for knocking down perimeter shots, doing so at a 44.2 percent clip. De'End Parker is listed as the second-leading scorer with 14.1 ppg, but he was taken out of the starting lineup against BYU and was held completely out of the game. Doolin (12.9 ppg) doesn't have the best eye from 3-point range (.291), but he is still a crucial piece of the offense due to his 98 assists.
With Doolin directing the offense and the Dons playing at home, there's a good chance that they could set the pace for this game and play it more to their advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 66, San Diego 63
01/10 10:33:22 ET