March 2, 2012
Las Vegas, NV - San Francisco turned in another gritty effort and seized a 67-60 victory against No. 4 Loyola Marymount in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Championship Friday night at the Orleans Arena. The Dons (20-12) advance to take on No. 21 Saint Mary's Saturday at 6:00 PM in the first semifinals in a game broadcast live nationally on ESPN2.
With the victory, No. 5 USF posts its first 20-win season since 1981-82 (25-6) and wins its second tournament game for the first time since winning its only tournament championship in 1998.
USF's backcourt enjoyed a strong night in snapping a two-game losing streak to the Lions (19-12). Junior guard Michael Williams scored a game-high 19 points, converting on a season-high 5-for-8 from 3-point range, while sophomore guard Cody Doolin added 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes. Senior guard Rashad Green added eight points - including a big three-point play - to go along with a career-high seven steals.
Trailing 46-45 with 12:04 remaining San Francisco used a 15-7 run to take a 60-53 lead on a Doolin 3-pointer with 4:00 minutes to go in regulation. The Texan gave the Dons a 61-55 lead, making the front end of a one-and-one. LMU's Jarred DuBois drilled a 3-pointer off the rebound to cut the USF edge to three, 61-58 with 1:35 to go, but USF answered on a three-point play off a driving lay-up by Green with 1:07 left.
After going scoreless for nearly four minutes and missing a combined nine shots to star the contest, both teams started connecting for some entertaining basketball. LMU took a 35-34 lead into the locker room at the intermission, connecting on .483 (14-29) from the field. The Dons hit at a .406 (13-32) rate, but stayed in the game by making seven 3-pointers.
Williams led all scorers in the opening 20 minutes with 12 points and hit on three triples. Caloiaro added eight with a pair of 3-pointers, while Doolin chipped in with seven points and three assists.
San Francisco shot .417 (25-60) for the game and went 11-of-26 (.423) from long distance. LMU shot .404 (23-57) but managed just four 3-pointers. The Dons forced 17 Lion turnovers with 10 steals and scored 17 points off LMU miscues.
USF looks to snap a 13-game overall losing streak to Saint Mary's. The last time the Dons faced the Gaels in the WCC postseason was 1998. USF posted a 83-66 win in the opening round en route to the title.
San Francisco's game against Saint Mary's will be broadcast live on the airwaves and internet on 95.7 The GAME. Tip-of time is set for 6:00 PM from the Orleans Arena.
Story courtesy of University of San Francisco