Nov. 1, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO - Senior forward Dominique Carter scored 24 and junior forward Necolia Simmons collected 19 points, seven rebounds in her Dons' debut as San Francisco defeated Sonoma State 81-53 in exhibition play Thursday evening.
Simmons made her presence felt early scoring the first nine of the Dons' eleven points. From there the Dons went on a 12-2 run, making the score, 19-8. Junior forward Heidi Mertle hit two free throws to end the Seawolves' drought.
"Necolia adds a lot of intensity to our team," Head Coach Tanya Haave said. "She was hot in the first half. We got the ball to her and she hit her shots. We really have a second scorer which will balance our offense and take the pressure off Dominique."
Sonoma State went on a short run and cut the score to 19-17 following a three pointer from junior guard Lauren Redfield. USF extended its lead to ten as Carter hit three two point baskets including one with two seconds on the clock. Junior Shay Rollins also played a critical role in closing out the first half collecting four assists in the final two minutes.
Rollins would finish the night with a double-double, 10-points and 10 assists. The Dons as a team collected 24 dimes.
"I was really pleased with Shay Rollins," Haave said. "She responded well as we asked her to be more of a distributor. She thrived in that role and performed it to the best of her ability."
The second frame belonged to Carter, who had 16 of her game high point total after halftime. In the last 20-minutes, Carter shot 6-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-4 from three. Ironically, USF's biggest lead, 31-points, came in the last minute of action as Simmons found Carter in the lane.
The Dons shot 58.2% from the field, 40% from behind the arc. Sonoma State didn't shoot bad, hitting 45.2% of their attempts, but 25 turnovers added to the Dons' success.
"I was pleased," Haave said. "We had tough practices this week and I wanted to see how we would respond. We maintained our tempo and won the game."
Sonoma State was led by 10-points, seven rebounds from Mertle. Senior guard Denae Wellander had nine points, six rebounds.
San Francisco plays San Francisco in it's final exhibition game next Tuesday at War Memorial Gym. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. PT.
DONS' NOTES - Thursday's game marked the second straight season San Francisco has played Sonoma State in the preseason... USF won last year's match-up 70-38... Sonoma State's Wellander played two seasons at USF prior to transferring last season.