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San Francisco Dons 2011-12 Basketball Schedule: Hilltop Challenge Opens Season

The University of San Francisco Dons kick off their 2011-12 schedule Friday night as they face the North Dakota State Bison in the second annual Hilltop Challenge. The Dons host the round-robin event that features North Dakota State, the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. After Friday's contest, USF will face Northern Arizona on Saturday and Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday.

The Dons were 2-1 in last year's first annual Hilltop Challenge, losing their opener to Colorado State before bouncing back to defeat Hampton and Dominican. This season they will face North Dakota State and ULL for the first time, while facing Northern Arizona for the fourth time. USF is 1-2 all time against NAU.

After the Hilltop Challenge, the Dons head off to Alaska for the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout. The 36th Annual Shootout takes place November 23 through 26. USF opens against Dartmouth and then pending that result faces the winner or loser of Murray State and host Alaska-Anchorage. The other participants include Central Michigan, New Mexico State, UC-Irvine and Southern Mississippi. The Dons will face one of those remaining four teams in the final game.

The Dons then have a fairly low key December before opening West Coast Conference play on Thursday, December 26 against Pepperdine. At that point, it is indeed Game On in what will be one of the strongest seasons in recent memory for the WCC.

Here is a rundown of the San Francisco Dons 2011-2012 college basketball schedule:

November

11  FRI. NORTH DAKOTA STATE 6:00 PM (Hilltop Challenge)
12  SAT. NORTHERN ARIZONA 6:00 PM (Hilltop Challenge)
13  SUN. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 3:30 PM (Hilltop Challenge)
16  WED. SAN JOSE STATE 8:00 PM 
19  Sat. Seattle U. (FSN) 3:00 PM 
23  Wed. Dartmouth 7:30 PM (Great Alaska Shootout)
25  Fri. Semis/Conolation Semis TBA (Great Alaska Shootout)
26  Sat. Championship/Consolation TBA (Great Alaska Shootout)

December

1  Thurs. Montana 6:00 PM 
4  SUN. PACIFIC UNION 2:00 PM 
10  SAT. PACIFIC 7:00 PM 
17  SAT. MENLO COLLEGE 7:00 PM 
22  Thurs. Holy Cross TBA 
29  Thurs. Pepperdine* TBA 
31  SAT. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT* TBA 

January

7  Sat. Brigham Young* (BYUtv) TBA 
9  Mon. Saint Mary's* TBA 
12  THURS. PORTLAND*  TBA 
14  SAT. PEPPERDINE* TBA 
19  Thurs. Gonzaga* (ESPNU) TBA 
21  Sat. Portland* TBA 
26  Thurs. Santa Clara* TBA 
28  SAT. SAN DIEGO* TBA 

February

4  Sat. Loyola Marymount* TBA 
9  THURS. SANTA CLARA* (ESPNU) TBA 
11  Sat. San Diego* TBA 
16  THURS. BYU* (ESPNU) TBA 
18  SAT. GONZAGA* TBA 
25  SAT. SAINT MARY'S* TBA 
29  Wed. WCC Play-In Game TBA 

March

1  Thurs. WCC First Round TBA 
2  Fri. WCC Quarters  TBA 
3  Sat. WCC Semifinals TBA 
5  Mon. WCC Finals TBA