The San Francisco Dons begin arguably the toughest stretch of their West Coast Conference schedule on Saturday as they open a two-game road trip to two of the top teams in the conference. The Dons travel to Provo, Utah to face the BYU Cougars and follow that up with a trip to Moraga, California to face the Saint Mary's Gaels. The WCC schedule features a host of tough matchups, but this pair of games is arguably the toughest.
The Dons dropped their first two conference games with a tough loss at Pepperdine and then a stunning overtime loss to Loyola Marymount on New Years Eve. They grabbed a non-conference win on Tuesday when they defeated Morgan State 87-74. The Dons 10-4 non-conference record is their best mark since going 12-1 in 1999-00.
BYU is 13-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play. BYU was blasted by Saint Mary's in their conference opener, falling 98-82 in Moraga. Since then, they have defeated San Diego and Loyola Marymount. The Cougars have four scorers averaging double digit point totals, with Noah Hartsock leading the way at 17.3 points per game. Freshman Matt Carlino is averaging 14.3, Brandon Davies is averaging 13.0 and Charles Abouo is averaging 11.6.
The Dons will need to bring strong defensive pressure against a BYU team that can score with the best of them. The Cougars also have an edge inside so USF will need to be aggressive on the board. BYU is a 15.5 point point favorite, so USF will have to play some near-perfect basketball to spring a sizable road upset.
The game tips at 3:00pm PT and will air on 95.7 The Game.