The San Francisco Dons lost a heart-breaker Thursday evening as they dropped an 85-84 decision to the BYU Cougars at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco. The Dons climbed back from an 11-point deficit in the first half and an eight point deficit in the final 3:23 but came up just short as they missed a pair of shots in the closing seconds that would have secured the win.
BYU climbed on top early in the game, but struggled to put the Dons away. The Cougars took the first lead and held it for over 39 minutes of game time. Matt Carlino led the way with 30 points, Noah Hartsock added 16 points and Charles Abouo added 15 points. Carlino was the hero of the night for BYU as he scored the game-winning basket with 23 seconds left.
San Francisco grabbed their first lead of the game with 46 seconds left when Rashad Green hit a jumper to give the Dons an 84-83 lead. The Dons had a chance to put the game away with free throws 19 seconds later. Angelo Caloiaro initally stripped the ball from Noah Hartsock, which Hartsock quickly recovered. The BYU forward went up for a shot but Caloiaro came from behind to block the ball into the hands of Perris Blackwell.
The Dons forward was quickly fouled and sent to the line looking to extend the Dons lead. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, and BYU took over. Carlino drove to the lane and made what proved to be the game-winning layup with 23 seconds left. The Dons were led by Caloiaro who scored 23 points, while Blackwell scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
San Francisco drops to 7-7 in conference play and remains in fifth place behind Loyola Marymount. The Dons remain a game ahead of Portland. USF hosts Gonzaga on Saturday before wrapping up regular season play hosting Saint Mary's.
BYU got a key win Thursday evening as they remain a half game up on the surging Loyola Marymount Lions. LMU went into Moraga on Wednesday and stunned Saint Mary's to improve to 10-4 in conference. BYU travels to Santa Clara on Saturday before their monster showdown at Gonzaga on Thursday. That game could hand Saint Mary's the WCC regular season conference title, or it could set up a potential split champion.