The fifth place San Francisco Dons travel down to Southern California on Saturday to face the fourth place Loyola Marymount Lions in a significant matchup heading into the home stretch of the 2011-12 conference season. The top four teams in the WCC receive at least one bye. LMU currently holds a two-game lead on the Dons for that fourth place position.
The Dons dropped a 77-76 overtime thriller to the Lions on New Years Eve. Angelo Caloiaro and Michael Williams combined for 43 points, 11 rebounds and five steals as the Dons had to overcome a 20 point deficit just to force overtime. However, Anthony Ireland scored on a layup with 1.6 seconds to secure the victory.
Both USF and LMU are playing solid basketball right now and look to continue making noise. The Dons have won five of their last six. They face a brutal final stretch of the season hosting BYU, Gonzaga and Saint Mary's in succession to close out the regular season. The upside is they get them all at home. LMU scored a huge road win over BYU two weeks ago, which has them tied with the Cougars for third place in a bit of a surprise. Both USF and LMU desperately need this win to boost their postseason chances in what will be a tough WCC tournament.