Undefeated San Francisco takes on Towson in the openinng round of the Las Vegas Invitational. The Dons are 6-0 and are coming off a win over another Baltimore-area school in Morgan State (8-367).
The Tigers were victorious over Penn 76-61 on Tuesday at home.
These teams met last season at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, with San Francisco winning 79-68, on Thanksgiving Day.
Playing for secondLet's face it. If you are a member of the West Coast Conference in men's basketball, you are playing for second place and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament with No. 1 Gonzaga taking first. San Francisco is off to quite the start, having defeated Davidson by five and Nevada by three, but they will need to knock off a Power Five team like Arizona State before they face Gonzaga on the road on Jan. 6, if they want to make the Big Dance. Of course, winning all your non-conference games will help.
On Monday, the Dons dominated Morgan State at home, but didn't cover the 24. Super senior guard Jamareee Bouyea led the squad with 22 points, seven assists and two steals. He was 8-for-11 from the field and 3-5 from three-point range. San Francisco shot 50% from the field and 36% (12-33) from beyond the arc. They outrebounded the Bears by 15, although they did commit 17 turnovers.
On the season, the Dons average 81.3 points per game on 49.6% shooting (37.1% 3pt). They allow 65.3 points per game on 41.8% shooting (28.8% 3pt). They outrebound teams by nearly 10 per game. Bouyea leads the way with 19.2 points per game and 3.7 assists on 38.5% three-point shooting and 6-1 sophomore Khalil Shabazz adds 12 points on 38.1% shooting.
Tigers roll on Tuesday afternoonThere's nothing like playing afternoon mid-week games during a holiday week. Students have usually gone home and who knows which team will show up. Penn certainly didn't on Tuesday as they shot just 40% from the floor and turned the ball over 16 times. Towson received a monster performance from 6-5 junior forward Cam Holden, who scored 20 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and dished out eight assists on 8-of-14 shooting.
Senior Terry Nolan had a career-high of 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting. The former George Washington and Bradley point guard had set his career-high of 24 points against Towson in 2018 when he played for GW.
The Tigers average 72.2 points per game on 41.3% shooting (27.5% 3pt). They allow 62.6 points per game on 40.2% shooting (29.2% 3pt).
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Last year, the line was eight so I'm assuming it will be something similar. San Francisco certainly has the size advantage, but Towson can pressure the ball with point guard Radhir Hicks, who averages 2.0 steals per game. They should be able to hang with the Dons on the boards as they outrebound teams by 6.4 per game. Towson had a poor team last season and lost by 11. They have an improved squad where Nolan, Holden, 6-10 Chase Paar, Hicks and guard Antonio Rizzuto were not on the squad last season. Take the points.
Full-Game Total Pick
San Francisco plays at the 110th pace in the nation this season. They want to push the tempo with the quick guards. Towson has two quick guards in Nolan and Hicks, while Holden runs the floor and starts fast breaks off of rebounds. Towson does not play with as quick a pace, but that could be due to playing slower teams like Penn, Pitt and Hampton.