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The San Francisco Dons will host the Utah Valley Wolverines in the quarterfinals of the CBI Tournament Monday night from the War Memorial Gymnasium in San Francisco. Utah Valley recorded an 87-65 win against Eastern Washington in their first round win, and San Francisco edged Colgate 72-68 in their first round victory. This marks the first meeting between these two schools since 2007 in a game Utah Valley won 73-61.
Utah Valley Dominates Eastern Washington in 1st RD
The Utah Valley Wolverines dominated in both ends of the court in their convincing 87-65 win against Eastern Washington in the first round last week. The Wolverines posted a stellar 55% shooting performance and held Eastern Washington to 35% shooting. Akolda Manyang led the way offensively with 20 points on a 7 for 8 mark from the field to go with 11 rebounds. The senior center has tallied two straight double-doubles, and overall he is having a terrific season, averaging 13.2 points along with eight rebounds per game. Wolverines’ leading scorer Kenneth Ogbe also came through with a strong effort in the first round win, sinking 17 points on 6 for 7 shooting. The senior guard is a dangerous three-point threat, posting a 41% clip from deep, and he is currently averaging 13.3 points on a 47.3% field goal efficiency.
The Wolverines have won six out of their last eight games overall, and this team did not lose consecutive games at any point in conference play. They lost 75-60 to Grand Canyon in the quarterfinals of their conference tourney, and they are ranked at 88th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings. Utah Valley is very potent offensively, averaging 78.3 points, ranking them 66th overall. They can also beat opponents with their defense, holding opponents to 67.6 points, placing them 55th in the country.
Dons’ Defense Comes Through in 1st RD Victory
The San Francisco Dons played sharp defense in their narrow 72-68 home win over Colgate in their first round CBI win. The Dons only shot 41% from the field, however, they were able to limit Colgate to 31% shooting. Dons’ top scorer Souley Boum played a key role in the victory, collecting 26 points on 9 for 16 shooting. The freshman guard did not fare well down the final stretch of the season as his playing time was cut down, and he is currently averaging 11.6 points on 38% shooting. Matt McCarthy came through with one of his better games of the season in the first round win, notching 16 points along with 14 rebounds. The junior forward owns a dazzling 52% field goal percentage, and he is posting an average of 8.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
San Francisco had an inconsistent season, however, they have won five out of their last seven games. They ran into Gonzaga in the semifinals of the Conference Tournament and were crushed 88-60. The Dons are positioned at 149th in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings. They are not a high-scoring team, averaging 68.8 points, ranking them down at 288th overall. They are strong defensively and are allowing an average of 68.4 points, placing them 73rd overall.
The Utah Valley Wolverines are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games against a team with a winning home record.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games overall.
- 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
The San Francisco Dons are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games against a team with a winning record.
I am siding with Utah Valley in this one. Utah Valley is very sharp on offense, defense, and rebounding, and they have the edge over San Francisco in all three of those areas. San Francisco is a low-scoring team, plus they own a poor 42.4% field goal efficiency, and they will be up against a Utah Valley defense that is holding opponents to 41.3% shooting on the season. Furthermore, Utah Valley has only allowed an average of 65.3 points in their last ten games. Utah Valley features five players averaging double-digits in points, and I expect their scoring depth to shine through.