Loyola Marymount Lions at San Francisco Dons – NCAAM February 18

Loyola Marymount (10-6, 5-3) at San Francisco (10-10, 4-6)

  • Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  • Location: War Memorial at the Sobrato Center, San Francisco, CA
  • TV: ESPN2

Opening Tip

Both teams are going in opposite directions as Loyola Marymount has won three games in a row while San Francisco has lost it’s last three. LMU has moved into a four-way tie for second place in the WCC while the Dons are sitting in the middle of the pack and are look to try to accentuate a late season run.

This is one of the oldest rivalries in the nation as it dates back to 1924 and San Francisco owns a 116-47 margin while sporting a 55-19 ledger at home.

The Lions have faced two COVID-19 pauses while USF has had a pause in the middle of the three-game slide where three games were postponed.

Loyola Marymount took a 68-60 win on Jan. 10 as Eli Scott and Keli Leaupepe combined for 39 points for the Lions while Khalil Shabazz led the Dons with 16. The Dons trailed by 19 before rallying to tie the game late before LMU finished down the stretch.

Vs. The Spread

Loyola Marymount:

  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of the last 6 Lions games
  • The Lions are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LMU’s last five road games

San Francisco:

  • USF is 1-4 ATS in it’s last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 9 of the Dons’ last 12 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the last 19 games between the Dons and the Lions

Last Time Out

Eli Scott was unstoppable for Santa Clara as he had a career-high 37 points in the Lions’ 76-73 win over the Broncos on Tuesday evening. His jumper with 13.8 seconds remaining gave the Lions the lead for good at 74-73. Keli Leaupepe had 13 points and 10 boards for the Lions.

No. 1 Gonzaga rolled past San Francisco, 100-61, as the Dons missed their first 10 shots and didn’t score from the field until the 11:36 mark in the first half and they already trailed, 20-6. Jamree Bouyeav and Khalil Shabazz scored 14 points each for USF, who has lost 21 in a row to Gonzaga.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Loyola Marymount +5.5 (-115) +190 O 135.5 (-108)
San Francisco -5.5 (-105) -220 U 135.5 (-112)

Advantage, LMU

Eli Scott (17.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg) is the only player not a Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Top 5 of the kenpom.com WCC player ratings and he is a high octane scorer who is capable of going off and carrying the Lions to a win as he proved on Tuesday. Dameane Douglas (13.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is an excellent compliment to Scott as he is an athletic inside presence who shoots 53.9 percent from the field. Scott has gotten to the line 111 times and creates issues in the paint for opponents who have to account for him and Douglas in a small area.

Key Lions Stat:

The Lions turn the ball over 15.8 times per game as ball handling has become a chore and costed LMU a couple of close games this season. The Dons are looking for a consistent advantage and this could be it as USF forced 13.8 turnovers per game and has accrued 7.2 steals.

X-Factor:

Who steps up beside of Scott and Douglas will be important as both Keli Leaupepe (9.8 ppg) and Joe Quintana (9.7 ppg) both factor in here. Quintana leads LMU with 33 made triples and shoots 47.8 percent from distance while Leaupepe has gotten tot he line 51 times and provides a nice mid-range presence.

Advantage, San Francisco

Coach Todd Golden said the he wanted the Dons to rediscover their identity after the loss to the Zags, so getting Khalil Shabazz (16.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Jamaree Bouyea (16.6 ppg, 3.2 apg) out in transition will be important for USF. Both guards get to the basket consistently off the dribble and Shabazz draws 4.6 fouls per 40 minutes. These guys carry USF and it’s transition attack as Shabazz has 57 made triples.

Key Dons Stat:

San Francisco is 0-8 when allowing 73 points or more and 10-2 when their opponent scores 72 or fewer. It’s a telling stat in how the Dons have to approach every game as they note that LMU is already improving under coach Stan Johnson in his first season. In the Lions’ last two games, Pacific and Santa Clara both shot over 50 percent which could be of concern to Johnson.

X-Factor:

Golden is looking for Dzmitry Ryuny (9.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) to find his aggression as he has averaged only 3.3 points in his last three games. Julian Rishwain and Taavi Jurkatamm have given USF good minutes so the potential of a role player to step up will be important for Bouyea and Shabazz.

Winner: San Francisco 70, Loyola Marymount (+5.5) 67

The Bets
Loyola Marymount +5.5
-115
San Francisco Dons
-220
OVER 135.5
-108
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.