West Coast Conference Tournament: San Francisco 87, Portland 66

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 01: Cole Dickerson #25 of the San Francisco Dons drives between Kevin Bailey #00 and Thomas van der Mars #12 of the Portland Pilots during the second round of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena March 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Playing for the second night in a row, the University of Portland was able to force some turnovers, unlike during their 4-point win over Santa Clara. But playing against a much tougher opponent Thursday night, the Pilots' inability to generate defensive pressure (and their inability to handle the full-court press) led to a 87-66 thumping by the favored, fifth-seeded University of San Francisco.

The Dons effectively used a full court press for most of the game to keep Portland out of its offensive sets. It also forced the two Pilot point guards, David Carr and Tim Douglas, into a tempo they could not maintain or control.

USF was led by all-conference forward Angelo Caloiaro, who finished with 19 points, 4 assists and two steals. Senior guard Rashad Green also dumped in 19 points, getting 12 of those points from 3-point territory on 4-of-5 shooting from deep. Junior big man Perris Blackwell, besides having a tremendous name, effectively controlled the interior on both sides of the court. He finished with 15 points, 6 boards, and a pair of blocks.


Catch full coverage of the tournament on our 2012 WCC Tournament page

But there is not rest for the Dons. They will be back at it on Friday night against Loyola Marymount. USF dropped both regular-season meetings with LMU, but only by a total of 3 points. In Ken Pomeroy's rankings, he has the Dons and the Lions at 144 and 145 respectively -- a completely even match-up on a neutral floor. This should be one of the best games of the WCC Championships.

More importantly it could keep the momentum going for USF. The Dons were 1-2 in their final three regular season games, sandwiching close losses to BYU and Saint Mary's around a home-court victory over Gonzaga. As I stated on our WCC Championships preview podcast, I believe USF's momentum, which they continued by whipping Portland, will carry them past LMU and into the semi-finals against the Gaels.

Regardless of who wins, WCC basketball fans should tune into ESPNU Friday night (7pm MST) for a game that could be the most hotly contested of the tournament.

FULL BOXSCORE

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