San Francisco State’s Lamonea drops 19 points in historic win (WBB): Six Gators scored in double digits on Sunday in a 102-92 win over the Academy of Art, including five who scored 14 points or more. SF State was led by a season-high 19 from Isabella Lamonea, a true freshman who racked up five 3-pointers on eight attempts, the most 3-point makes by a Gators player since Courtenay Brown hit six in December of 2017.
Lamonea is 10-for-27 from beyond the arc this season for a team-best 37 percent 3-point shooting mark. Her previous scoring high came against Alaska-Anchorage, when the 5-foot-7 guard scored 10 on 3-of-4 shooting and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
SF State (2-4, 1-0 in CCAA) became just the second CCAA school to score in triple digits (Humboldt State scored 109 against the NCCAA’s Bethseda) and was the first to break the century mark against an NCAA team since Stanislaus State scored 102 against Alaska-Fairbanks in 2015.
The Gators also got a season-high 17 points from Amani Alexander; 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists from Taisia Fleming; 14 points each from Taimane Lesa-Hardee and Jhaina Stephens, the latter of whom also had nine rebounds. Senior drama major Toni Edwards chipped in 13 points and seven assists.
The 20 assists on 36 field goals was the most since last year’s season opener. The 13 3-pointers by SF State were the most by the program in the last 10 years. The Gators shot 54 percent (13-of-24) from beyond the arc, the highest 3-point field goal percentage since Jan. 3, 2015, when they shot 12-of-22 (55 percent). That made up for a 41-percent night inside the arc, as the Gators still shot a season-high 45 percent from the field (36-of-80).
En route to Ireland, USF Dons men’s basketball ranked No. 25 in first NET: As he rode in the team bus towards SFO on Monday, San Francisco head coach Kyle Smith hand-waved away the news that his Dons had debuted in the new NCAA NET ratings as the No. 25 team in the nation.
“I think it’s very early,” said Smith. “I’ve been through that. We try to not focus on that, but obviously, we are playing well, and those metrics reflect it, and we’ll see how it shakes out. It’s way too early to worry about that stuff, in my opinion. There’s too many variables. Talk to me around Christmas, going into league, and then there’s a lot of data that’s being put in there. If we’re still in that ballpark, I’ll ask for a raise.”
So far, San Francisco, which arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Tuesday for the Belfast Classic, has knocked off Ivy League favorite Harvard, along with beating Dartmouth by 19, moving to 6-0 for the first time since the 1981-82 season, when the Dons went 10-0 before finishing 25-6 with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The only time that San Francisco has reached the Tournament since then was in 1998.
The Dons opened this season with a program-record four-straight wins by a margin of 32 points or better, and currently ranks fourth in the nation in scoring margin at +27.7 and sixth in the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to 53.3 points per game – two key elements of the NET. According to KenPom.com, the Dons are 36th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, at 94.3.
The NET, which replaces the flawed RPI ratings, relies on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses. To make sense of team performance data, late-season games (including from the NCAA Tournament) were used as test sets to develop the model, which used team performance data to predict the outcome of games in test sets. The model was optimized until it was as accurate as possible.
After facing Stephen F. Austin at SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Friday at 5 a.m. PST, San Francisco will face either Milwaukee or Buffalo before returning home to face a struggling Cal team at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. The Golden Bears are 2-3, and ranked 246 in the NET, lower than even LIU-Brooklyn, who San Francisco easily dispatched on Nov. 18.
Stanford, who the Dons will face on Dec. 22, ranks No. 108. As for notable WCC foes, Gonzaga ranks No. 5, Loyola Marymount No. 10, San Diego No. 65, BYU No. 94, St. Mary’s No. 95, Pacific No. 116, and Pepperdine No. 129. Stephen F. Austin (4-1) is ranked No. 303.
San Francisco State comes in at 10 in media poll (MBB): The San Francisco State men’s basketball team is off to a roaring start at 4-1, and this week, was ranked tied for No. 10 in this week’s Division II West Region Men’s Basketball Media Poll.
The Gators are tied for their second-best start since 2010, behind an 11-0 start to the 2016-17 season. They own the top-rated scoring defense in the West Region and the eighth-best scoring defense in all of Division II, allowing just 58.8 points per game.
Even after allowing Cal State Monterey Bay to shoot 26-of-64 on Friday in a 78-76 win, SF State has held opponents to a paltry 35.8 field goal percentage this season, good for seventh in Division II. The Gators are also averaging 11 steals per game, which is 10th best in the nation.
The Gators will face the No. 2 team in the West Region, Cal Poly Pomona, on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. They’ll face the No. 9 team in the region, Chico State, on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m.
Chanel Stuart wins PacWest Defender of the Week for ART U WBB: Academy of Art women’s basketball freshman guard Chanel Stuart’s hustle was on display once again this past weekend as she was named PacWest Defender of the Week after registering eight rebounds (six defensive), four blocks, and three steals versus SF State on Nov. 25. Stuart has risen to seventh in the country in steals per game (4.0) and continues to lead the Pacific West Conference.