San Diego vs Drake Preview and Prediction
San Diego vs Drake Preview
The championship game of the Las Vegas Classic pits two mid-major programs who have NCAA Tournament aspirations this season.
Led by senior Isaiah Pineiro, who scored a career-high 30 points, USD (10-3) advanced to the final game with an 82-75 victory over Washington State on Saturday.
Drake (9-2) advanced with a 66-63 win over New Mexico State, thanks in part to senior Nick McGlynn who scored a game-high 19 points and sealed the victory with a game-winning block.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 15 points before a tough New Mexico State (9-3) team made it a one-point game in the final minute. However, Drake (9-2) ultimately executed enough in that last-minute to preserve the victory.
“I thought our guys continued to fight and made the plays when they needed to down the stretch,” said Drake head coach Darian DeVries. “I’m so proud of them and that’s a really good basketball team we beat.”
“Our guys competed, they were in there fighting,” DeVries said. “New Mexico State was relentless on the glass. I told our guys, New Mexico State is going to try to out-tough you and if they do, they’ll win. I thought we made just enough of the tough plays to win and I love the effort they gave.”
As for San Diego, it was the Pineiro show…
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) December 23, 2018
Three additional Toreros reached double-digits in scoring, including Olin Carter III (18), Isaiah Wright (11) and Tyler Williams (10). Wright led the team with five assists. Carter III has scored in double-digits in every game this year and moved into 10th place all-time in USD history in career points with 1,310.
Defensively, the Toreros shine. They forced 16 WSU turnovers, turning them into 23 points and limited the Cougars to 2-of-10 shooting down the stretch–they did not allow a field goal in the final 3:20.
LINE: -3 San Diego
Dan’s bet: -3 San Diego
Score Prediction: San Diego 73 Drake 66
Key to my bet: Common opponents. I’ve watched both teams multiple times this year, and saw them play the same Colorado Buffaloes team earlier in the season. USD beat the Buffs by six at home and Drake lost by 29 in Boulder. It’s not a fair judgement of either team—but USD is experienced and have the size that can exploit Drake’s weaknesses.