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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 21, 2008

Gonzaga - 72
San Francisco - 64

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Freshman Steven Gray scored 16 points and Gonzaga beat San Francisco 72-64 on Monday night to spoil Eddie Sutton's first attempt to win the 800th game of his coaching career.

Austin Daye and Matt Bouldin added 10 points each as Gonzaga (15-4, 4-0 West Coast) won its sixth game in a row. The Zags play at No. 1 Memphis on Saturday.

San Francisco (5-13, 1-2 WCC) was coming off a win at Portland that was the 799th of Sutton's career. Dior Lowhorn led the Dons with 21 points.

The Dons were outclassed by the Zags, the perennial WCC champions, and done in by poor second-half shooting. San Francisco trailed by eight at halftime, and the Zags pulled away in the second half until a late spurt by the Dons.

Three-pointers by Bouldin and Daye capped an 8-2 run that lifted Gonzaga to a 55-41 lead. After Lowhorn's basket for the Dons, Gonzaga scored seven straight points for a 62-43 lead with 8:05 left.

The Dons scored 10 straight points to close within 68-60 with 1:12 left. Lowhorn's basket cut the Gonzaga lead to 70-64 with 22 seconds left, but Gray hit two free throws for the final points.

Gonzaga led 37-29 after a first half in which nine Bulldogs scored.

San Francisco has not won in Spokane since 1989, losing 19 straight. Sutton is 0-3 versus the Zags, with two previous losses coming when he was at Oklahoma State.

Sutton, 71, whose career has included stints at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State, joined the Dons in late December after coach Jessie Evans took what the school has termed a leave of absence.

He has a record of 799-320 in 37 seasons.

The Dons lost their first four games under Sutton before the win at Portland on Saturday.

Sutton has been to 26 NCAA tournaments as a coach. He led Arkansas to the Final Four in 1978 and Oklahoma State in 1995 and 2004. Sutton retired as coach at Oklahoma State in 2006 following a drunken driving accident.Sutton has said he plans to coach only through the rest of the season.

Only four coaches in Division I history have reached 800 wins, led by Texas Tech coach Bob Knight, who became the first coach to 900 on Wednesday. The others are Dean Smith at 879, Adolph Rupp at 876, and Jim Phelan at 830.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few, in his ninth season, has a record of 226-56.

Gonzaga is 47-2 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

Saint Mary's - 87
Loyola Marymount - 55

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) -- Diamon Simpson had 21 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals and Saint Mary's remained unbeaten in West Coast Conference play with an 87-55 victory over Loyola Marymount on Monday night.

Gaels starters Simpson, Omar Samhan and Todd Golden combined to make their first 16 shots and Saint Mary's shot 55 percent.

Samhan finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, sporting a brand-new buzz cut rather than his traditional faux-hawk. The 6-foot-11 center hit his first eight field-goal tries and finished 8-for-9.

Simpson was 7-for-8 after making his initial six shots and Golden went 3-of-3 with eight points and four boards for the Gaels (16-2, 3-0 WCC), who won their fourth straight since losing at then-No. 14 Texas on Jan. 5.

Standout freshman Patty Mills added 11 points, six steals and five assists in only 23 minutes, hitting two 3-pointers and getting a steal and transition basket during a 17-2 run to start the second half.

Quentin Turner scored 14 points for the cold-shooting Lions (4-16, 1-3), who struggled to get open looks against the Gaels' pressure man-to-man defense and were outrebounded 42-27 by Saint Mary's. Freshman Orlando Johnson scored nine of his 11 points in the first half of Loyola Marymount's fifth straight road defeat.

The Gaels won their third straight against LMU -- and sixth of eight meetings overall in the series after sweeping the Lions last season -- despite going 14-for-28 from the free throw line in this one. Saint Mary's shot 57 percent in the opening 20 minutes and had six blocks, two apiece by Samhan and Simpson, on the way to a 40-26 halftime lead.

Simpson scored the first four points after the break and Samhan had the next basket before a 3 by Mills made it 49-26 with 17:45 remaining.

Loyola Marymount has lost nine of 10 and 12 of 14. The Lions were coming off a loss at Santa Clara on Saturday in which they were held to a season-low 35 points -- the school's lowest total since 1949-50.

Saint Mary's made 5 of its first 8 shots on the way to an 11-2 lead and never looked back. LMU committed six turnovers in the opening nine minutes and finished with 19.

San Diego - 64
Portland - 61

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Brandon Johnson hit a fade-away 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift San Diego to a 64-61 win over Portland on Monday.

Portland's Sherrard Watson was fouled with 8.8 seconds left and hit one of two free throws to tie the score at 61. San Diego opted not to use a timeout. Johnson ran down the remaining seconds before hoisting the game-winning basket under heavy defensive pressure.

Gyno Pomare led the Toreros (9-11, 2-1 West Coast Conference) with 16 points. Johnson added 12 points, all from 3-pointers. Rob Jones had nine points, nine rebounds and five steals.

Robin Smeulders led Portland (6-13, 1-3) with 15 points and nine rebounds.

San Diego shot 56 percent in the first half and had a 36-28 lead at the break. The Toreros made just 42 percent of their shots in the second half, allowing the Pilots to get back in the game.

Smeulders hit a short jumper to give the Pilots a 55-54 lead with 4:47 left. The forward followed with an inside basket to push the lead to three.

But San Diego regained the lead, 61-60, when Pomare converted a three-point play with 19 seconds left.

Santa Clara - 101
Pepperdine - 86

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Brody Angley recorded career highs with 24 points and 13 assists and Santa Clara reached the century mark for the first time in 14 years, beating Pepperdine 101-86 on Monday night.

Ben Dowdell added 17 points as the Broncos (10-8, 2-1 WCC) won their second straight following a three-game losing streak. John Bryant added 14 points and nine rebounds, Zac Tiedeman scored a season-high 13 points and Jonathan Gunderson had 12.

Mychel Thompson and Malcolm Thomas each scored 16 points to lead the Waves (6-14, 0-4 WCC), who are now 2-10 since a four-game winning streak.

The two teams reside on the opposite ends of the conference scale as Pepperdine is the WCC's top offensive team, but it's worst defensive team. The Broncos top the defensive chart, and are last in offense.

Santa Clara made a season-high 12 3-pointers and 36 field goals. The Broncos scored their most points in a game since an 111-55 victory over Chico State on Nov. 27, 1993.