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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 26, 2008

Pepperdine - 87
LMU - 64

MALIBU, Calif. - Five Pepperdine men's basketball players scored at least a dozen points and the Waves rolled to an 87-64 win over rival Loyola Marymount in West Coast Conference play on Saturday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The Waves won their first game in the WCC and improved to 7-14, 1-4. The Lions dropped to 4-17, 1-4, and lost their 10th straight game in Malibu.

"We had a great week of practice," said Pepperdine interim coach Eric Bridgeland, who earned his first victory. "Everyone worked so hard. We had a sense of urgency because we knew we needed to win this game. We expected to win because of how hard we worked. I'm so happy for our guys. They earned this one."

Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) had a game-high 18 points, including three huge dunks, as well as six rebounds and five blocked shots. Freshman guard Tyrone Shelley (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) had 16 points, junior guards Rico Tucker (San Diego, Calif./University HS/Minnesota) and Ryan Holmes (Phoenix, Ariz./Millennium HS/Phoenix CC) each had 15 points and freshman guard Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Stoneridge Prep) added 12.

LMU got a double-double from Orlando Johnson as he had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Shawn Deadwiler also scored 17 points.

The Lions scored the first three points of the game, but that was their largest lead. The Waves took the lead for good at 8-7 with 14:13 left in the first half on a driving jumper by Holmes. Later, with a 13-12 lead, the Waves went on a 12-0 run, which included a three-pointer and a tip-in by Thompson. That made it 25-12 with less than six minutes to play.

Pepperdine's largest lead of the first half was 18 points, and the Waves went into halftime with a 39-23 lead. It was only the third time in 21 games that Pepperdine has led at halftime.

The second half saw the Waves take another 18-point lead at 59-41 following a three-pointer and two free throws from Shelley. LMU's Johnson scored seven points in a 9-2 run that shrunk the lead down to 61-50. The Lions had a couple of chances to get Pepperdine's lead into single-digits but couldn't take advantage. The Waves went on a 9-2 run of their own, which included a lay-up and a three-pointer by Holmes, to go back up 70-52 with under six minutes left.

Tucker took over from there, scoring 11 of Pepperdine's next 13 points, punctuated by a drive through the lane and a massive two-handed jam, making the score 83-58 with 1:44 to play.

The Waves shot 66.7% from the field in the second half and finished at 55.9% for the game, their third-best shooting performance of the season. LMU shot just 37.3%, Pepperdine's second-best defensive performance this season. Although the turnover figures were close (LMU's 19 to Pepperdine's 16), the Waves had a 26-10 edge on points off turnovers.

Holmes' 15 points was a career high, as was Thomas' five blocks.

The Waves continue their three-game homestand next weekend with games on Saturday (Feb. 2) against San Francisco and Monday (Feb. 4) against San Diego. Both games start at 7 p.m. The San Diego game will be shown on FSN West. Fans can also listen to Al Epstein's call of the action at www.pepperdinesports.com.

Saint Mary's - 79
San Francisco - 57

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Instead of getting his 800th victory on Saturday night, San Francisco coach Eddie Sutton got perhaps his one millionth humbling experience in basketball.

Patty Mills scored 24 points and led a breakaway second-half rally for Saint Mary's in a 79-57 victory over the Dons, thwarting Sutton's second attempt to reach the lofty milestone.

Though Sutton knows he's not coaching a very talented team in what he swears is his last year in the sport, he cautiously hoped the Dons had learned enough from four relentless weeks of tough practices to have a chance against the powerful Gaels (17-2, 4-0 West Coast Conference), who seem likely to return to the Top 25 after their fifth consecutive win.

Instead, college hoops' most overqualified interim coach watched with his head resting dispassionately on his hand as San Francisco regressed into old habits on both ends of the court, leading to a blowout loss.

"I was really disappointed, because I thought I had made a lot of strides," Sutton said. "I thought we were way beyond most of that."

Sutton dropped to 1-6 since taking over the San Francisco program late last month. The venerated 71-year-old coach left Oklahoma State two years ago with 798 career victories, and the Dons beat Portland last week to push the former Kentucky and Arkansas coach to the precipice of a milestone reached by only four Division I coaches.

But Sutton didn't have a player who could guard Mills or stop a lengthy rally by the Gaels, who were 26th in the most recent poll. Saint Mary's is off to its best start in conference play since 1989.

"I just wanted to make sure we weren't part of the trivia question," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "It's a strange situation, because he's one of those coaches you look up to when you come into this business. You're kind of rooting for him to get his 800th, but definitely not tonight."

Omar Samhan had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Gaels, who blew open a tight game with an 18-4 run midway through the first half. Mills, the Australian freshman point guard who has dazzled the West Coast this season, scored seven points and confidently directed the Gaels' offense during the run, which eventually stretched to 30-8.

Mills, who wore a temporary tattoo of the Australian flag on his left bicep to commemorate Australia Day, impressed Sutton immensely.

"Watching tape on him, I thought he was probably a junior or senior," Sutton said. "It's hard to believe this is his first year in college basketball."

Dior Lowhorn and Manny Quezada scored 19 points apiece for the Dons (5-14, 1-3), who still have plenty of chances to put Sutton with Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp and Jim Phelan as the only Division I coaches to win 800 games.

"I don't think (the San Francisco players) were even thinking anything about that, and I certainly don't bring it up," Sutton said. "I assume they hear about it, but it's not something we talk about. We just try to get better, and if you get better, you're going to win some games."

Only Knight has more wins among active coaches, though Duke's Mike Krzyzewski could catch Sutton by the close of the season.

The Dons played Gonzaga tough on the road last Monday, but struggled in the second half of Sutton's first try at 800. After falling to the conference's two elite teams, San Francisco has a better shot at the milestone Monday night when Santa Clara (10-9) visits.

"We don't have much time to get these things corrected," Sutton said. "But I would think Monday night would be a better gauge of where we are than tonight."

San Diego - 53
Santa Clara - 51

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Brandon Johnson scored 19 points including two free throws that put San Diego ahead with 13.4 seconds left in a 53-51 win over Santa Clara on Saturday night.

Johnson drove the lane and threw up an off-balance shot that was blocked by John Bryant. But the Broncos' 6-foot-10 center was whistled for a foul. Johnson hit both free throws to put the Toreros ahead.

Brody Angley then dribbled the ball off his foot out of bounds with 4.6 seconds left. San Diego's Trumaine Johnson was fouled and hit one of two free throws before Angley missed a half court shot at the buzzer.

"I thought we did some good things defensively that kept us in the game," said head coach Bill Grier. "The game didn't seem to have a very good flow to it. I think mainly it was just two very even teams battling it out."

Brandon Johnson scored 14 of his points in the first half when San Diego (10-11, 3-1 West Coast) took a 28-24 lead. The Toreros won despite shooting 33.9 percent from the field, including just 3-for-12 from 3-point range.

Bryant scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half to lead the Broncos (10-9, 2-2). Bryant also had a game-high 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Ben Dowdell, whose three-point play with 36 seconds left put Santa Clara up 51-50, finished with 13 points.

Gyno Pomare had 11 points and 10 rebounds for San Diego, which committed two lane violations on missed Santa Clara free throws that could have proved costly. The Broncos came back and made both free throws.

Memphis - 81
Gonzaga - 73

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 21 points and Derrick Rose added 19 as No. 1 Memphis remained undefeated with an 81-73 victory over Gonzaga on Saturday.

This was the first time in school history the Tigers got to play on their own court as the top-ranked team, and they trailed for only a little more than a minute late in the first half before a sold-out crowd.

The Tigers (19-0) extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 43 straight by showing off their athleticism and running over Gonzaga (15-5), which had a six-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs took Memphis to overtime before losing in Spokane last season. This time, they had to be happy with keeping within single digits at the end.

Antonio Anderson added 12 points for Memphis, and Joey Dorsey had nine points and 13 rebounds before fouling out late. John Calipari joined Larry Finch as the only Memphis coaches with at least 200 wins, improving to 200-63 in his eighth season.

Jeremy Pargo led Gonzaga with 25 points while Josh Heytvelt added 13 and Micah Downs 11. Matt Bouldin was held to six points, well below his team-leading average of 14.7 per game.

The Bulldogs pulled within 62-55 on a three-point play by Bouldin with 8:08 left.

Rose answered with two free throws, the Tigers forced Gonzaga into a shot clock violation and Douglas-Roberts hit the first of two at the line. Rose added a jumper, then Douglas-Roberts dunked for a 69-55 lead with 5:52 to go.

The Bulldogs got within six inside the final minute but no closer than that even though Memphis went just 6-of-12 from the line.

Memphis made its case for staying No. 1 this time around. The Tigers lost on the road at Virginia Tech six hours after moving atop the rankings on Jan. 10, 1983. They won a road game later that week but fell out of that spot in the next poll.

These Tigers played at Tulsa on Wednesday night, which made this non-conference game that much more special. And seats were filled for the morning tipoff.

Memphis dominated on the boards behind Dorsey (40-28) but hurt Gonzaga most with 23 fast-break points - 21 off turnovers.

The Tigers opened the game by scoring the first 10 points and bringing fans to their feet. Dorsey, who grabbed 19 rebounds against Tulsa, had six of their first nine rebounds. Memphis led 25-13 on a 3-pointer by Doneal Mack and seemed on their way to a blowout.

Gonzaga settled down and finally got a chance to get into a zone defense, which helped slow the Tigers. Pargo's basket started a 19-5 run that was capped by consecutive 3s from Downs, the second with 2:16 left giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 32-30.

Douglas-Roberts tipped in his own miss, then Rose rebounded Dorsey's missed layup in the air and slammed it down with both hands to beat the buzzer for a 35-32 halftime lead.

The Tigers opened the second half much as they ended the first as Douglas-Roberts dunked in the opening seconds. Memphis scored seven of the first nine points for a 42-34 lead on Anderson's fast-break dunk after Dorsey blocked Bouldin's layup.

That prompted a timeout by Gonzaga coach Mark Few. It didn't help as Douglas-Roberts was fouled after the timeout, hit both free throws to give Memphis a 44-34 lead.

Memphis led by as much as 62-46 on a fast-break layup by Andre Allen with 10:27 to go.