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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 28, 2008

Gonzaga - 79
Portland - 41

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- David Pendergraft and Josh Heytvelt combined for 27 first-half points Monday night and Gonzaga never trailed after the opening minutes of a 79-41 victory over Portland.

Austin Daye's 19 points and 13 rebounds led the Bulldogs (16-5 overall, 5-0 West Coast Conference), who had the game in hand after Pendergraft scored 14 of his 15 points in the opening half. Sherrard Watson had 11 points for the Pilots (7-14, 1-4), who have lost nine in a row to Gonzaga.

After Pendergraft and Heytvelt staked the Zags to a 39-22 halftime lead, Portland managed to close to within 39-29 on Robin Smeulders' jump hook with 16 minutes left. But Gonzaga responded, outscoring Portland 27-2 and holding the Pilots without a field goal over the next 8:05 to open a 66-31 lead.

With Portland leading 7-5 early, Gonzaga used a 14-3 burst, capped by Micah Downs' 3-pointer with eight minutes left in the first half, to open a 19-10 lead. Gonzaga held the Pilots to 1-of-11 shooting and forced five turnovers in that stretch.

Portland got as close as seven points twice, the last time at 25-18 with 5:22 left on a tough drive by Nik Raivio -- the younger brother of former Gonzaga standout Derek Raivio.

Heytvelt scored all 13 of his points in the first half for Gonzaga, which has won seven of its last eight -- losing 81-73 at No. 1 Memphis last Saturday.

Raivio, Portland's leading scorer at 12.4 points per game, was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting. As a team, Portland managed just 14-of-53 from the floor. The Pilots have lost four of their last five.

San Diego - 63
Saint Mary's - 55

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Brandon Johnson scored 25 points and Gyno Pomare added 20 to lead San Diego to a 63-55 victory over No. 21 Saint Mary's on Monday night, hours after the Gaels moved into the poll.

Saint Mary's (17-3, 4-1 West Coast Conference) lost at Southern Illinois 71-56 on Dec. 11, the day after the then-No. 24 Gaels moved into the poll for the first time since March 1989.

Coach Randy Bennett had two reasons for his team having its five-game winning streak snapped and dropping to 0-2 in its first games after reaching the Top 25.

"Those are two of the best players in the league and they played like it tonight," Bennett said about Johnson and Pomare.

They combined to score the first 14 points of the second half for the Toreros (11-11, 4-1) as they erased a 29-24 halftime deficit. Johnson also keyed San Diego's 10-0 run that gave the Toreros a 58-48 lead with 1:54 left in the game.

"(Coach Bill Grier) pointed me out at halftime and told me I needed to come with it," Johnson said.

After getting the deciding run started with a 3-pointer, Johnson added another 3, and ended the spurt with a reverse layup.

"The first half he was trying to do too much," Grier said. "Our offense was shutting down when the ball hit his hands. When he gets going like that, he's pretty much hard to stop."

Patrick Mills led the Gaels with 13 points and Omar Samhan added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Toreros' second-half surge was fueled by 66.7 percent shooting from the field and a defense that limited Saint Mary's to just 33.3 percent shooting. Many of San Diego's baskets came off its defensive pressure that led to easy points.

"I thought we came out there with a lot of stops early and played off of that," Pomare said.

San Diego trailed 29-18 with 2:35 left in the first half when Pomare scored on three straight possessions to cut the halftime deficit to 29-24.

Johnson's fastbreak basket 7 1/2 minutes into the second half gave San Diego a 38-35 lead, which it surrendered just once the rest of the way.

"We didn't do a good job on Brandon," said Gaels guard Todd Golden, who finished with nine points on three 3-pointers in the second half.

San Diego's victory was just its third over a Top 25 opponent in the school's history, and its first since a win over No. 14 UCLA in 2002.

Santa Clara - 66
San Francisco - 48

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- John Bryant scored 22 points in Santa Clara's 66-48 victory over the Dons on Monday night.

Calvin Johnson scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half of the third victory in four games for the Broncos (11-9, 3-2). San Francisco struggled to defend the 6-foot-10 Bryant, who also had 12 rebounds, while Johnson and Brody Angley hurt the Dons from outside as Santa Clara took a 25-point lead.

The Broncos led 35-22 at the half thanks to hot shooting and stifling defense. They then thwarted any chance of a comeback, outscoring the Dons 31-26 in the second half to coast to the victory.

The win denied San Francisco head coach Eddie Sutton of his 800th career victory.