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WCC Men's Basketball Tournament First Round Recaps

March 7, 2009

NO. 5 SAN DIEGO - 62

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Gyno Pomare scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead No. 5 seed San Diego over eight-seeded Loyola Marymount 62-56 in the first round of the West Coast Conference tournament Friday night.

Roberto Mafra added a career high 14 points and six rebounds for San Diego (16-15), which plays No. 4 seed Santa Clara in the second round on Saturday night.

Loyola Marymount (3-28) was outrebounded 38-16 as it set a school record for losses in a season. The previous high was 26 during the 1999-00 season.

Kevin Young scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half to lead the Lions to a 31-28 halftime lead. The Toreros took the lead permanently at 40-38 when Chris Lewis hit a 3-pointer with 14:11 left, sparking a 14-3 run.

Jarred DuBois added 18 points for the Lions, who were 13-of-28 from the free throw line.


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LAS VEGAS - Senior guard Mike Hornbuckle scored 25 points, one shy of his career high, as the Pepperdine men's basketball team pulled out a 93-85 victory over San Francisco in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena on Friday night.

The sixth-seeded Waves (9-22) now advance to the quarterfinals, where they'll face a well-rested and third-seeded Portland squad on Saturday night (March 7) at approximately 8:15 p.m.

In the previous two meetings this season with USF (11-19), which the schools split, the most points that the Waves scored was 69 points. But the Waves finished with season highs in total points and field goal percentage (49.2%) while committing a season-low four turnovers.

Hornbuckle (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian HS/Azusa Pacific) drained five of six three-pointers and eight of 11 shots overall. His career high of 26 points came when he was playing at Azusa Pacific, his previous high in a Pepperdine uniform was 17 points last season and his previous season high was 12 points.

He was one of a season-high six Waves that reached double-figures. Freshman guard Keion Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) scored 19 points, sophomore forward Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Stoneridge Prep) had 12, freshman guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) had 11 and freshman forward Taylor Darby (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills HS) and freshman center Corbin Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) each scored 10.

They needed all of that scoring to offset 32 points from USF's Dior Lowhorn and 18 points from Kwame Vaughn.

"We're obviously pleased to advance," said Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury, who won three WCC Tournaments during his first stint as head coach in the 1990s. "I told our guys at halftime that it was going to be a shootout, but we were going to have to defend better because I didn't know if we would shoot as well as we did in the first half. But it was one of those nights where we made our free throws and shot well enough to get it done. The key was only turning the ball over four times. That's remarkable for a young team."

The Waves had a remarkable first half on the offensive end, scoring more than 40 points against a Division I team for the first time all season. The Waves had only scored 30 or more points in the first half of three league games. They shot 59.4% from the floor and made seven of 11 three-pointers, with four by Hornbuckle and three by Jackson. There were seven ties and nine lead changes in the first 20 minutes.

Lowhorn scored 11 of USF's first 13 points as the Dons took a 13-9 lead just five minutes into the game. A Hornbuckle three-pointer would break a 27-27 tie with 7:25 to go, and the Waves built their lead up to six points with 1:30 left after Jackson sank a three-pointer and drove in for a lay-up.

The Dons scored the next seven points to grab a 47-46 lead, but with the clock winding down, Jackson broke down the defense and found Moore for a lay-up with one second left, sending Pepperdine into the break with a 48-47 lead.

The lead bounced around a few more times early in the second half, and a three-pointer by Bell put the Waves ahead 62-60 with 12:27 to play. But the Dons scored the next seven points, four on free throws by Lowhorn and a three-pointer by Peter Smith, giving USF a 67-62 advantage with 10:40 left.

Pepperdine retied the game at 70-70 with less than seven minutes to go. After Lowhorn gave USF back the lead with a basket, Hornbuckle drained his fifth three-pointer and then hit two free throws on the next possession, giving the Waves a 75-72 lead with 5:28 to play.

Pepperdine led 78-76 when Hornbuckle came off a screen and hit a short jumper in the lane, then finished off a fast break with a lay-up with 2:55 left to increase the Waves' lead to 82-76. Pepperdine hit nine of 12 free throws in the final three minutes to hold onto the lead.

The contest saw a total of 12 ties and 17 lead changes. Pepperdine's bench outscored USF 50-15. The Waves made 24 of 29 foul shots, compared to 14 of 21 for USF. The Dons shot 55.6% in the first half before settling for a 46.4% mark for the game.

Only three of the Waves had previous WCC Tournament experience, and none more than two games. Of the 11 players that saw action for the Waves tonight, nine were freshmen or sophomores, and seven weren't on the roster last year.

Prior to Saturday night's men's game between Pepperdine and Portland, the third-seeded Pepperdine women face sixth-seeded San Diego on Saturday (March 7) at approximately 2:15 p.m. Subscribers to "Wave Casts" at www.pepperdinesports.com can listen to Al Epstein's call of the action at all of Pepperdine's men's and women's games at the tournament.