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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 10, 2006

Gonzaga - 90
Eastern Washington - 75

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Josh Heytvelt scored 22 points as Gonzaga beat local rival Eastern Washington 90-75 on Friday night to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 41 games.

Gonzaga (1-0) beat Eastern Washington for the 21st consecutive time since 1990, and has yet to lose in 29 outings in the 3-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center.

Derek Raivio added 21 points as Gonzaga showed it could still score in the first game of the post-Adam Morrison era. Freshman Matt Bouldin scored 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting before fouling out.

Eastern Washington (0-1) was led by Rodney Stuckey's 18 points. Stuckey is the leading returning scorer in the nation after averaging 24.2 points per game as a freshman. Omar Krayem added 11 points.

The Eagles had hopes of making a close game of it since Gonzaga lost its top two scorers from last season.

But Raivio scored 10 as Gonzaga built an early 17-13 lead. After the Eagles tied the game at 18, Gonzaga went on a 16-2 run, including eight points by Heytvelt, for a 34-20 lead.

Raivio's 3-pointer made it 44-25 Gonzaga.

Krayem's 3-pointer brought Eastern Washington to within 46-34 with 3:43 left in the first.

But the Zags rebuilt their lead to 55-36 at halftime, forcing 15 turnovers and holding the Eagles to 41 percent shooting while making 61 percent of their own field goals.

Gonzaga was not threatened in the second half.

Eastern shot just 43 percent from the floor, including 8-of-25 3-pointers, and committed 20 turnovers in the game.

Heytvelt, a 6-foot-11 sophomore, made 9-of-16 from the field and added 6 rebounds.

The last time Gonzaga lost at home was 72-68 to Portland on Feb. 19, 2003, in the old Martin Centre. The Zags won their final 12 games in that building before moving to the MAC in 2004.

Loyola Marymount - 68
Oral Roberts - 65

Los Angeles, CA - For the second consecutive year, the Loyola Marymount men's basketball team had a tough test sitting in front of them to start the season. This time it was Oral Roberts, picked to win the Mid-Continent Conference and ranked among the best among Mid-Majors. The Lions, ranked just two spots behind ORU at No. 16, answered the call again, defeating the Golden Eagles, 68-65, in front of 2,855 at Gersten Pavilion Friday night in a solid collegiate basketball game to start the season.

A year ago the Lions traveled to Provo, Utah, a state they had won one once in 45 trips, and claimed a win in Head Coach Rodney Tention's first year. With higher expectations entering 2006-07, the Lions, facing a tournament team with a two-time conference player of the year, came from seven down to start the year 1-0.

The senior tandem of Brandon Worthy and Matthew Knight were stars as expected, scoring 42 of the Lions 68 points. Knight went for 23 points, nine boards and hit 10-of-14 from the field. Worthy took over down the stretch when the Lions needed him, scoring 19 points with seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

"They are two competitive kids who want to win," said Tention, who improves to 2-0 in season openers as the Lions go to 35-17 in the first game of the year since 1955-56. "Our team knows that when Brandon and Matty are playing well, we are playing well. They are good."

Down by three at the half, the Lions saw their deficit grow to as many as seven when ORU's Marchello Vealy hit a jumper to make it 48-41 with 13:15 remaining. The Lions would go on a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 51-50 lead when Knight hit an easy lay-up after a Worthy steal.

As expected, the two teams traded leads until the Lions went on an 11-2 run to take the lead for good. The run led to a seven-point lead at 64-57 when Worthy hit a driving lay-up and was fouled with 2:47 remaining.

Oral Roberts cut the lead to three, 66-63, on a three-pointer from Moses Ehambe with 24 seconds remaining. Senior Adoyah Miller hit one of two free throws to make it a two possession game and put it just out of reach for the Golden Eagles.

ORU was led by Ken Tutt's 26 points while two-time player of the year in the Mid-Continent Conference Caleb Green had just 12 points but with 12 rebounds.

The turning point in the game for the Lions was the turnovers. After committing 17 in the first half, the Lions finished with just 19 for the game. ORU also had 19 for the game, 12 in the first half. The fast-paced first half saw the Lions jump out to an 11-0 lead before Oral Roberts came back to take a 36-33 lead at the break.

LMU won't have much time off as they travel to Mississippi State on Monday, Nov. 13. The game will be at 5 p.m. (PST) and can be seen live on FSN-SUN.

Saint Mary's - 71
Seattle-Pacific - 60

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) -Brett Collins went 7-for-12 from the floor and scored 18 points to lead Saint Mary's to a 71-60 season-opening win over Seattle Pacific on Friday night.

Diamon Simpson added 15 points and five rebounds for the Gaels in an opening round game of the Shamrock Invitational. Simpson went 7-of-11 from the floor, had five rebounds and two steals in 17 minutes.

Saint Mary's led the entire second half and was never challenged except for a brief burst by the Falcons that pulled them within 51-46. The Gaels followed within 11-2 run, highlighted by back-to-back dunks by Simpson and Collins, to put the game away.

The Falcons missed 13 of their first 21 attempts from the floor and shot just 34.6 percent in the first half while committing 13 turnovers. The Gaels had just nine turnovers and shot 53.3 percent in the first half.

Dustin Bremerman led Seattle Pacific with 26 points. Rob Will added 16 points and 11 rebounds.Omar Samhan, a graduate from local San Ramon Valley High School, was the thrid game to reach double digits against the Falcons. Samhan was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor en route to a 10-point night in just 14 minutes of action. He also collected six rebounds. Ian O'Leary had eight rebounds to lead the Gaels on the glass.

The game was the Gaels' first since all-time leading scorer Daniel Kickert graduated last year.

Saint Mary's plays San Diego State on Saturday in the four-team round-robin tournament while Seattle Pacific plays Murray State. San Diego State defeated Murray State 87-84 in the opener of the Shamrock Invitational. Brandon Heath's half-court buzzer beater was the difference in the game.

Oregon State - 65
Portland - 48

CORVALLIS, Ore. --- The Portland Pilots opened the 2006-07 men's basketball season with a 65-48 loss to the Oregon State Beavers on Friday night at the Oregon Rain Invitational at Gill Coliseum. Sophomore forward Jamie Jones led the Pilots with 12 points and nine rebounds, while junior forward Marcel Jones recorded a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Beavers.

After a competitive first half that left the Pilots trailing 31-24, OSU came out of intermission with a 16-4 run over an eight minute span to grab a 47-28 lead. Marcel Jones led the spurt with 10 points and five rebounds, while the Pilots committed four turnovers. Portland cut the margin to 13 on a layup by Jones at the 10-minute mark, but the Beavers followed with nine unanswered points to put the game away.

Portland had 18 giveaways on the night which led to a 22-10 OSU advantage in points off turnovers. The Beavers also gained an 18-2 margin in fast break points, 40-22 edge in the paint and outscored the Pilots 16-12 on second chance points.

"Turnovers were the difference in the game," Portland head coach Eric Reveno said. "OSU created some with pressure, but it was mainly a result of poor half court execution. You will never beat a good team giving up 22 points off turnovers and allowing 16 second chance points."

The first half looked promising as Portland was able to get good looks in the half court set and held OSU to 37 percent shooting, but the Pilots missed numerous opportunities in the paint and converted just 6 of 12 free throw attempts in the period.

"As a competitor, it's frustrating to have a game get away like that," Reveno said. "We had our chances in the first half. If we make our free throws and convert some missed layups, we go into the half with the lead."

Portland used an 8-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Walter Thompson, to tie the game at 20-20 with 5:41 remaining in the first half. But that's when things started to turn in OSU's favor. Senior forward Sasa Cuic hit a turnaround jumper to give the Beavers a two point lead and OSU parlayed consecutive turnovers into a pair of easy baskets within 12 seconds to spark an 11-2 run and go into the break with a seven-point lead.

Cuic finished with 17 points and five boards. Jones was the only Pilot to reach double figures as the team struggled to 33 percent shooting for the game. OSU shot 42 percent from the floor.

Pilots senior guard Darren Cooper, the team's leading returning scorer from a year ago, was limited to just six minutes off the bench as he is coming back from offseason knee surgery.

In the tournament's opening game, Southeastern Louisiana overcame a 21-point second half deficit to beat Cal Poly, 76-69.

The Pilots will continue play this weekend in Corvallis against Cal Poly on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and conclude the tournament on Sunday versus SE Louisiana at 11:30 a.m.

"There is a definite learning curve and we need to focus on the things that will make us improve," Reveno said. "The good thing is that we don't have time to dwell on tonight's performance. We'll be back tomorrow with the opportunity to go out and compete."