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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 10, 2007

Saint Mary's - 72
Drake - 66

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) -- Carlin Hughes scored 18 points and had five assists to lead Saint Mary's to a 72-66 victory over Drake in the final of the Saint Mary's Tip-off Classic on Saturday.

Omar Samhan added 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots for the Gaels. Todd Golden added 12 points, all of which came on 3-point field goals, including a shot with :47 remaining that gave Saint Mary's a 68-63 lead.

Saint Mary's is off to only its second 2-0 start in 12 seasons. They won their first two games of the 2004-05 season and finished with a 25-9 record that included a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Drake, which led by as many as eight early in the second half, was paced by Jonathan Cox, who scored 18 points and had nine rebounds. Josh Young added 16 points, while Leonard Houston scored 11.

Saint Mary's had five players in double digits. Patrick Mills and Ian O'Leary scored 10 points apiece. The Gaels were 12 of 28 on 3-point field-goal attempts. Mills, who helped Australia qualify for the 2008 Olympics, played just 11 minutes in the first half as he picked up three fouls. His two free throws with :35 remaining extended the Gaels lead to 70-63.

Drake shot 54 percent from the field in the first half to take a 38-35 lead after 12 lead changes.

The Bulldogs fall to 1-1. Keno Davis was looking to become the first Drake coach to begin his career with a 2-0 record since Howard Stacey opened with back-to-back victories in 1971. Davis succeeded his father, Dr. Tom Davis, who retired after four seasons.

Oregon - 100
Pepperdine - 70

EUGENE, Ore. - Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas had a nice debut with a game-high 22 points, but a young Pepperdine men's basketball team suffered a 100-70 loss in its season opener at #12 Oregon in the first game of the World Vision Invitational at McArthur Court on Saturday.

The Waves' scoring was freshman-heavy, as 57 of their 70 points were scored by five players making their collegiate debuts. Two other freshmen were in double-figures: Daniel Johnson (Perth, Australia) with 13 and Tyrone Shelley (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) with 12. Thomas (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) and Shelley also pulled down eight rebounds apiece.

The Ducks (0-1), an Elite Eight team of a year ago who returned four starters, showed in the first half that they will again be a squad to be reckoned with. Oregon opened up a 53-23 halftime lead.

Pepperdine's offense picked up in the second half as each team scored 47 points. During one six-minute stretch, the Waves went on a 22-7 run, with Thomas getting eight points during that swing.

Overall, Oregon shot 51.9% to Pepperdine's 30.6% and had a 58-40 rebounding edge.

"Oregon has one heck of a team," Pepperdine Coach Vance Walberg said. "This isn't the kind of place where you usually want to start the season. But we needed a tournament and this is where we came. They're a bunch of men. Look at their bodies compared to ours. Hopefully in a couple of years we'll be a lot more like they are.

"Our goal is to get our players to do the things that we want them to do in time. Another coach might have tried to keep this game in the 60s or 70s. But we're going to play how we're going to play."

The Waves play two more games in Eugene, facing Western Michigan on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and Pacific on Monday at 5 p.m. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's call of the action at www.pepperdinesports.com.

San Diego State - 78
Portland - 64

FRESNO, Calif. --- The Portland Pilots struggled from the perimeter and fell to the San Diego State Aztecs 78-64 in the World Vision Classic Saturday night at the Save Mart Center. Senior Sherrard Watson scored 19 points and sophomore Robin Smeulders added 16 in the loss for the Pilots.

Juniors Kyle Spain and Lorrenzo Wade led the Aztecs (2-0) with 22 and 18 points, respectively.

The Pilots (0-2) struggled from the perimeter making just 4-of-19 three-pointers, while the Aztecs made 8-of-16 from downtown.

Watson had 15 first-half points to keep the Pilots close, but Spain had 14 before intermission to give San Diego State a 40-36 lead.

"It always needs to be a team effort and we need different guys to step up on different nights," Portland head coach Eric Reveno said. "Sherrard did a great job of being that guy tonight and keeping us in the game in the first half. We'll need various guys to do the same thing in the future, while getting everyone to consistently improve."

The margin was pushed to 11 points midway through the second period on a layup by Kelvin Davis and the Aztecs took their largest lead of the game at 66-52 on a basket by Billy White with 5:50 remaining. The Pilots cut the lead to eight on their next two possessions as Smeulders drained a three and then converted a three-point play. A layup by Watson with 2:34 remaining made it a seven-point game, but the Aztecs got defensive stops and made seven free throws late to close out the game.

"San Diego State was very effective disrupting us offensively, which hurt our shooting percentage and caused some turnovers," Eric Reveno said. "There is a ton of things that we can learn from this game, especially the need to take better care of the ball."

For the second night in a row, the Pilots played step-for-step with a team that advanced to postseason play a year ago, but turnovers were a key in the outcome. San Diego State forced 17 turnovers while committing just 10 in the game. The Pilots again had a positive rebounding margin, gaining a 37-29 edge on the boards and 15-5 advantage in second chance points.

Freshman forward Luke Sikma had a solid all-around game with eight points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but turned the ball over five times. Sophomore guard Nik Raivio added 10 points and six boards.

The Pilots will conclude their trip at the World Vision Classic on Sunday with a 1 p.m. tipoff against Liberty. The Flames also dropped their first two games to San Diego State and Fresno State. It will be the third game in three days for both schools.

"It's almost easier to play that game (tomorrow) because you can't over prepare," Reveno noted. "It will be about us, what we do, and being mentally focused."