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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 11, 2006

San Francisco - 87
Sonoma State - 73

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Antonio Kellogg scored 22 points and Armondo Surratt added 20 as the University of San Francisco opened its 2006-07 season Saturday night with an 87-73 victory over Sonoma State at War Memorial Gymnasium.

Kellogg, a sophomore who sat out last season after transferring in from the University of Connecticut scored 14 of his points in the first half, making five of six shots from the floor. He also added six assists and two steals on the night.

Surratt, a senior who like Kellogg hails from Oakland, scored 20 points and added five assists, while freshman Jay Watkins, who led his Memphis high school team to an undefeated season last year, scored 17 points, hitting seven of 11 shots from the floor, including some high flying dunks.

Alan Wiggins recorded a double-double for USF with 10 points and a game high 12 rebounds.

"It was a good start," said Dons head coach Jessie Evans, starting his third season at USF. "Offensively we played well, but we still have a lot of things to work on. We need to gamble a little less on defense and rebound a little better, but we are coming along."

USF hit 53.7% of its shots from the floor and forced the visiting Seawolves into 22 turnovers. But USF was beaten on the glass 37-33 and allowed Sonoma State to make almost 45% of their shots.

Sonoma State was led by 15 points by Mike Carr, 14 by Jeremy Smith and 13 by J.T. Tipton.

The Dons play at Sonoma State on Tuesday night before hosting the Bulldogs of Fresno State on the 17th.

Cal Poly - 56
Portland - 53

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Portland senior Darren Cooper's contested three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation missed long as the Cal Poly Mustangs held on for a 56-53 victory on Saturday in the second day of the Oregon Rain Invitational at Gill Coliseum.

The Pilots (0-2) used a 16-1 run over a seven minute span to tie the score at 53-53 with 1:20 to play on a three-pointer from freshman point guard Taishi Ito. Ito then drew an offensive foul and gave Portland a chance to take its first lead of the game, but Mustang forward Derek Stockalper came up with a big steal and Dawin Whiten hit a clutch three with 12 seconds remaining, proving to be the difference in the game.

Whiten led all scorers with 17 points, while Titus Shelton added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs.

No Pilots reached double figure scoring as Cooper led the way with nine points, despite shooting just 1-for-7 from the field. Cooper, who is coming back from preseason knee surgery, responded well physically after playing six minutes against Oregon State on Friday and was encouraged to play more minutes by the Portland medical staff on Saturday. He made the start at guard and logged 24 minutes, playing a big part in the Pilots' second half comeback.

Sophomore Jamie Jones added eight points and six rebounds, all coming in the second half, while senior center Kevin Field also added eight points off the bench.

Cal Poly (1-1) controlled the contest from the start and matched their largest lead of the game at 52-37 on a three-pointer by Rick Higgins with 8:05 remaining, before Portland clamped down on defense to ignite the late comeback. The Pilots forced the Mustangs to miss six consecutive shot attempts and created six turnovers during the run, before Whiten broke the scoring drought.

Ito, a native of Mie, Japan, also made a driving layup with 1:58 to play for his only five points of the game.

The Mustangs nearly lost their second game in as many days with a second half collapse, after giving away a 21-point second half lead to Southeastern Louisiana on Friday before losing 76-69.

Turnovers and poor shooting again proved to be the Achilles heel for the Pilots on Saturday. Portland had 18 turnovers and shot 33 percent from the floor in its 65-48 debut loss to Oregon State on Friday. Against Cal Poly, the Pilots committed 21 turnovers and shot 38 percent from the field.

"We need to stop turning the ball over," Portland head coach Eric Reveno said. "A lot of the turnovers today were again unforced or just plain fundamental mistakes. Poor footwork leading to traveling calls, wings not getting open for our point guards, post players not holding position to receive a pass. Responsibility falls on everyone and those are things we will continue to work on in practice."

Portland limited Cal Poly to 37 percent shooting and held a 42-30 rebounding advantage for the game.

"We're making progress defensively and in terms of rebounding," Reveno said. "We have a zero tolerance approach with regards to giving up offensive rebounds."

Portland held a 9-7 edge in second chance points for the game, allowing just three offensive boards and no second chance points to the Mustangs after the half.

The Mustangs jumped out to a 31-16 lead late in the first half on consecutive threes by Trae Clark and Whiten. Cal Poly took a 33-22 halftime edge as Shelton led the way with eight first half points.

"I was proud of us stepping up the level of competition and getting back in the game down the stretch," Reveno added. "We need to play with that level of urgency on every possession. It was a great experience to feel what we felt at the end, like every possession may be the last of the game. It's nice to know we have it in us, now we need to bring that out more often."

The Pilots will conclude the tournament on Sunday with an 11:30 a.m. game against SE Louisiana at 11:30 a.m.

San Diego State - 74
Saint Mary's - 73

MORAGA, CA (AP) - San Diego State's Brandon Heath had his second game-winner in as many nights, making two free throws with 16 seconds left to give the Aztecs (2-0) a 74-73 victory Saturday over host Saint Mary's (1-1) in the Shamrock Invitational.

Saint Mary's Ian O'Leary hit a 3-pointer with 1:24 to play to tie the game. He hit the second of two free throws to give the Gaels a 73-72 lead with 36.6 seconds left.

Heath, who hit a 3-pointer from beyond the halfcourt line to beat Murray State on Friday, answered with two free throws to put San Diego State ahead for the win.

For Saint Mary's, the starting five of Wayne Hunter, Ian O'Leary, Diamon Simpson, Brett Collins and Todd Golden reached double digits in scoring. Junior point guard Todd Golden led the way with 15 points, after shooing 5-of-9 from long distance. Golden also had five helpers.

Diamon Simpson collected his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Simpson topped off his third career double-double with a career-high six blocked shots.

Wayne Hunter finished with 14 points, two shy of his career-best, and O'Leary also scored 14 points. O'Leary grabbed eight rebounds for the second night in a row. Collins finished the game with 12 points while adding eight boards.

The game seesawed through the first 10 minutes of the second half before San Diego State built a nine-point lead as Mohamed Abukar converted a three-point play with 5:44 to go. Abukar led the Aztecs with 21 points and seven rebounds. Heath had 20.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Sunday night in the final game of the Shamrock Invitational against the Murray State Racers at 7:35 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion. Murray State (0-2) lost its second game of the invitational to Seattle Pacific (1-1) by a score of 76-68 in Saturday's first game. Seattle Pacific and San Diego State will play the early game on Sunday, which tips-off at 5 p.m.

Stephen F. Austin - 71
San Diego - 62

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (AP) - Josh Alexander scored a game-high 18 points to lead Stephen F. Austin to a 71-62 win over San Diego on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Alexander hit 3-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Chaz Dykes scored 15 points, and Antuane Miller and Matt Kingsley added 11 points each for the Lumberjacks.

Brandon Johnson led San Diego with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He hit 8-of-9 shots from the foul line, where San Diego was 21-of-26 overall. The Toreros shot just 1-of-13 from beyond the 3-point line.

The Lumberjacks 35-28 at halftime.