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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 12, 2006

Saint Mary's - 62
Murray State - 44

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) - Ian O'Leary scored eight of his game-high 14 points late in the game as the Gaels pulled away from Murray State to win 62-44 at the Shamrock Invitational on Sunday.

O'Leary hit six straight free throws and sank a basket after Murray State pulled within 10 with 8:44 left to play.

The victory improved Saint Mary's record to 2-1 and pushed Gaels' head coach Randy Bennett into the No. 3 spot for victories by a Saint Mary's coach with 87. The loss dropped Murray State to 0-3, its worst start in nearly 30 years.

After building a double-digit lead in the first half, Saint Mary's never let Murray State closer than eight points. The Gaels shot 50 percent from the floor before halftime, but Murray State held Saint Mary's shooting to 3-of-10 through the second half before O'Leary went on his run.

Bruce Carter scored six of his 10 points and Rob Kennedy had four as Murray State made its comeback from an early 19-point second-half deficit. Carter was the lone Murray State player in double figures.

Washington - 99
Pepperdine - 91

SEATTLE (AP) - Jon Brockman had 25 points and 12 rebounds in his first game as Washington's new leader to send the No. 17 Huskies to a 99-91 victory over Pepperdine in the Basketball Travelers Classic on Sunday night.

Freshman Quincy Pondexter added 21 points and seven rebounds. Touted classmate Spencer Hawes thrilled the home crowd with 12 points, five rebounds, seven assists and four blocks off the bench in the lightning-like debut for a Washington team that has nine freshmen and sophomores on its 13-man roster.

Jason Walberg - son of first-year Pepperdine coach Vance Walberg - had 18 points off the bench for the Waves (0-1). Marvin Lea added 16.

Pepperdine is returning four starters from last season's 7-20 team that finished eighth in the West Coast Conference. But the Waves are missing Michael Gerrity, who average 14 points a game, for at least the next two weeks because of a foot injury.

After Washington went up by 19 points, its largest lead, early in the second half, Pepperdine fought back to get within 62-53 on a 3-pointer by Tomas Pranciliauskas with 14 minutes left. But the Huskies scored the next seven points - including three from Brockman - to put the game away.

Brockman, the sophomore team captain, was 11-for-16 from the field.

Pondexter continually found open paths on slashes through the lane while scoring all but one of his nine baskets at the rim. His ninth came after soaring to grab Adrian Oliver's lob for a thunderous dunk with just over 5 minutes left.

Washington, ranked among the nation's top six scoring teams each of the last three seasons, continued to run off its pressure defense Sunday. The Huskies forced 13 of Pepperdine's 23 turnovers in the first half, which ended with Washington up 52-37.

The Huskies raced to a 16-2 lead during a rousing, initial flurry in which Pondexter scored eight points. After Pepperdine steadied and briefly closed to within 7 midway through the half, Washington pushed the lead to 43-27 on a steal and layup from Harvey Perry. Justin Dentmon's second 3-pointer put them up 50-33, the largest lead of the opening period.

Hawes, the 7-footer and McDonald's All-America from Seattle who is perhaps the Huskies' most ballyhooed recruit ever, even ran well. He practiced for the first time last week following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last month.

Hawes added several deft touch passes to teammates for layups that drew gasps from the crowd. The night's loudest cheers came when Hawes passed inside to Brockman for a layup then had consecutive blocks at the other end with 8 1/2 minutes left.

Southeastern Louisiana - 63
Portland - 55

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Sophomore forward Jamie Jones scored a career-high 22 points and the Portland Pilots staged another inspiring second half comeback, but ultimately dropped a 63-55 decision to Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday at Gill Coliseum. The Lions (3-0) won the Oregon Rain Invitational tournament title with the win, after previously beating Cal Poly and the host Oregon State Beavers.

Portland (0-3), which came back from a 15-point second half deficit on Saturday only to fall 56-53 to Cal Poly, overcame a 13-point late SE Louisiana lead on Sunday. A three-pointer and pair of free throws by senior center Ben Sullivan capped an 15-3 run to make it 42-41 with 6:59 to play, but Daryl Cohen and Kevyn Green each hit a pair of three-pointers in the closing minutes to give the Lions the edge.

Cohen and Green combined to score 27 of SE Louisiana's 33 second half points. Cohen led all scorers with 23 points. Quennell Green added 13 points for the Lions, while Kevyn Green scored all 12 of his points in the second period.

Jones went 11-for-14 from the floor and added seven rebounds.

"I felt that I needed to come out and play well today," Jones said. "I didn't play as well as I could have our first two games, so I wanted to make a statement today. My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball and trusting me to score.

"We still have a lot to learn, but it's a long season and we will get better as time goes on."

Sullivan finished with 13 points for the Pilots. Portland played without senior guard Darren Cooper, who suffered a strained hamstring in the closing minutes of Saturday's game with Cal Poly.

Defense keyed the Pilot comeback for the second day in a row. Portland held the Lions to 36 percent shooting in the second half, but SE Louisiana finished the game 11-for-29 from the three-point line.

"We picked our poison and they fed it to us," Portland head coach Eric Reveno, referring to the Portland defensive scheme forcing the Lions into shooting perimeter shots. "We tried to get them out of a rhythm offensively and I think the strategy worked, but they made some tough shots at the end. Very few of the three-pointers they made were off of defensive breakdowns, but good teams make plays and they are a good team."

Portland trailed 30-21 at halftime after starting the game with four consecutive turnovers and shooting just 1-for-6 from the three-point line in the half.

"I was pleased with the turnover total for the game," Reveno said of Portland's 11 turnovers, compared to 18 and 21 in the first two games. "But we need to have better focus from start to finish. You can't start the game with four turnovers and then come out slow in the second half like we did today."

The Lions scored the first five points after the break to take their largest lead of the game at 34-21. Portland then got into a groove offensively with Jones and Sullivan, combining for 21 points and eight rebounds in the second half.

Cohen put the nail in the coffin with a deep, contested three-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Lions a 56-49 lead with 1:31 to play. He finished 6-for-14 from the three-point line for the game.

The Pilots will return to Portland for their home opener on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. against the Montana State Bobcats at the Chiles Center. Portland will also host UC Davis on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

NOTES: Jamie Jones was one of six players selected to the All-Tournament Team. He was joined by

All-Tournament team was Quennell Green (Southeastern La.), Daryl Cohen (Southeastern La.), Marcel Jones (OSU), Sasa Cuic (OSU) andDawin Whiten (Cal Poly).