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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 17, 2007

Gonzaga - 84
UC Riverside - 48

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Matt Bouldin poured ice down Jeremy Pargo's back in the Gonzaga locker room after Saturday's win over UC Riverside.

It was perhaps the only time someone on the No. 14 Gonzaga team was cold all night.

Four players scored in double figures and the Bulldogs (3-0) shot 64 percent in the second half to trounce UC Riverside 84-48.

It was Gonzaga's third blowout win in a row, and they are holding opponents to just 48 points per game.

"We sustained great effort the whole game," said Pargo, who scored 13 points.

The Zags only allowed UC Riverside to get close a couple of times in the first half before blowing the game open with a 25-5 run over the first and second halves that buried the Highlanders (0-4).

Freshman Austin Daye scored 16 points to lead Gonzaga in scoring for the third straight game. Abdullahi Kuso added 13 points and freshman Robert Sacre 12 for a Gonzaga team that is showing depth even though star Josh Heytvelt is out with a foot injury. Ten different Zags scored.

Larry Cunningham led UC Riverside (0-4) with 11 points. Sean Cunningham and Severin Gates added nine points each.

The Highlanders shot only 37 percent in the game, while Gonzaga was making 52 percent of its shots. Gonzaga also forced 17 turnovers, and blocked seven shots.

Riverside scored the first basket of the game, but Gonzaga raced to a 17-6 lead against the smaller Highlanders.

Riverside closed to 25-17, but two baskets by Kuso rebuilt a 29-17 lead for the Zags.

The Highlanders then scored seven points in a row to close to 29-24 with 2:41 left. It was their last gasp.

The Zags scored the final nine points of the half to take a 38-24 lead into the break. They outscored the Highlanders 16-5 in the opening minutes of the second half for a 54-29 lead that sealed the win.

"We didn't have the ability to sustain it," Riverside coach Jim Woolridge said of his team's run.

"As much talent as they (Gonzaga) have, they play well together and they play hard," Woolridge said. "Their level of intensity remained high and they broke us."

Gonzaga made 21 of 26 free throws in the game, while the Highlanders made just 6-of-9.

The Zags also outrebounded them 38-25.

Gonzaga is 42-1 at the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

The Zags next play in the Great Alaska Shootout on Thursday against Western Kentucky.

After opening with big wins over Montana, Idaho and Riverside, the level of opposition will rise in Alaska.

"We'll be playing Top 20 caliber teams up there," coach Mark Few said.

So far this season, Few said he is most surprised by the play of Daye, a 6-foot-10 freshman from Irvine, Calif., who has scored 20, 18 and 16 points in his three college outings. Daye is obviously not having problems adapting to the college game.

"You march him out in a game and if the lights are on, he is dialed in," Few said.

LMU - 83
Presbyterian - 76

Albuquerque, NM - The Loyola Marymount men's basketball team used a balanced attach and tough defense to earn an 83-76 victory over Presbyterian in the second day of the BTI Invitational at the Pit in Albuquerque, NM on Saturday evening. Ten different players scored for the Lions, including a career-best 23 from freshman Orlando Johnson.

"We have gotten better over the last two days, from (Arkansas) Little Rock, to last night and now tonight," said Head Coach Rodney Tention. "We played well as a team. The guys played together. They moved the ball, found the open guy and got good shots. Then they knocked them down. That is what the offense is designed to do. They did it tonight."

Joining Johnson in double figures was junior Marko Deric with 13 and junior Corey Counts with a career-high 10 points off the bench. Senior Jon Ziri continued to be an all-around leader for the Lions with seven points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block. The Lions improve to 1-3 on the season and will face New Mexico in the final game of the BTI Invitational on Sunday at 4:15 p.m (PT).

"We took care of the ball tonight," said Tention, whose Lions had 14 turnovers, just five in the second half. "When you take care of the ball, you get opportunities to make shots. We found the open guy. It doesn't matter who it is. Johnson led us tonight, but no one in the gym expected Corey to have 10."

The Lions finished with 20 assists on 32 field goals, hitting 48 percent for the game and 57 percent in a second half in which they scored 47 points. Presbyterian finished shooting 45 percent. LMU dominated the game on the glass as well, grabbing 43 rebounds to just 26 for PC, getting 19 second chance points.

LMU took their first lead of the season at the half 34-32 and extended it to seven, 54-47 on a free throw by Brandon Walker. Thanks to the three-point shooting of Presbyterian, they came back to make it a one-point game, 54-53. The teams traded baskets and LMU led 56-55 with 10:26 remaining.

With the one point lead, the Lions looked to take control with a 13-3 run that was capped by a Johnson three-pointer with 6:43 remaining, making the score 69-58. The long range shooting of PC, specifically senior Pat Kiscaden, cut the lead to 76-73 with 2:51 remaining. Kiscaden finished with 27 points, hitting 6-of-7 three-pointers.

After trading a pair of points, the lead remained at three when Ziri came up big for the Lions. The senior from Arizona hit a 10-footer from the free throw line with 1:11 remaining to make it a two-possession game at 80-75. PC would get no closer as the Lions got a long two-pointer from Shawn Deadwiler and a free throw from Counts to ice it.

"That was typical Jon Ziri tonight," said Tention. "Ziri is the type of guy who will do all the little things. He doesn't get a lot of points that allows most players to gain attention. He will hit big shots, get good rebounds, assists and steals. He is realizing that he is a senior and he doesn't have much time left. He has gone about it the right way." Ziri has 15 rebounds and 13 assists in two games this season.

The Lions will take on the Lobos at 4:15 and the game can be heard live on KXLU 88.9 FM and LMULions.com.

San Francisco - 93
Sacramento State - 63

SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco forward Dior Lowhorn spent a season being a part of head coach Jesse Evans' scout teams for the Dons while sitting out last year following his transfer from Texas Tech. And Saturday night, Lowhorn showed no signs of rustiness in the Dons' (2-1) 93-63 victory in their home opener over Sacramento State (1-3).

"My teammates pushed me so hard in practice, the game became easier for me. I'm like man is it this easy for me?" mulled Lowhorn who's averaging 25 points per game and 9.3 boards per contest for the Dons.

Lowhorn lead all scorers with 30 points while the Oakland native collected a game-high 9 rebounds for the Dons. The 6-7 forward also served notice to Sacramento State to open the second half. Lowhorn forcefully rejected a shot in the lane and scored a few seconds later deep in the paint for the Dons at the opposite end of the floor.

"He had 21 shots" said Use's Evans, "And I don't think he took a bad one."

The sophomore finished the night 13-for-21 from the floor as the Dons outshot their visitors from California's capitol 56-45 percent.

Lowhorn's dominance helped San Francisco enjoy a 50-28 edge on points in the paint, and a 38-28 rebounding advantage.

Guard Myron Strong added 21 for the Dons off the bench while backcourt mate Manny Quezada contributed 10 points and 5 assists. Strong led both sides with six assists and five steals.

"We know it doesn't matter who starts and that combination is a great combination to have", Evans added about Strong and Quezada.

San Francisco demonstrated its marksmanship from the outside in the first half, making all four of its 3-pt. attempts. Chris Hernandez drained a trey to break a 23-23 deadlock with 8:38 remaining and the Dons never looked back.

The outside barrage continued with Danny Cavic blasting a three-pointer on San Franciso's next possession as the Dons rallied off 10-unanswered points enroute to a 31-23 edge with 7:29 remaining in the first half.

The 6-6 senior finished the night with 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including a 2-for-2 mark from long range. As a club, the Dons converted on 5-for-15 3-pointers for the evening.

And while Lowhorn thrilled War Memorial Gymnasium with his offensive heroics, San Francisco's defense held the Hornets without a field goal for a stretch of 4:43. Clark Woods ended a field-goal drought for Sacramento State with a 3-pt. basket from the left wing with 5:09 remaining. Woods scored nine off the bench for the Hornets.

The Dons took their first lead, 13-12, with 15:20 to go in the first half when Lowhorn completed a 3-point play after tapping in a basket on an offensive rebound.

Lowhorn carried the Dons in the game's early stretches, scoring scored seven of San Francisco's first 13 as his club turned the ball over on four of its first six possessions while facing a disruptive, full-court Hornet press. Lowhorn finished the first half with 13 points and 5 boards.

Donald Thomas led the Hornets (1-3) with 16 points on 6-for-10 from the floor. Loren Leath added 10 for Sacramento State.

The Dons now own a 9-2 edge in the series against the Hornets including the last two meetings in the series.

San Francisco tries to make it three wins in a row at UC Santa Barbara Tuesday at 7:00pm PT as San Francisco tries to avenge a 74-69 loss to the Gauchos in San Francisco last year. Sacramento State visits Pacific on Tuesday at 7:05pm PT.

Cal State Northridge - 97
Pepperdine - 89

MALIBU, Calif. - Freshman guard Tyrone Shelley exploded for a game-high 34 points, but the Pepperdine men's basketball team lost to visiting Cal State Northridge, 97-89, in the Waves' home opener at Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday evening.

Shelley (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) hit 12 of 17 shots from the field and went 6-for-10 on three-pointers. He added seven rebounds and two steals and did all this in just 23 minutes. Shelley came into tonight having scored just 30 points in the first three games of the season combined.

Pepperdine (0-4) had to play from behind for most of the game. The Waves' largest first-half lead was two points and their last lead was at 27-26 with 9 ½ minutes remaining in the first half. However, the Matadors (2-0) then went on a 12-2 run over the next three-plus minutes to go up 38-29. The Waves cut the lead to 48-43 at halftime.

The Cal State Northridge lead grew to double-digits in the second half, but a furious Pepperdine rally in the final minutes made things interesting. The Matadors were up by 18 with less than five minutes to go, and at 92-81 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. Shelley then hit a free throw and a three-pointer, and freshman guard Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Stoneridge Prep) added two free throws to cut CSUN's lead to 92-87 with 1:25 left. A three-pointer by the Matadors' Rob Haynes on the next possession put the game out of reach, however.

Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) had his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman center Daniel Johnson (Perth, Australia) had 13 points and Thompson added 10.

CSUN was led by Deon Tresvant's 20 points.

The Waves play their only other home game until January this Wednesday (Nov. 21) against Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 1-866-WAVE-TIX. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's call of the action at www.pepperdinesports.com.

Oregon - 85
Portland - 61

PORTLAND, Ore. - Senior guard Malik Hairston scored 24 points to lead the No. 11 Oregon Ducks to an 85-61 victory over the Portland Pilots before 4,881 fans at the Chiles Center Saturday night. Four Pilots reached double figures in the loss led by sophomore point guard Taishi Ito's 13.

After a first half which featured four ties and three lead changes, the Ducks (4-0) pulled away from a 31-29 halftime lead with a 54-point second half.

Senior Maarty Leunen added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Oregon, while Tajuan Porter finished with 15. Freshman guard Kamyron Brown had a double-double with 10 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.

Sherrard Watson and Robin Smeulders each finished with 12 points for the Pilots (1-3), while Nik Raivio added 11. Smeulders has now reached double figures in all four games this season. Freshman forward Luke Sikma collected 10 rebounds, marking his fourth straight game with double digits on the glass.

As they had done in the first three games of the season, the Pilots got off to another strong start and held the lead for much of the first period. Hairston scored eight straight points to spark a 10-2 run late in the half, giving the Ducks 24-20 edge. A Leunen three-pointer made it a seven point Ducks advantage, but the Pilots tied the game at 29-29 on a Smeulders' layin. Leunen's floater at the halftime buzzer gave Oregon a 31-29 lead.

Portland dominated the boards in the first half with a 22-13 edge, 18-10 margin in points in the paint, and 6-0 advantage in second chance points.

Oregon turned the tables in the second half and outrebounded the Pilots 24-11 as Portland seemed fatigued.

"They wore us out," Portland head coach Eric Reveno said. "They didn't look too much more athletic than us in the first half. We battled, but broke down at key times. You can't do that against a good team."

The Ducks led 57-46 with 8:40 remaining when Hairston followed a dunk with a three-pointer to give Oregon a 63-46 edge. Portalnd would cut it back to 11 at 63-52 with 6:04 left, but the Ducks piled it on late with free throws.

"We coached to win in the closing minutes and not to keep it close," Reveno said.

Oregon shot 54 percent from the field and made 10 of 20 three-pointers in the game. Portland shot 40 percent from the floor, but made just 3 of 21 from beyond the arc.

The Pilots will next head to Corvallis for a pair of non-conference games at Gill Coliseum. Portland will face Idaho State on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 5:30 p.m. and then take on the Oregon State Beavers on Sunday at 4 p.m.

"Our guys aren't afraid of anyone and I have complete confidence that we will keep getting better," Reveno added. "There are a lot of guys in our locker room right now who are eager to learn, and we as a staff have to put them in situations that will allow them to succeed."

UNLV - 66
San Diego - 55

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior forward Gyno Pomare recorded a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the University of San Diego men's basketball team (2-1) dropped their first game of the season, 66-55, to UNLV (4-0) Saturday evening in a non-conference game at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Pomare scored his 23 points on a 8-for-15 performance from the field and was the only player in the game with double-digit rebounds. Both Brandon Johnson and Trumaine Johnson added in eight points a piece and Ray Murdock had seven points. As a team, the Toreros were out rebounded 66-55 and shot 36 percent from the field.

In the early going, the two teams were even, then with 16:45 remaining in the first half and the score knotted at 4-4, the Rebels went on a 9-2 run, sparked by a pair of Corey Bailey free throws and capped by a Rene Rougeau jumper.

San Diego then responded with an 11-6 run of their own to pull back to within four at 19-15. The Toreros' run was sparked by a Brandon Johnson jumper and capped by a Pomare jumper. UNLV then went on a 8-2 run to regain the momentum and take a 27-17 lead with 4:36 remaining. San Diego was able to bring the gap back down to under double figures going into the break with a 31-22 deficit.

In the second half, USD came out firing on all cylinders as back-to-back jumpers by Chris Lewis and Pomare along with a three-pointer by Murdock pulled the Toreros back to within four at 33-29 and the Torero fans were in a frenzy.

The Rebels were then able to push their lead back to double figures as they went on a 13-4 run to move the score to 46-33 with 13:19 remaining. Both teams then went ice cold from the field with USD not hitting a bucket for the next eight minutes, and during this same stretch, the Rebels only managed to hit one basket themselves.

After a media timeout with 7:59 remaining and the score at 49-35 in favor of UNLV, the two teams broke out of the shooting slump and traded baskets for the next several minutes with UNLV maintaining at least a 10-point margin.

USD could come no close then eight points for the remainder of the way, as the Rebels held on to win 66-55.

The Toreros will return to action on Monday as they host cross-town rival San Diego State University in a 7 p.m. Game at the Jenny Craig pavilion.

Nevada - 67
Santa Clara - 54

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Marcelus Kemp scored 23 points to lead Nevada over Santa Clara 67-54 on Saturday.

Kemp had 16 of his points in the second half, including seven in a 15-2 run over the first six minutes that put the Wolf Pack (2-1) ahead 41-27.

Santa Clara responded with an 11-2 run to cut the Nevada lead to 43-38 with 8:46 to play, but could get no closer the rest of the way. John Bryant led the Broncos (2-1) with 20 points.

The Wolf Pack sealed the win with a 12-0 run, taking its largest lead of the game at 62-44 on three free throws by Malik Cook with 3:54 left. Armon Johnson and Brandon Fields added 13 each for Nevada (2-1).

Calvin Johnson finished with 14 points for Santa Clara, which stayed close in the first half by hitting 5 of 9 3-pointers.

Nevada led 26-25 at halftime. The Wolf Pack shot 54 percent for the game, including 62 percent in the second half. .

The Broncos shot 46.7 percent for the game. Santa Clara out-rebounded Nevada 27-25.