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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 18, 2006

Santa Clara - 83
Utah - 72

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Sean Denison scored a career-high 20 points as Santa Clara beat Utah 83-72 on Saturday night.

Calvin Johnson added 18 points as the Broncos opened with two wins for the first time in four years. Tristan Parham and Mitch Henke added 12 points apiece.

Stephen Weigh scored 15 points to lead the Utes, who opened the season 0-2 for the first time since 1979. Luke Nevill had 17 points and nine rebounds and Johnnie Bryant added 12 points.

The Utes are attempting to rebound from their first losing season in 18 years.

The Broncos used a 17-2 run midway through the first half to erase a seven-point deficit and take a 29-19 edge.

Utah closed to within 57-54 with 10:04 remaining to play on a Bryant 3-pointer but Santa Clara responded with a 12-2 run to rebuild its lead to 13 points.

The Broncos led by as many as 14.

Cal State Northridge - 95
Pepperdine - 92

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A spirited second-half comeback sparked by a tenacious pressure defense brought Pepperdine back from a 17-point deficit to a five-point lead with as many as five minutes remaining only to see it disappear in the final minute as the Waves suffered a tough 95-92 loss to Cal State Northridge at The Matadome Saturday afternoon.

Pepperdine (1-3) held a 92-91 lead with 42 seconds remaining before Cal State Northridge's Terrell Jones sank two free throws with 36.4 seconds left to give the Matadors (4-1) one-point lead.

Jones then poked the ball away from a driving Jason Walberg, recovered it and passed to Rai Colston, who was fouled and made both free throws to seal the victory.

Senior guard Gregg Barlow scored a career-high 24 points to finish as the game's leading scorer. Senior guards Marvin Lea, who scored all his points in the second half, and Chase Griffin each added 16 points while Walberg contributed 15.

Reserve Jordan Noblitt scored a career-high 22 points for Cal State Northridge. Jonathan Heard added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Calvin Chitwood had 18 points before fouling out.

Pepperdine trailed 49-36 at halftime and fell further behind before mounting a 17-2 run that put the Waves down by two with 13:50 to play.

A 15-5 run gave Pepperdine an 84-79 lead. Heard scored five points in a 7-0 run that put the Matadors back in front 89-85. Pepperdine regained the lead 92-91 with six consecutive points.

Pepperdine was able to get back in the game by forcing 16 turnovers in the second half. The Waves forced a season-high 31 turnovers.

However, Pepperdine's comeback attempt was hurt by a lack of presence on the boards as the Waves were out-rebounded 52-24.

The Waves return to action on Tuesday when they host UC Santa Barbara in their home opener at Firestone Fieldhouse beginning at 7 p.m.

USC - 69
Saint Mary's - 63

Los Angeles, CA - The Saint Mary's men's basketball shot just 31 percent from the field and five percent from 3-point range in a 69-63 loss to the USC Trojans on Saturday afternoon from the Galen Center. Saint Mary's struggled to find open shots, as they made just 21-of-67 shots overall and 1-of-18 from 3-point land. With the loss to USC, the Gaels fall to 3-2 overall and the Trojans improve to 1-1 on the young season.

In a game where the Gaels did not play their best basketball, Saint Mary's had a number of chances to pull out a road win late in the ball game. With chances to pull even with the Trojans, Saint Mary's missed free throws or turned the ball over. With the Gaels trailing 53-49 with just over four minutes left to play, Brett Collins picked Nick Young at mid-court and was fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, and on the ensuing USC possession, SMC got another steal, but Ian O'Leary was whistled for an offensive foul while driving to the basket.

The USC advantage remained at four points until Omar Samhan hit the first of two free throws with 3:46 left to play. After he missed the second free throw, Samhan got the rebound and had a chance for a put back, but USC's Taj Gibson blocked the shot, grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Gibson made free throws to extend the lead to five points (55-50). The 3-point deficit was the closest the Gaels would get down the stretch.

The Gaels struggled to score in the first half, shooting 32.4 percent from the floor while making just 1-of-12 3-point attempts. Tron Smith kept the Gaels in the game by scoring 11 first-half points off the bench. Smith finished the game with 12 points to match Brett Collins for team-high honors. In the second half, Saint Mary's made just 10-of-33 shots and missed on all six shots from 3-point land.

USC opened at 14-4 lead seven minutes into the contest and never looked back. The Trojan lead reached as many as 11 points (21-10) in the first half when RouSean Cromwell and Dwight Lewis hit back-to-back shots. The Gaels cut the lead to eight points (27-19) on a lay in by Collins with 3:18 left in the first half. Ian O'Leary toed the free throw line with a chance to cut the deficit to six, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one and SMC trailed 33-25 at the break.

USC opened the second half with an 8-1 run to open a 41-26 lead just three minutes into the second half. The 15-point lead for the Trojans with 16:52 left to play was the biggest of the game. Trailing 51-38 with 7:43remaining, the Gaels used an 9-0 run to close the deficit to 51-47 with 5:20 left to play.

Diamon Simpson had 11 points and seven rebounds for Saint Mary's. Simpson, Samhan and Collins led the Gaels with seven rebounds each. Four players scored in double figures for USC as Lodrick Stewart scored a game-high 19 points. Taj Gibson had 15 points, Dwight Lewis came off the bench to score 12, and Nick Young added 11 points. Young and Steward had eight rebounds each for game-high honors.

The Gaels will return home on Tuesday, Nov. 21 against the TCU Horned Frogs of Conference-USA. The game between SMC and TCU will tip-off at 7:05 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion and can also be seen on Comcast SportsNet West.