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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 25, 2006

Cal - 78
Loyola Marymount - 70

Anchorage, AK - The Cardiac-Kid Loyola Marymount men's basketball team tried to post their third double-digit second half rally of the season, however, they could not complete another fan-friendly rally as they fell to California in the championship game of the 2006 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, 78-70, on Saturday night in Anchorage, Alaska.

Senior Brandon Worthy continues to lead the Lions as he had 18 points and seven rebounds in the setback. Senior Adoyah Miller set his career-high for the second straight night with 17, hitting 4-of-7 from the three-point line. Senior Matthew Knight added 14 points and nine rebounds. The Lions fall to 5-2 on the season while Cal goes to 5-1. Cal was led by Omar Wilkes with 18.

Worthy and Knight were both named to the Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament team.

"Tonight we did not play defense the way we are capable of playing," said Tention. "We had a stretch to start the second half where we turned the ball over too many times which put us in another big hole in the second half. You can't do that against a team the level of Cal."

Cal finished the game hitting 55 percent from the field, the highest by an LMU opponent all season. LMU shot just 38.6 percent while committing a season low 11 turnovers. They forced Cal into 16, fie more than their average.

"We did a good job of getting the ball into the post in the first half and running our offense," said Tention. "That stretch of turnovers kept us from getting into a flow and our defense did not respond."

Ayinde Ubaka's three-point play gave Cal their first free throw of the game with 17:43 remaining and kick-started a 12-2 run to start the second half for the Bears. The three-point play made it 44-35 with 17:40 remaining, then Wilkes hit a fall away jumper to go up 11, 46-35.

The Bears weren't done as Ubaka's three-pointer and free throws by Robertson stretched the lead to 48-35 as they put an early dagger into the Lions' championship hopes. Damian Martin ended the drought with a jumper with 15:45 making it 51-37.

Cal would go on to lead by as many as 18. The Lions, who have erased second half deficits of 15 and 17 in the last week, would once again make a come-back. They cut it to 13, 57-44 on Worthy's driving lay-up. The lead went to 12 with 8:38 on Miller's three-pointer and then to nine, 59-50, on another Miller three-pointer. Worthy's transition bucket with 6:12 jumper made it 59-52.

Cal would get the lead back to a dozen with less than four minutes remaining. However, LMU just would not go away. Miller made it 66-60 with a three pointer with 2:48 remaining. Ubaka answered with a 17-footer, making it 68-60, with 2:15 remaining. Randal put the lead back to 10 with a transition lay-up over Worthy.

Worthy hit a three-pointer, 70-63 with 1:41 remaining and Knight got them to within five, 70-65 with another putback. Wilkes answered to make it 72-65 with 50 seconds remaining as the Lions could not get any closer as Cal went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line, all in the second half.

The first half was a typical championship title bout as the teams went stride for stride with each other. Both teams took leads no bigger than four until Cal took the six-point lead at the half. In the half there were six lead changes and six ties. The Lions went inside early as Knight and Grubb combined for 15 points in the first half, including 10 by Knight. Hardin had his highest point total in over a year at the break with 14.

LMU has hit the halfway point of their six-game stint away from Gersten Pavilion. They will return home to the warmer weather as they will travel to UC Santa Barbara to take on the Gauchos at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29. The game can be heard on Lions' All-Access through LMULions.com and KXLU 88.9 FM.

UC Irvine - 68
Pepperdine - 66

IRVINE, Calif.- Darren Fells had 15 points and 15 rebounds and Patrick Sanders scored 14 points as UC Irvine beat Pepperdine 68-66 Saturday night.

Coming off big losses to Oregon and No. 21 Nevada, the Anteaters (3-4) never trailed in the first half but had to fight off a furious challenge in the second.

Behind 66-65 with 56 seconds to play, Fells missed two free throws after making five of six earlier in the game.

But Adam Templeton made a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left and Marcus McIntosh made one of two with two seconds to play as the Anteaters held on for the win.

Templeton had 12 points and seven rebounds and McIntosh added 10 points.

Marvin Lea scored 18 points and Chase Griffin had 16 for the Waves (1-5), who have lost three straight.

Griffin missed two short jumpers in the final minute, and Lea's 3-point attempt at the buzzer for the win missed the rim.

Pepperdine was out-rebounded 45-29.

The Anteaters opened the game with a 17-6 run, but Pepperdine answered with an 11-0 run of its own, as Kingsley Costain made two straight 3-pointers to tie it at 17 with 8:25 to play in the first half.

UC Irvine then made 10 straight free throws in a 10-0 spurt to go up 27-17. UCI was 12-for-12 from the line in the first half, and led by five at halftime, 34-29.

UNLV - 96
San Francisco - 88

Las Vegas, NV - Michael Umeh paced four UNLV players in double figures with 20 points as UNLV improved to 4-1 on the season by defeating visiting USF 96-88 before 8,096 at the Thomas and Mack Center Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Manny Quezada paced USF with career high 25 points, while Antonio Kellogg added 17 for the Dons now 2-3 on the year. Alan Wiggins added 13 for the Dons and Armondo Surratt, who sat much of the second half with foul trouble added 12.

Wendell White added 19 Wink Adams 17 and Kevin Kruger, son of coach Lon Kruger, added 16 for the Running Rebels.

"We worked hard to get back into the game after a slow start," said coach Evans. "We had too many turnovers and gave them too many second chance points. I thought the offense improved in the second half. But in order to win, however, we must make our free-throws. Tonight we made just 56%.

"It was good to start getting players back. We are evolving as a team. This is going to be a good basketball team sooner than later."

It was a strange game in which USF shot 56% from the floor to 49% for UNLV despite starting the game ice cold. The difference was UNLV outrebounded USF 39-31 and made 22 of 34 free throws to 15 of 27 for USF.

The Dons started the game making just one of their first ten shots and trailed 19-6 with 9:58 remaining in the first half. The Dons then ran off 10 straight points to get to within three with seven minutes left in the half. UNLV then built the lead back up to 34-21 before the Dons ended the period on a 9-3 run to trail 37-30 at the break. USF would get no closer than five points at the start of the second half and although they stayed within reach the rest of the game could not get over the hump.

USF made 10 of its last 15 shots to end up shooting 44% for the half, while UNLV made 47% of its first half field goal attempts.

Saturday's game was the first in a series of five games that the Dons will play in the next eight days, including just one home game, Monday night against Northern Arizona. After hosting the 3-2 Lumberjacks, USF will then play at Pacific Wednesday and then play in the Lou Henson Classic at New Mexico State.

The tournament has a set format which will see the Dons take on 4-1 Southeastern Louisiana on Friday the 1st and then tournament host New Mexico State on Saturday the 2nd. USF then will continue on the road and play at Northern Arizona on the fifth before breaking for finals.

The Dons are slowly getting their players back into the lineup as Vince Polakovic and Danny Cavic made their season debuts for the Dons. Cavic, who started at the end of last season, has been hampered by a sprained ankle.

Nevada - 78
Santa Clara - 70

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Nick Fazekas had 28 points and 15 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double and No. 21 Nevada remained unbeaten with a hard-fought 78-70 victory over Santa Clara on Saturday night.

Nevada (5-0) extended its regular-season road winning streak to seven games dating to last season's 10-3 showing outside of Reno, earning its 19th victory in 20 games with the Wolf Pack's lone loss during that stretch coming to Montana in the NCAA tournament.

Sean Denison scored 23 points for the scrappy Broncos, who looked energized from the tipoff coming off a 73-48 loss at California on Monday night in which they were outscored 23-4 to end the first half. Danny Pariseau added 13 points, hitting a 3-pointer that made it 74-70 with 2:19 to play.

Fazekas scored 11 of his team's first 20 points in the second half and his 3-pointer with 10:51 remaining made it 60-48. Nevada held Santa Clara scoreless for nearly 4 1/2 minutes, and the Broncos (2-2) ended the drought on a goaltending call that gave Denison two points.

Denison's three-point play with 8:19 to go pulled the Broncos within 62-58, but Fazekas quickly answered on the other end. Denison converted another three-point play at 3:44 to cut Nevada's lead to 70-65.

"They made plays down the stretch," said Denison, who has looked great so far after moving from center to power forward this season. "They had guys come to the post and double-team more."

Ramon Sessions added 16 points and six rebounds for the Wolf Pack, who won their first four games by a combined 89 points - an average margin of victory of 22.4 points.

Marcelus Kemp added 11 points, five rebounds and four assists as the three-time defending Western Athletic Conference champs were pushed the entire 40 minutes for the first time this season.

Two-time reigning WAC player of the year Fazekas, defended by Denison before Santa Clara switched to a zone, made 12 of 19 shots.

Both teams came out firing, with Santa Clara hitting its first seven field goals and Nevada making 8 of its first 10 attempts. Both teams shot 51 percent or better in the first half, with Nevada leading 40-39 at the break after making four first-half 3-pointers.

"I thought both teams played hard," Santa Clara coach Dick Davey said. "They were able to make more shots. They're just a nice, solid team. They pretty much defend the same way all the time: stable."

Santa Clara had won three of the last four meetings, including 67-62 in the last meeting on the Broncos' home floor Dec. 14, 2002.

Nevada crashed the boards hard to establish an early 11-4 rebounding advantage, but the Broncos created some second and third chances on offense.

Santa Clara is celebrating its 100th year of basketball by honoring its former greats. A banner with Steve Nash's No. 11 jersey hangs high above one baseline and a banner with two pictures of Nash is displayed on the other side.