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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 8, 2007

Gonzaga - 85
Cal State Northridge - 59

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Jeremy Pargo insisted No. 17 Gonzaga was not out to prove it could score in buckets.

Nevertheless, the Bulldogs tied their season scoring high with an 85-59 pounding of Cal State Northridge on Saturday, in their first game since losing to Washington State 51-47 last Wednesday.

"We didn't come out with a goal to score 100 points just to show we could score," said Pargo, who had eight points, nine assists and four steals in the blowout win. "We came out looking for a win."

Micah Downs scored 19 points and Matt Bouldin 18, including what Pargo called his first college dunk for the Zags (8-2).

Abdullahi Kuso had 11 rebounds as the Zags had a 50-29 advantage on the boards, including 20 offensive rebounds.

"We'd gotten outrebounded two games in a row," said David Pendergraft, who grabbed seven boards. "Rebounding was a point of emphasis."

Cal State Northridge (6-2), which was off to its best start since 1988-89, was held 24 points below its season average and shot just 36.7 percent in the game.

After falling behind early, Northridge never really threatened. Coach Bobby Braswell did not meet with the media afterward.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few noted that his team in the past two weeks has been to the Great Alaska Shootout, traveled to games in Philadelphia and Boston, and then hosted No. 8 Washington State.

"I'm very proud how we got through this stretch," Few said. "We had great competition in a lot of places."

The Zags now get a nine-day break for finals, after improving to 43-2 at the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

Deon Tresvant scored 15 points to lead Cal State Northridge, while Calvin Chitwood and Rob Haynes had 11 each.

Gonzaga's 47 points against Washington State was its lowest total since 1996. The Bulldogs scored 45 in the first half alone this game.

Bouldin, who missed all nine of his shots and did not score against Washington State, made seven of 13 field goals against Northridge.

The Zags, who shot 25.9 percent against Washington State, made 44 percent of their shots this time, while holding Northridge to 36 percent.

"Our defense won it tonight," Few said.

Northridge managed to stay close in the first 10 minutes, trailing just 20-13. But a dunk by Larry Gurganious and consecutive 3-pointers by Bouldin just 20 seconds apart lifted the Zags to a 28-13 lead.

The game turned into a 3-point contest, with Gonzaga making three and the Matadors two over the next three minutes to give Gonzaga a 39-21 lead with 7:13 left.

The Matadors got five unanswered points from Tremaine Townsend and a breakaway slam from Chatwood to close to 41-28 with 1:38 left.

Gonzaga led 45-30 at halftime, thanks to 51 percent shooting, including 6-of-11 on 3-pointers.

Bouldin scored three field goals early in the second half as Gonzaga built a 54-36 lead, and cruised to an 8-2 record for the third consecutive season.

Gonzaga's Theo Davis has left the team to return to Canada to help care for his ailing father. It is not clear when he will return.

LMU - 76
Boise State - 74

Boise, ID - With both the clock and shot clock winding down, junior walk-on Corey Counts, who earned his first start of the season and just the second of his career, hit a bank three-pointer with 17.1 seconds left on the game clock and just two seconds on the shot clock to give Loyola Marymount a 76-74 come-from-behind victory over Boise State at Taco Bell Arena on Saturday night.

With the game tied at 72-72 after Boise State's Reggie Larry hit two free throws with 52 seconds left, the Lions ran their offense and struggled for a good shot. The ball rolled to Counts at the top of the key who took a clean jumper from roughly 30 feet and banked it off the glass for a 75-72 lead.

Anthony Thomas drove the lane and put in a lay-up with nine seconds left to cut the lead to 75-74. After a timeout, sophomore Shawn Deadwiler was fouled. He hit the front-end of the one and one but missed the second. Thomas drove the lane but his shot was blocked by Deadwiler.

"Obviously Corey's shot was a desperation shot, but he had the presence of mind to see the clock, make a pump fake to draw off the defender and then set his feet and hit the shot. Call it what you want, a prayer, or whatever. We needed some answered prayers and this was a good one. I am very happy for the team, it was a good win against a very good team."

The Lions improve to 3-7 on the season while Boise State falls to 6-3. It was a strong all around effort for the Lions who had four players in double digits and Counts with his three long balls for nine points.

Freshman Orlando Johnson led the Lions with his first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow freshman Tim Diederichs had 14 points, senior Jon Ziri added 13 off the bench and junior Marko Deric had 10. Reggie Larry led all scorers with 21 points and Matt Nelson had 20.

LMU started the game as cold as the air outside as they fell down by 17 points, 27-10 with 8:24 remaining in the first half. They opened the game 0-for-7 from the field and turned the ball over seven times in the first 10 minutes. However, the Lions made a small run at the end of the first half that cut the lead to as low as nine, 30-21. They went into the locker room down 13, 41-28.

"I told the guys at the half that we had to keep playing desperate and with pride. I told them we needed to stop turning the ball over and hold them to just 40 percent shooting to get back into the game," said Tention.

The Lions did just that. They held Boise State to exactly 40 percent (10-for-25) from the field in the second half, 44 percent for the game, and turned the ball over just five times in the second half (13 for the game).

"In our three wins we have turned the ball over 15, 11 and now 13 times. When we take care of the ball, we are a good team," said Tention. The Lions entered the game averaging over 20.

The Lions opened the second half on a 27-12 run to take their first lead of the game on a lay-up by Johnson with 12:10 to play. The game would be tied nine times and the lead would change hands seven times from that point. With the game tied at 70-70, Diederichs took a pass from Ziri to put the Lions up 72-72 with 1:28 remaining to set-up the final plays.

LMU finished the second half scoring 48 points on 58.6 percent shooting, its best half of the season. They finished the game shooting 49.2 percent. The Lions will take a week off for finals before ending a three-game road trip at UC Riverside on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Pepperdine - 83
Pacific - 65

STOCKTON, Calif. - A measure of the improvement that a young Pepperdine men's basketball team has made in the first month of the season was evident in an 83-65 victory over Pacific on Saturday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center, as the Waves avenged an earlier loss to the Tigers.

In the first meeting on Nov. 12 in Eugene, Ore., the more experienced Tigers (6-3) led wire-to-wire in an 84-76 victory. Tonight, however, the Waves showed how much they had grown in the last month and returned the favor on UOP's home court.

The Waves (5-6) trailed by two at halftime but blew the game open in the second half, getting to the basket at will for a variety of dunks and lay-ups. Pepperdine outscored Pacific 49-29 in the second half and led by as many as 21 points.

Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) and freshman guard Tyrone Shelley (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) scored nearly half the Waves' points (41 of 83). Thomas scored 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting, which included five dunks. Shelley added 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting.

"I'm very, very proud of the players," Pepperdine Coach Vance Walberg said. "I'm really excited to get a big-time win like this on the road. We executed well on offense and defense. We rebounded well and that was important. We really needed a performance like this."

The Waves played excellent basketball for the first 16 minutes of the first half, and a 6-0 run punctuated by a dunk by Thomas put Pepperdine ahead 32-21 with 4:10 to play. The Tigers ended the half on a 15-2 run, however, and went into the break with a 36-34 lead.

Thomas and Shelley scored 21 of the Waves' 34 first-half points and were a combined 7-for-7 from the field.

It's a shame the game wasn't on television so that Pepperdine fans could catch one highlight-worthy shot by freshman guard Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Stoneridge Prep). With the shot clock running down, Thompson collected an air ball to the left side of the basket. With his back to the basket, he flipped the ball up over his shoulder and banked it in as the buzzer went off, tying the game at 42-42. That play may have ignited the Waves, who never trailed again. It also began a 7-0 run, which gave Pepperdine a 47-42 advantage with 14 ½ minutes to go.

Another 12-1 run helped the Waves to a 12-point lead at 59-47. Shelley finished the spurt with a brilliant spin move in the post, as he got to the basket for a lay-up and made the subsequent free throw with 8:01 to go.

Another 8-0 run, which included another three-point play by Shelley, gave the Waves a 69-50 with 5:38 to play. Pepperdine's largest lead at any point this season coming into the game was 14 points (at Montana State).

The Waves led by as many as 21 points at 75-54 with 4:15 to play.

Thompson had 11 points and junior guard Rico Tucker (San Diego, Calif./University HS/Minnesota) had 10 points and a career-high seven assists.

Pacific's Steffan Johnson scored 32 points in the first meeting but was held to 12 tonight.

Pepperdine shot 52.5% overall and Pacific shot 50.0%. The Waves had a 32-23 rebounding edge and a 27-14 edge on points off turnovers.

The Waves continue their 10-game road stretch with a contest at BYU on Saturday (Dec. 15) at 7 p.m. MT (6 p.m. PT). Fans can listen to Al Epstein's call of the action at www.pepperdinesports.com.

Saint Mary's - 69
San Diego State - 64

Anaheim, CA - The Saint Mary's men's basketball remained unbeaten and improved to 7-0 following a 69-64 win over the San Diego State Aztecs in the John Wooden Classic at the Honda Center. Tron Smith paced the Gaels with 20 points and Diamon Simpson had a double-double with 13 points and a season-high 16 rebounds.

After scoring just four points in the first half, and with the Gaels trailing by five (29-24) at the break, Smith exploded in the final 20 minutes by scoring 15 points off the bench. Smith finished the game shooting 5-for-11 overall, making 5-of-9 shots from the floor in the second half.

Simpson notched his third double-double of the season and 10th of his career was he was the Gaels' third leading scoring in the game with 13 points and he matched his career-high, pulling down 16 rebounds. He had just four points in the second half, but played big on the glass, grabbing 12 boards in the final 20 minutes.

Freshman guard Patrick Mills had another solid game for SMC as he had 15 points to go along with 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point land. Omar Samhan also finished in double figures with 10 points and three rebounds and åTodd Gold had a game-high six assists.

With Saint Mary's trailing 7-5 early, the Gaels used 7-0 run sparked by five points by Diamon Simpson to open a 12-7 lead at the 14:48 mark of the first half. The Aztecs used a 6-2 run to even the score at 13-13 at the 12:33 mark. Saint Mary's would regain the advantage on a basket by Simpson to take a 17-15 lead, but an 8-0 run by SDSU had the Aztecs leading 23-17 with 4:25 left in the first half.

Saint Mary's cut into the Aztec lead following a 3-pointer by Patrick Mills with 1:30 left in the half, to cut the deficit to 27-14. A lay up by SDSU's Richie Williams had the Aztecs leading 29-24 as the teams went to the locker room.

After SDSU opened a 34-26 lead a minute and a half into the second half, SMC answered with back-to-back threes by Mills and a lay up and a free throw by Tron Smith to take a 35-34 advantage at with 17:05 left. The run would reach 11-0 when Smith made a pair of free throws at the 16:38 mark.

The game seesawed for the next 10 minutes until Carlin Hughes made a three-pointer at the 8:50 mark to give SMC a 49-47 lead. Tron Smith made another free throw at 8:43 and then after a Billy White dunk by San Diego State, Omar Samhan make a lay-up to keep the Gaels ahead 53-50 with eight minutes left to play.

San Diego State regained the lead at 54-53 after a pair of free throws from Amoroso with 7:19 remaining in the game. The game would go back-and-forth for the next two minutes, and a 5-0 run by the Gaels had SMC leading 61-56 following a steal and lay-up by Tron Smith with 4:35 left on the clock.

A quick 4-0 run but the Aztecs cut the SMC lead to 61-60 and then Diamon Simpson missed two free throws with 2:47 left on the clock.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Tuesday, December 11 with a road game at Southern Illinois. The game in Carbondale, IL will mark the first true road game of the season for the Gaels. The game between SMC and the Salukis will begin at 7 p.m. Central Time.

San Francisco - 67
Weber State - 65

San Francisco - USF men's basketball minimized its mistakes down the stretch and held on for a 67-65 win against Weber State Saturday afternoon in non-conference action at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (4-5) snapped a two-game losing streak in concluding their season-long four-game homestand against the Wildcats (2-6).

Freshman guard Myron Strong enjoyed another strong game for San Francisco, scoring a game-high 16 points on 7-of-13 from the field with seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Junior guard Manny Quezada added 15 points, while sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn shook off a slow start to finish with 14 points and six rebounds.

Sophomore guard Christian Hernandez tossed in a career-high nine points, including a pair of key 3-pointers, with three assists and a pair of steals in 23 minutes. Senior guard Danny Cavic shook off a slow start to connect for seven points and gave the Dons the lead for good at 59-57 with 1:49 left on his second 3-pointer.

USF's defense forced 25 WSU turnovers in the contest, 13 in the second half. It almost didn't matter as the Wildcats shot .571 (20-35) from the field for the game, including .533 (8-15) from beyond the arc. The Dons connected on .429 (21-49) from the field, but took much better care of the basketball, committing just 12 turnovers in the contest.

San Francisco had a miserable night at the free throw line converting on just .576 (19-33), while WSU connected on .773 (17-22) from the charity stripe.

Senior forward Arturas Valeika led the way for Weber State with 13 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Junior guards Juan Pablo Silveira and Kellen McCoy each added 12 for the Wildcats.

USF improves to 3-1 in the all-time series and will travel to Ogden for a rematch at Weber State December 28.

San Francisco closes out 2007 on the road with five straight games, beginning Saturday, December 15 at UC Irvine. Tip-off against the Anteaters is set for 7:00 PM at the Bren Events Center.

Santa Clara - 73
San Jose State - 63

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- John Bryant recorded his third double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Santa Clara ended its seven-game road trip with a 73-63 win over San Jose State on Saturday night.

Bryant, the Broncos' leading scorer and rebounder, struggled with his shot all night but scored seven of the final nine points for Santa Clara, including three free throws in the final 36 seconds to preserve the win.

Brody Angley added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Broncos (6-2).

Tim Pierce had 19 points for San Jose State, including three straight 3-pointers when the Spartans -- after trailing by 15 with 5 minutes remaining -- made a late charge.

Santa Clara led 64-49 on Okechukwu Mbanugo's only basket of the game and appeared headed for a blowout when Pierce warmed up from the outside. His run of 3s pulled San Jose State within 66-58, then Justin Graham later scored to make it 68-63 with a minute left.

Bryant stopped the run with three free throws, though, and Angley added a late basket to seal the win for the Broncos.

San Jose State has not defeated the Broncos since a 71-69 win on Nov. 30, 2002. The two teams play again in Santa Clara on Jan. 7.

The two teams opened the game headed in opposite directions.

Santa Clara's first three baskets were 3-pointers while San Jose State missed seven of its first nine shots and fell behind. The Broncos' success on the perimeter opened things up inside for Bryant, who had eight points and six rebounds in the first half.

An uncontested backdoor layup from Henke pushed Santa Clara's lead to 20-12 with 8:08 left before the Spartans closed the gap. Webster had five points during a 7-0 burst before Pierce's 3-pointer tied the game at 24. San Jose State managed just five free throws the rest of the half, however, and went into halftime trailing 33-29.

Graham finished with 13 points for San Jose State while C.J. Webster had 12 points and five assists.

New Mexico - 57
San Diego - 47

Albuquerque, NM - Playing on the road in one of the toughest college basketball venues in America, The Pit, the Toreros dropped a 57-47 decision to the University of New Mexico Lobos. With the loss the Toreros fall to 5-6 while UNM improves to 8-2 on the year. Freshman forward Rob Jones led USD with 12 points, but leading scorers Brandon Johnson (10 points) and Gyno Pomare (4 points) were plagued with foul trouble the entire game. New Mexico received a game-high 19 points from Darren Prentice off the bench. USD will play their next tough road contest this coming Wednesday at the University of Nevada.

The Toreros suffered through another cold shooting game making just 16-of-50 shots on the day. In fact, USD's first basket and points didn't come until the 14:11 mark on a Rob Jones basket. USD managed just 8-of-25 shooting in the first half (32%), and that is where they finished for the day, converting just 32%. Despite their shooting woes, the Toreros continued to play hard and stay in the game. UNM was up by as many as 16 in the 2nd half, but USD battled back to single digits at 51-42 with 3:46 to go. That would be as close as they would get against the Lobos.

USD's Jones finished with team highs of 12 points and 7 rebounds. Clinton Houston came off the bench to grab 6 boards, and numerous times the Toreros found themselves with three freshmen playing at the same time - Jones, Houston and Trumaine Johnson. One bright point for USD was their free throw shooting; they made 12-of-16 for 75%. USD also outrebounded the Lobos, 33-30, and outscored them in the final 20 minutes, 27-24.