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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 31, 2007

Gonzaga - 61
Utah - 59

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Matt Bouldin scored a career high 26 points, including 20 in the second half, as Gonzaga outlasted Utah 61-59 on New Year's Eve.

Bouldin made 8 of 11 shots, including 6-of-8 3-pointers, as Gonzaga (10-4) snapped a two-game losing streak that dropped the Bulldogs from the Top 25.

Tyler Kepkay scored 16 points to lead Utah (8-4), which stayed close by making a season high 11 of 26 3-pointers, but shot just 40 percent in the game.

Shaun Green and Luke Nevill added 15 each for the Utes, who came into the game as the nation's fourth-best shooting team at 51 percent.

After leading by one at halftime, the Zags scored the first 10 points of the second half -- seven by Bouldin -- for a 36-25 lead. Bouldin hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 12-3 Gonzaga run for a 50-38 lead with seven minutes left.

The Utes kept scoring, but Bouldin made two more 3-pointers to maintain a 56-45 lead.

Nevill scored three straight layups to cut Gonzaga's lead to 56-51 with 2:07 left.

After Jeremy Pargo scored for the Zags, Curtis Eatmon's long 3-pointer brought the Utes to within 58-54 with 1:03 left.

After a Bouldin free throw, Nevill sank a long jumper to cut Gonzaga's lead to 59-56 with 10.3 seconds left.

Utah fouled on the inbound play and Josh Heytvelt sank both free throws for a 61-56 lead with 8.8 seconds left. Eatmon's 3-pointer at the buzzer was not enough for Utah.

Despite horrendous shooting, the Utes led most of the first half until Gonzaga's Pargo tied the score at 19 with 3:36 left. The teams swapped baskets until Pargo's 3-pointer lifted Gonzaga to a 26-25 halftime lead.

Heytvelt scored 14 points in the first half for the Zags, topping his season high, and finished with 16. The Zags shot 50 percent in the game.

Marshall - 76
San Diego - 60

Huntington, West Virginia - The USD Toreros (7-9) were handed a 76-60 defeat by the Marshall Thundering Herd (7-4) today before 4,183 fans at Cam Henderson Center on New Year's Eve. The Toreros, who were coming off a stunning 81-72 win at Kentucky two days ago, made just 6-of-15 first half shots in falling behind 43-24 at intermission. Junior point guard Brandon Johnson, who earlier today was named the WCC player of the week after his 27-point performance at Kentucky, matched that total again today but was the lone Torero to reach double digits. Marshall, which improved to 7-1 in home games, was paced by forward Tirrell Baines with 19 points. USD is now off until January 9th when they host CS Bakersfield in their final nonconference tilt.

Marshall, which was coming off their first home loss on Saturday to Lipscomb, came ready to play today as their pressure defense caused USD to turn the ball over 10 times in the first half and 16 overall. In the first half alone, Marshall scored 15 points off Torero turnovers, 16 points in the paint and 11 points off second chance opportunities. In the 2nd half Marshall extended its lead to as many as 25 (54-29), and USD put together a few mini runs, but The Herd always had an answer. The closest USD would get in the final 20 minutes is the final 16 point spread, 76-60.

Danny Brown came off the bench to chip in 8 points, while Gyno Pomare, who was whistled for three first half fouls, was limited to 9 points and just 1 rebound in 16 minutes of action. Marshall outrebounded USD, 34-22, and outshot the Toreros, 50% to 45.2%.

Utah Valley State - 73
San Francisco - 61

Orem, UT - USF dropped a 73-61 non-conference decision to Utah Valley State on a chilly Monday night at the McKay Event Center. The Dons (4-10) shot well in the first half but could not sustain it as the Wolverines (6-9) won the rematch after dropping a 69-64 contest at War Memorial Gym November 28.

Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn scored a team-high 19 points with eight rebounds in a career-high 40 minutes. Freshman guard Myron Strong shook off a scoring slump with 18 points, while junior guard Manny Quezada added 12. Sophomore center Hyman Taylor enjoyed his best performance in the Green and Gold with two points, a career-high 12 rebounds and a blocked shot in 31 minutes - his longest outing of the year.

After shooting nearly .600 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, the Dons cooled in the second managing a .442 (19-43) clip for the game. Utah Valley connected on .455 (25-55) in the contest, including a remarkable .481 (13-27) from beyond the arc. The Dons won the battle of the boards 40-22 and 20-10 on the offensive glass, but it could not offset 21 USF turnovers.

"We've got a lot of work to do in the upcoming weeks," said USF interim head coach Eddie Sutton, who remains at 798 career Division I victories. "There are so many things we need to do. As long as the guys listen and work hard, we'll get better. These are good kids. I've really enjoyed myself teaching these guys."

San Francisco annihilated Utah Valley State on the glass in the first half, 20-7 as Taylor led the way with seven boards, while Cavic added five, three on the offensive side. The Dons had all kinds of trouble holding onto the basketball in the opening 20 minutes, committing 11 turnovers leading to 14 Wolverine points.

USF shot at a remarkable .583 (14-24) clip in the first half, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Utah Valley kept pace at .517 (15-29) but connected on 8-of-16 attempts from long distance, taking a 40-33 lead into halftime. Lowhorn and Strong led the way for the Dons with first half nine points.

San Francisco went ice cold from the field in the second half as the Wolverines used a 17-6 burst to seize control. The Dons only made two field goals in the first 16 minutes after recess and finished at 5-for-19 (.263) in the second period.

Junior guard Ryan Toolson, a cousin of BYU legend Danny Ainge, poured in a game-high 31 points, converting on 10-of-17 from the floor, 7-of-12 from long distance to go along with three assists in 36 minutes for the Wolverines. Junior guard Josh Olsen chipped in 12 points and dished out six assists for UV.

San Francisco returns home for its final non-conference game of the season Saturday, January 5 when it welcomes Holy Cross to the Hilltop. Tip-off against the Crusaders is set for 2:00 PM at War Memorial Gym in the San Francisco debut of interim head coach Eddie Sutton.