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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 5, 2008

Gonzaga - 75
Georgia - 67

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Matt Bouldin scored 21 points as Gonzaga beat Georgia 75-67 on Saturday in the battle of the Bulldogs.

Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt added 11 points each for Gonzaga (11-4). The Zags made 9 of 19 3-pointers in the game, which was played at the off-campus Spokane Arena.

Billy Humphrey scored 24 points and Sundiata Gaines 21 for Georgia (8-4).

Georgia trailed by 10 at halftime, and couldn't make up the difference in the second half. Poor shooting undid the visitors, as they shot only 35 percent in the game.

After Georgia closed to 55-44, a 3-pointer by David Pendergraft and consecutive layups by Steven Gray built a 62-45 Gonzaga lead with just over 8 minutes left.

Georgia made another run, making four 3-pointers to cut Gonzaga's lead to 68-59 with 3:51 left. Sundiata Gaines scored four straight to cut Gonzaga's lead to 72-65 with 1:58 left.

But Bouldin made a pair of free throws and Georgia kept missing long shots.

Georgia's Corey Butler was ejected from the game in the final 2.5 seconds for a rough foul on Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo as Pargo was driving for a breakaway basket. Pargo stayed in the game, and finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists..

The first seven baskets of the game were 3-pointers, four by Georgia's Humphrey, as the Bulldogs took a 12-9 lead.

With the score tied at 17, Daye scored 11 of Gonzaga's next 16 points in a six-minute span as the Zags built a 33-22 lead.

Humphrey went on another binge, scoring six consecutive points, to bring Georgia within 33-28 with 2:27 left.

The Zags led 38-28 at halftime, despite shooting only 38 percent. Georgia shot only 34 percent in the half.

This is the fourth match between the two since 2002, with each winning two.

Gonzaga is 12-4 in the Spokane Arena, a 12,500-seat facility about a mile from their campus.

#2 Memphis - 90
Pepperdine - 53

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A young Pepperdine men's basketball team got a taste of the big-time on Saturday afternoon, as the Waves fell to second-ranked Memphis, 90-53, in front of 16,974 fans at the FedExForum.

The Waves fell to 5-10 overall as they played their last of a 10-game stretch of road contests. This was their first game in two weeks after a break for the holidays. Memphis (13-0) extended its school-record home-winning streak to 40 games, currently the best mark in the NCAA.

Freshman guard Tyrone Shelley (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) posted his second consecutive double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) added 10 points and seven rebounds and scored in double-figures for the 12th straight game. No one else had more than five points for Pepperdine.

The game was scheduled due to the friendship of Pepperdine Coach Vance Walberg and Memphis Coach John Calipari. When he was the head coach at Fresno City College, Walberg visited Memphis in 2003 to learn about Calipari's coaching style. Calipari ended up learning about Walberg's high-pressure "AASAA" system and implemented it into his own program with great success, and the two have remained in close contact.

In the ocal newspaper, Calipari had called upon his fans to give Walberg a standing ovation when he was introduced during pregame ceremonies, and the hospitable Tiger supporters did just that.

Despite some cold shooting from the field, the Waves did an excellent job for the first 14 minutes. A steal by junior guard Rico Tucker (San Diego, Calif./University HS/Minnesota) led to a dunk by Thomas, giving Pepperdine a 9-8 lead at the first media timeout. A nice move in the post led to a basket by senior center Jarrad Henry (Kansas City, Mo./Bishop Miege HS), tying the game at 18-18 prior to the second media timeout at 10:48. Shelley got an offensive rebound and hit a fadeaway with 6:48 left, pulling the Waves within one point at 25-24.

The inevitable run by the home team came at that point, however, as a slew of Wave turnovers and a barrage of Tiger three-pointers created a 16-1 run, pushing the Memphis lead to 16 points at 41-25 with 1:36 left.

Pepperdine trailed 44-31 at the break. Memphis shot 58.1% from the field and 53.8% on three-pointers (7-for-13) in the first half, compared to 30.3% and 30.0% for the Waves, respectively. There were four lead changes and five ties in the first half, although Pepperdine's largest lead was just two points.

Memphis poured it on in the second half, surpassing the 20-point margin at 59-38 with 13:44 left and 30 points at 77-47 with 4:34 to go.

"That's a heck of a team," Walberg said. "They're as good as they come. They just wore us down. If they keep knocking shots down like that, they'll be national champions. In the first half we did a good job on the boards. But we had a hard time handling the ball, and we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. In the second half they destroyed us on the boards."

The Waves did well rebounding against the bigger and thicker Tigers, holding a 23-16 edge in the first half before Memphis finished with a 43-40 edge. The Waves had 16 offensive rebounds, 14 in the first half. Turnovers were a key stat, as 21 Wave miscues led to a 38-9 advantage for Memphis on points off turnovers.

Overall, Memphis went 15-for-34 on three-pointers (44.1%) and hit 50.0% of its shots overall. The Waves went 31.7% from the field and 18.8% on three-pointers.

Five Tigers were in double-figures, led by Doneal Mack's 23 points, all of which came in the second half, including seven three-pointers.

After 47 days without a home game, the Waves finally return to Firestone Fieldhouse for their non-conference finale, as they host Hope International on Tuesday (Jan. 8) at 7 p.m. It's only the third home game of the season for Pepperdine. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's call of the action at www.pepperdinesports.com.

Army - 70
Portland - 66

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Senior Jarell Brown scored 23 points to lead the Army Black Knights to a 70-66 victory over the Portland Pilots Saturday afternoon at Christl Arena. Portland (5-10) falls to 1-6 on the road with the loss, while the Black Knights (7-6) improve to 6-1 in games decided by five points or less.

For the second consecutive game, Portland's opponent shot 50 percent from the field. Army finished 24-for-48 from the floor, three days after Yale shot an opponent season high of 63 percent.

"After Yale I was really concerned about our defense," head coach Eric Reveno said. "I was more encouraged by our energy level on defense today and how we forced them to make adjustments. But Army did make the necessary adjustments and made a few more plays down the stretch and that was the difference."

Senior Sherrard Watson led three Pilots in double figures with 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Sophomore point guard Taishi Ito added 13 points, while sophomore forward Robin Smeulders had his second straight solid effort off the bench with 10 points and nine rebounds.

"Offensively I was disappointed with our execution," added Reveno. "Give Army credit for being disciplined and taking us out of our offensive rhythm. You are not going to get a lot of good shots against a team like that, but we were able to get an advantage on the offensive glass. Unfortunately, we didn't capitalize on our second chance opportunities as much as we would have liked."

Brown, who came in averaging 20.7 points, had just five at the half before erupting for 18 second half points to propel the Cadets.

After trailing by five at the half, Portland took control of the game early in the second half. The Pilots opened the stanza on a 11-3 burst to take a three-point lead. Kramer Knutson's tip-in on a missed shot gave Portland a 36-33 lead with 13:24 remaining. The three-point cushion would be UP's biggest lead.

Army regained the lead minutes later, but Watson then drilled a jumper to give the lead back to Portland at 40-39 with 10 minutes showing on the clock. The Black Knights then embarked on 21-10 run to gain control of the game. UP never let the game get out of reach, but Army would hold on for the win.

Portland held a 35-27 advantage in rebounds, but Army was able to register 20 points in the paint and scored 17 second chance points. The Black Knights committed just 11 turnovers, while scoring 20 points on 16 UP mishaps.

The Pilots shot 42.3 percent (22-for-52) for the game and hit seven three-pointers. Army connected on six shots from behind the three-point arc.

The Pilots got off to rocky start allowing numerous point blank baskets in the first half. The Black Knights led by as much as 10 in the period, but Portland used a long three-pointer at the halftime buzzer by Jared Stohl to cut the deficit to 30-25.

"It's (the loss) definitely disappointing, but now we need to focus on league play," Watson said after the game. "You obviously want momentum going into conference play, but I know that we're excited about the stretch run."

The Pilots will now return to Portland and prepare for the first weekend of West Coast Conference play. Portland will open league action on the road at Pepperdine on Saturday, Jan. 12 and then travel to Loyola Marymount on Monday, Jan. 14.

#14 Texas - 81
#24 Saint Mary's - 62

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - D.J. Augustin scored 30 points and No. 14 Texas, playing at full strength for the first time this season, rolled to an impressive 81-62 win Saturday over Saint Mary's.

Freshman Gary Johnson, playing in his second game after missing the first 13 while doctors monitored his heart, scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Longhorns (13-2), who closed out their non-conference schedule before starting Big 12 play next weekend.

Omar Samhan scored 13 points to lead the Gaels (12-2), whose five-game winning streak ended.

Johnson, delivering the scoring muscle and shooting touch coach Rick Barnes promised he could, was 7-for-10 with a variety of layups, short jumpers and a powerful two-handed dunk in the second half that helped Texas put the game away.

A.J. Abrams and Damion James each scored 15 points for the Longhorns, who shot 53 percent. Abrams had his streak of 85 straight games snapped earlier in the week when he sat out Texas' win over TCU with a foot injury.

The Gaels hit nine 3-pointers but just one in the second half and shot just 36 percent from the floor. Saint Mary's was also 7-of-17 on free throws.

Holy Cross - 67
San Francisco - 63

San Francisco, Calif. - San Francisco fans got their first chance to see Eddie Sutton coach the Dons on The Hilltop, but Holy Cross spoiled Sutton's home debut, 67-63 in overtime.

Sutton's new club trailed 33-18 at halftime, but thundered back thanks to strong, second-half shooting, 56-to-38, percent, to force the extra session. The Dons (4-11) out-scored the Crusaders (9-3) 37-22 in the second half.

"I told them at halftime, if I were a season-ticket holder, I'd leave." Sutton said afterward. "I got on them pretty good, and after the game I told them, they'll (the season-ticket holders) come back."

Sutton's Dons managed just two field goals over the first 13:07 of action.

Holy Cross held the Dons without a field goal for the first 6:12 of the contest. Sophomore power forward Dior Lowhorn broke that spell for the Dons with a hook shot at the 13:48 mark. Senior guard Danny Cavic followed with a three-pointer from the right wing, but San Francisco didn't make another shot from the field until Cavic scored on a layup off a steal from junior guard Manny Quezada with 6:53 to go until intermission. Cavic's lay in reduced Holy Cross' lead to 22-12.

But Holy Cross then opened up a 15-point lead, thanks to a 9-2 over the next 4:22, thanks to a pair of jumpers by Andrew Beinert.

Beinert finished the game with nine points.

The Dons shot just .140 (4-for-28) from the floor in the first half, while Holy Cross connected at a .571 (13-for-23) clip from the field.

Dior Lowhorn keyed San Francisco's keyed second-half comeback by scoring 14 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

Lowhorn's jumper from the right post with 4:08 remaining off a feed from Quezada cut Holy Cross' lead to 54-49. San Francisco outscored Holy Cross 6-1 to finish regulation.

Quezada then switched from being a distributor to a long-range marksman.

Quezada buried a three-pointer from the left wing with 1:33 left to bring San Francisco within three points, 55-52--the game's closest margin since Holy Cross led 6-4 with 16:04 to go in the first half.

Quezada nailed another trey with remaining to tie it at 55 before hauling in a rebound off of a Holy Cross miss with 5 seconds left in regulation to preserve the tie.

San Francisco scored the first six points of overtime to lead 61-55 with 3:11 remaining.

Beinert delivered Holy Cross' first basket of overtime, a three, with 3:00 left to cut the Dons' lead in half. Reserve forward Adam May then scored all nine points during Holy Cross' 11-2 run to the finish.

May gave the Crusaders the lead with a trey at the 1:31, Myron Strong then tied it for the Dons with his jumper at the 1:01 mark. May buried another jumper with 34 seconds left to make it a 65-63 game. The 6-8 sophomore then iced the Crusaders' victory by stealing the ball with three seconds remaining and laying it in at the other end.

Crusader center Tm Clifford led his club with 17 points and five rebounds. Point guard Pat Doherty finished the game with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the floor.

The Dons try to snap a six-game losing streak when they open West Coast Conference play at San Diego on January 12 at 6:00 PM. San Francisco beat San Diego twice during the regular season last year, but fell 77-75 to the Toreros in the 2007 WCC Tournament at Portland, Ore..

Holy Cross tries for its third win in a row on Tuesday at Maryland at 7:00PM (ET).

NOTES-- The win is the first for Holy Cross in the series USF leads 2-1... San Francisco plays its next three on the road, all WCC contests... The Dons host Saint Mary's in their WCC home opener on Saturday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. The Crusaders flew directly from Oakland to the Washington, D.C. area after the game. The Crusaders don't return home until their second Patriot League contest when they host Army on January 16.