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WCC Men's Basketball: Five For Friday

Jan. 9, 2009

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CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS THIS WEEK
After a demanding non-conference season, WCC teams turn their attention to conference play beginning this weekend. Conference play tips off on Friday as San Francisco hosts San Diego and Santa Clara travels to Bay Area rival Saint Mary's. On Saturday, Portland travels to Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount makes the short trip over to Malibu to take on rival Pepperdine. The first week of league action is capped on Sunday as Santa Clara hosts San Diego and Saint Mary's makes the trip across the Bay to take on San Francisco. All six WCC-opening games will be televised.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 9
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK
San Diego at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
Comcast SportsNet California
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
8:00 PM
ESPNU
SATURDAY, JANUARY 10
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK
Portland at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
5:00 PM
KHQ/FSN Northwest
Loyola Marymount at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
8:00 PM
ESPNU
SUNDAY, JANUARY 11
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK
San Diego at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
2:00 PM
Comcast SportsNet California
Saint Mary's at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
Comcast SportsNet California

GONZAGA DOWNS NO. 15 TENNESSEE
Gonzaga earned an impressive 89-79 overtime win at No. 15 Tennessee on Wednesday evening. The win over the Volunteers was the Zags second over Tennessee this season, with the first coming in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic on November 30th. The win at Tennessee also snapped the Volunteers' school-record 37-game home winning streak, the second longest streak in the nation. It also marked the WCC's second win at an SEC school in the last week. San Diego earned a 64-61 overtime win at Mississippi State on December 30th.

GONZAGA AND SAINT MARY'S: STREAK BUSTERS
With Gonzaga taking down Tennessee, the WCC has ended two of the longest home-court winning streaks in the nation this season. The Zags ended Tennessee's 37-game home winning streak, which was the second longest in the nation. Earlier this season, Saint Mary's ended Kent State's 18-game home winning streak with a 75-69 road win, snapping the eighth longest streak in the country.
SAINT MARY'S DOMINATING DUO
Saint Mary's boasts the most dominating rebounding duo in the country in senior forward Diamon Simpson and junior center Omar Samhan. Simpson ranks seventh in the nation with 11.9 rebounds per game, while Samhan is 20th with 9.9 rebounds per contest. Combined, the duo is averaging 21.8 rpg, edging Blake and Taylor Griffin of Oklahoma, who rank as the second highest rebounding tandem with 20.7 rpg. In addition, Simpson and Samhan are combining for 27.7 points per game and 4.0 blocks per game.
SAINT MARY'S GOING STREAKING
The Gaels enter conference play as one of the hottest teams in the nation, riding a 10-game winning streak. Saint Mary's winning streak is tied with Texas A&M for the fourth longest current streak in the nation and the second longest in program history. At 13-1, the Gaels have matched the best 14-game start in school history (1988-89).