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Six WCC Games Televised This Week

Jan. 12, 2007

SATURDAY, JANUARY 13
San Diego (10-6, 0-1) at Pepperdine (4-14, 0-2)
Location:
Malibu, Calif. - Firestone Fieldhouse
Time: 7:00 PM (PST)
Television: FSN Prime Ticket

Preview: San Diego and Pepperdine meet up in the first of four televised WCC games this Saturday night. With both teams winless in conference play, the winner will get an early leg up in the WCC. Although they dropped a double overtime heartbreaker to USF, 103-100, to open conference play last weekend, the Toreros have won eight of their last 10 games, including a 78-62 win over UC Riverside on Wednesday. In their first season under the tutelage of Head Coach Vance Walberg, the Waves have struggled early, dropping back-to-back games to Portland and Gonzaga to open WCC play last weekend after going 4-12 in the preseason. Pepperdine leads the all-time series with San Diego 53-23, but the Toreros have won four of the last five, including the teams' last meeting in the first round of the 2006 WCC Tournament.

San Diego's Key Players: Gyno Pomare - 15.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg; Brandon Johnson 13.2 ppg, 4.6 apg
Pepperdine's Key Players: Marvin Lea - 17.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg; Chase Griffin - 15.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg

SATURDAY, JANUARY 13
Portland (6-12, 2-0) at Saint Mary's (8-9, 0-1)
Location:
Moraga, Calif. - McKeon Pavilion
Time: 7:00 PM (PST)
Television: Comcast SportsNet West

Preview: In the second television matchup of the week, Portland travels to Saint Mary's. The Pilots are off to their best conference start since 2000-01 after knocking off both LMU and Pepperdine last week. UP has won four of its last five matches thanks in part to this week's WCC Co-Player of the Week, Darren Cooper. The senior guard notched a career-high 28 points against LMU on Monday and dropped in 19 in the win over the Waves. Saint Mary's is looking for its first win in WCC play after dropping a 76-69 decision to Santa Clara last week. Playing a tough schedule featuring then-No. 8 Connecticut and then-No. 21 Nevada, Gaels leaders Diamon Simpson and Brett Collins have gotten assistance from freshman Omar Samhan, who is the team's second leading rebounder and third leading scorer. Last year, the teams split their two meetings, with Portland earning a 74-72 overtime win at McKeon Pavilion. However, the Gaels have taken eight of 10 against the Pilots.

Portland's Key Players: Darren Cooper - 13.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg; Jamie Jones - 10.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg
Saint Mary's Key Players: Diamon Simpson - 13.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg; Brett Collins 12.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg

SATURDAY, JANUARY 13
San Francisco (5-11, 1-0) at Loyola Marymount (8-10, 0-2)
Location:
Los Angeles, Calif. - Gersten Pavilion
Time: 7:30 PM (PST)
Television: ESPNU

Preview: Saturday's third WCC game pits San Francisco against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. The Lions are looking to bounce back from a five-game losing streak after spending four straight on the road. Meanwhile, the Dons and WCC Co-Player of the week, Antonio Kellogg, are coming off of a 103-100 double-overtime win versus San Diego last week. Kellogg put up a career-high 37 points against the Toreros, hitting seven threes, including the game-tying shot at the end of regulation and the game winner. Picked to finish third in the WCC preseason coaches poll, USF kicked off conference play on a high note after a rough 4-11 start to the season. LMU has struggled since losing senior guard and leading scorer Brandon Worthy to a season-ending injury. The Lions' team scoring average has dropped nearly 10 points per game since Worthy's injury, but senior forward Matthew Knight and senior guard Adoyah Miller have stepped up to attempt to fill the void left by Worthy. The last time the two teams met at Gersten Pavilion (1/9/06) LMU came away with an 84-75 double overtime win. Despite taking four straight from the Dons, USF has almost 60 more wins over LMU in the all-time series.

San Francisco's Key Players: Antonio Kellogg - 15.6 ppg, 3.6 apg; Alan Wiggins - 14.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg
Loyola Marymount's Key Players: Matthew Knight - 17.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg; Adoyah Miller - 9.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg

SATURDAY, JANUARY 13
Gonzaga (11-6, 2-0) at Santa Clara (11-5, 1-0)

Location: Santa Clara, Calif. - Leavey Center
Time: 8:00 PM (PST)
Television: FSN Northwest

Preview: Rounding out Saturday's WCC men's basketball games is a marquee matchup between Gonzaga and Santa Clara. The top two teams in the WCC at the start of league play, both the Broncos and Zags are undefeated after the first week of conference games. Gonzaga downed both LMU and Pepperdine last week at home, and played the toughest nonconference schedule in the league with wins over No. 1 North Carolina and No. 24 Washington. Meanwhile, SCU is coming off of a win over Saint Mary's to open WCC play after going 10-5 in the preseason. The Broncos are 8-2 at the Leavey Center this season and lead the conference in several categories, including scoring defense and rebounding defense. The Bulldogs will put that defense to the test on Saturday. While SCU is allowing opponents just 62.9 points and 31.1 rebounds per game, Gonzaga is averaging 80.1 points and 38.8 boards per contest, second and first in the conference, respectively. Although the Broncos hold a slim 33-31 advantage in the all-time series, Gonzaga has made up considerable ground in the last six years, and is looking for its 13th straight victory over Santa Clara.

Gonzaga's Key Players: Derek Raivio - 19.4 ppg, .954 FT percentage; Josh Heytvelt - 14.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Santa Clara's Key Players: John Bryant - 10.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg; Danny Pariseau - 10.2 ppg, 4.5 apg

MONDAY, JANUARY 15
San Francisco (5-11, 1-0) at Pepperdine (4-14, 0-2)
Location:
Malibu, Calif. - Firestone Fieldhouse
Time: 8:00 PM (PST)
Television: ESPNU

Preview: Monday night's ESPNU matchup between San Francisco and Pepperdine should prove to be an exciting one. As two of the top teams in the WCC in scoring, the game should turn into a high-scoring affair. The Waves' high-speed offense is ranked fifth in the country in three pointers per game (10.9) and its output of 81.9 points per game is 16th in the nation and first in the WCC. The Dons are hitting 6.69 threes per game and averaging 75.9 points per game, and enter the weekend coming off of a win in a 103-100 double-overtime thriller against San Diego. The 103 points were the most by a USF team since 1995, and the victory snapped a seven-game losing streak. In recent years, the Waves and Dons have been evenly matched, splitting the last 10 games. San Francisco earned two wins over Pepperdine last year by a combined total of 11 points, and leads the all-time series 64-41. The Waves host San Diego, while the Dons travel to LMU in their games on Saturday.

San Francisco's Key Players: Antonio Kellogg - 15.6 ppg, 3.6 apg; Alan Wiggins - 14.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg
Pepperdine's Key Players: Marvin Lea - 17.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg; Chase Griffin - 15.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg

MONDAY, JANUARY 15
Gonzaga (11-6, 2-0) at Saint Mary's (8-9, 0-1)
Location:
Moraga, Calif. - McKeon Pavilion
Time: 9:00 PM (PST)
Television: ESPN

Preview: The second ESPN Big Monday game spotlighting the WCC will feature rematches of both the 2004 and 2005 WCC Tournament finals, pitting Gonzaga against Saint Mary's. Three-time defending WCC Tournament champion Gonzaga kicked off 2007 WCC play with two wins at home, but hits the road for the first time in 2007 this week. Entering the weekend, the Zags are winless in their last five games away from the McCarthey Center, but bring the conference's second-highest scoring offense and leading rebounding team into Monday's matchup. Despite a grueling nonconference schedule, Gonzaga lays claim to the top spot in eight of the conference's offensive and defensive statistical categories. Meanwhile, Saint Mary's will look to gain momentum with its first WCC win when it hosts Portland on Saturday. Saint Mary's leads the conference in blocks and is second in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 66.3 points and 44 percent shooting per game. The Gaels' defense will be the key for SMC to earn its first victory over Gonzaga since 2005.

Gonzaga's Key Players: Derek Raivio - 19.4 ppg, .954 FT percentage; Jeremy Pargo - 11.6 ppg, 4.41 apg
Saint Mary's Key Players: Diamon Simpson - 13.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg; Brett Collins 12.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg