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WCC Basketball on ESPN

Jan. 14, 2008

WCC Basketball On ESPN's "Big Monday"
Gonzaga at Pepperdine on ESPN Monday night (1/14).
Date: Monday, January 14th.Gonzaga (12-4, 1-0) at Pepperdine (6-11, 0-1)
Location: Malibu, California -- Firestone Fieldhouse

Time: 9:00 PM (PST)

Television: ESPN

Preview: Gonzaga opened WCC play Saturday (1/12) with a 91-68 win at Loyola Marymount University, shooting 65.4 percent (34-for-52) from the field and winning its WCC opener for the 12th straight season. The Bulldogs, who have posted non-conference wins over basketball powerhouses such as Saint Joseph's and Connecticut, were once again picked to win the WCC title for the eighth consecutive season. Pepperdine rallied back from a double-digit deficit against Portland in the schools' WCC opener, also on Saturday, but the visiting Pilots held on for an 82-78 victory over the Waves. The young Pepperdine squad has faced three top-25 ranked schools so far this season and despite posting losses in all three games, the Waves have consistently recorded individual game and team-high stats.

Match-Up History: Dating back to the 1979-1980 season, Pepperdine leads the series 33-30 overall and 33-28 in WCC play, however the Waves haven't posted a win over the Zags since 2001.

Gonzaga's Key Players: Matt Bouldin: recorded a career-high eight assists against LMU, averages 14.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game; Josh Heytvelt: posted a season-high 19 points at LMU on Saturday and averages 12.6 points per game; Jeremy Pargo: averaging 11.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.

Pepperdine's Key Players: Malcom Thomas: named one of the five-best mid-major freshmen in the West by espn.com's Kyle Whelliston, second in the WCC with 9.2 rebounds per game; Tyrone Shelley:scored 34 points vs. Cal State Northridge to set a new single-game scoring mark by a Pepperdine freshman, fourth in the WCC in scoring with 15.6 points per game; Mychel Thompson: leads the Waves with 32 three-pointers and has made at least one in every game.

WCC Basketball On ESPNU
Portland at Loyola Marymount on ESPNU Monday night (1/14).
Date: Monday, January 14th.
Portland (6-10, 1-0) at Loyola Marymount (3-14, 0-1)
Los Angeles, California -- Gersten Pavilion

Time: 8:00 PM (PST)

Television: ESPNU

Preview: Portland (6-10, 1-0 WCC) opened conference play with an 82-78 road win at Pepperdine on Monday. In their six wins, the Pilots have limited teams to 36 percent shooting and 26 percent from three-point range. Despite not having a single post player with Division I game experience entering the season, Portland has a +5.7 rebounding margin to lead the WCC, out-rebounding 12 of 16 opponents. The Pilots will now seek just their second WCC road sweep since 2001, and look for a 2-0 league start for second straight season and only the fifth time in 32 years. Loyola Marymount (3-14, 0-1 WCC) opened West Coast Conference play with a 91-68 loss at home to Gonzaga on Saturday night. A young team, the Lions have posted wins over Boise State (76-74), Mercer (97-92, OT), and Presbyterian (83-76). The Lions have lost seven straight entering Monday night's matchup with Portland.

Match-Up History: Since the first match-up between Portland and Loyola Marymount in 1954, the Lions lead the series 40-35 overall and 34-30 in WCC play beginning in 1976.

Portland's Key Players: Nik Raivio: leads the Pilots with 13.5 points per game and has reached double figures in 10 of the last 13 games, including three 20-point outings; Luke Sikma: fourth in the WCC in rebounding at 8.4 per game, also leads the Pilots in steals (19), blocked shots (16) and field goal percentage (.524; Robin Smeulders: averaging 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game off the bench.

Loyola Marymount's Key Players: Orlando Johnson: has four games with 20 or more points, averaging 13.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, and is on pace to set the all-time freshman record in scoring and rebounds; Corey Counts: leads the Lions with a team-best 53 assists while shooting 22-for-48 (46 percent) from the three-point line this season; Jon Ziri: fourth on the team in both scoring and steals per game, with 7.1 and 2.2 per game, respectively.