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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 19, 2008

Gonzaga - 80
San Diego - 70

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Matt Bouldin led five players in double figures with 16 points, and Gonzaga used a fast to start to beat San Diego 80-70 on Saturday.

Josh Heytvelt added 15 points and Micah Downs scored 12 for the Bulldogs (14-4, 3-0 West Coast), who started the game on a 15-0 run and never trailed, winning their fourth straight.

Brandon Johnson had 26 points and seven steals for the Toreros (8-11, 1-1).

After trailing by as many as 22, San Diego pulled within 72-64 with 6:02 left behind eight straight points from Johnson. The Toreros then got within 76-69 with 1:06 left on a free throw by Chris Lewis, but Bouldin and Heytvelt each hit a pair of foul shots in the final 19 seconds to seal it for Gonzaga.

Steven Gray and Jeremy Pargo both added 10 points for the Bulldogs.

After Gray's eight points staked the Zags to a 15-0 lead in the first six minutes, it looked to be a rough return for longtime Gonzaga assistant Bill Grier, now head coach at San Diego. Grier spent 16 seasons as an assistant at Gonzaga, but could only watch as the Bulldogs forced five San Diego turnovers and the Toreros missed their first six shots before De'Jon Jackson's inside hoop finally got USD on the board.

Downs scored Gonzaga's next 10 points, capped by a 3-pointer with 8:12 left, that pushed the lead to 27-13. San Diego got as close as 39-29 on Lewis' bucket with 3:23 left before Gonzaga closed the half with seven straight points, six scored by Bouldin, to push the lead to 46-29 at the break. Gonzaga has won 21 of its previous 22 against San Diego.

Pargo had eight assists and David Pendergraft nine rebounds for Gonzaga. Jackson finished with 15 points and Gino Pomare had 11 rebounds for San Diego.

Saint Mary's - 79
Pepperdine - 74

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) - Diamon Simpson had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Saint Mary's to a 79-74 victory over Pepperdine, which was playing its first game under interim head coach Eric Bridgeland.

Tron Smith scored 15 points, including five free throws in the final 41 seconds to help the Gaels improve to 15-2, 2-0 in the West Coast Conference.

Pepperdine played an emotional game in its first appearance since Vance Walberg resigned Thursday as head coach. Walberg cited personal and family reasons. He posted a 14-35 record before leaving the Waves.

Pepperdine (6-13, 0-3) lost its seventh consecutive game to NCAA Division I competition. Tyrone Shelley led Pepperdine with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

The Gaels' biggest lead was 11 points with 6:25 remaining, but Pepperdine fought back to within three points with two minutes to play.

Todd Golden, who finished with nine points, nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to help Saint Mary's hold on. Ian O'Leary and Patty Mills scored 10 points apiece for the Gaels.

Saint Mary's closed out the first half with a 12-2 run over the final five minutes for a 38-30 lead. O'Leary helped the Gaels overcome a sluggish start with 10 first-half points.

The Gaels opened the second half with one turnover, five missed shots from the field and two missed free throws before Simpson scored off an offensive rebound for a 40-34 lead.

Neither team shot the ball well from the field.

Saint Mary's made just 41.8 percent of its attempts, while the Waves shot 41.5 percent. Pepperdine converted just 6 of 21 from 3-point range.

Rico Tucker scored 16 points for the Waves. Daniel Johnson had 10 points and seven rebounds, while Malcolm Thomas added nine points and 10 rebounds.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Monday night with a WCC game against the Loyola Marymount Lions. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion and can be seen on Comcast SportsNet West.

San Francisco - 60
Portland - 59

PORTLAND, Ore. - Two free throws by San Francisco's Manny Quezada with 18 seconds left proved to be the difference as the Dons snuck by the Portland Pilots 60-59 in a West Coast Conference men's basketball game Saturday night at the Chiles Center. A desperation half-court shot by Portland sophomore Taishi Ito at the buzzer was wide right.

The Dons continue to have Portland's number with their ninth consecutive win in the series. Seven of those victories have been decided by five or fewer points.

After trailing for most of the second half, Portland got a huge three-point play from sophomore Robin Smeulders to give the Pilots a 55-54 lead with 1:41 left. The lead then changed hands four times in the closing 67 seconds.

Santa Clara - 58
Loyola Marymount - 35

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Brody Angley scored 20 points as the Santa Clara Broncos routed the Loyola Marymount Lions 58-33 on Saturday night.

It was the lowest score by Loyola Marymount team against the Broncos since they defeated them 33-31 in 1938.

Loyola Marymount shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and made just 14 shots from the floor in the game and just six in the second half as Santa Clara ran away with the game.

The last time Loyola Marymount scored less than 35 points in a game was during the 1949-50 season when they lost to UC Santa Barbara 61-31. It was the fourth time since then the Lions had failed to score at least 40 points in a game.

It was the fewest points the Broncos have given up in a game since Feb. 20, 1988 when they defeated St. Mary's, 40-38.

Loyola Marymount (4-15, 1-2) took an early 8-0 lead in the game after Shawn Deadwiler nailed two three-pointers in the first three minutes.

Santa Clara (9-8, 1-1) took the lead with just 4:04 left in the first when Ben Dowdell sank a free-throw to give the Broncos a 19-18 lead. At the end the first half, Broncos lead 25-20.

The Lions suffered through a poor shooting first half making just 38.1 percent of their shots.

It was Santa Clara's first conference win.

Trailing by one with 30 ticks left in the clock, Portland's Sherrard Watson converted on a knifing lay-up through the lane to make it 59-58 in UP's favor. At the other end, Portland was whistled for a questionable foul, sending Quezada to line for a one-and-one situation.

Quezada connected on both to give the lead back to USF at 60-59 with 18 seconds showing on the clock.

Portland then went to freshman Luke Sikma at the other end. Sikma went to the hole and drew contact, but San Francisco's Dior Lowhorn was awarded with the huge blocked shot. The rebound went the Dons way, forcing Portland to foul.

Quezada again went to the free-throw line for a one-and-one with three seconds left. He missed the front end, setting up Ito's desperation heave at the buzzer.

The win gave USF's interim coach Eddie Sutton 799 victories for his career. The Dons improve to 5-12 (1-1 WCC) on the season, while Portland drops to 6-12 (1-2 WCC).

"Give San Francisco credit," UP head coach Eric Reveno said. "They have some good players, a great coach, and they are much better than they were a week ago. I expect them to continue to improve on a daily basis under Coach Sutton."

It was a game of runs as both teams went through offensive spurts throughout the game. Down 39-29 at the break, Portland opened the second half by scoring the first eight points of the stanza to pull within 39-37 five minutes in. The two teams were never separated by more than six points the rest of the way

USF's big run came in the first half when the Pilots went through a field goal drought that lasted almost eight minutes. The Dons used a 15-2 run to build their biggest advantage at 26-15 with seven minutes left in the first half. USF would then take the ten-point lead into the locker room.

"We couldn't get a stop in the first half," added Reveno. "They made shots, but you'll never be a good defensive team by simply saying `they made shots'. You need to get stops and that was the difference in the game. We were better in the second half, but we again failed to get key stops when we needed them."

San Francisco's Dior Lowhorn, the leading scorer in the WCC, scored a game-high 19 points as the Dons finished at 52 percent (24-for-46) shooting for the game. After hitting a torrid 64 percent of their shots in the first half, the Dons cooled off a bit after the break, coming in at 38 percent in the second half.

"They play defense much like Mr. Iba taught me," said Sutton about Portland, referring to legendary Oklahoma State head coach Henry Iba.

Quezada finished with 17 points for the Dons, while Myron String chipped in with 13.

Watson scored all of his points in the second half, finishing with a team-high 15. Sikma was the only other Pilot to reach double figures in scoring with 10.

The Pilots shot 46 percent (22-for-48) for the game, but were just 4 of 21 on three-pointers. UP found its stroke in the second half after shooting just 41 percent in the first stanza. The Pilots connected on 52 percent after the break. Portland finished 11-for-14 from the line, while the Dons were 9-for-14.

UP turned 13 USF turnovers into 16 points, while the Dons countered with just six points on 11 Pilot turnovers. Portland's bench outscored that of San Francisco's 25-9. USF claimed a slim 29-24 edge in rebounds.

Portland next hosts the San Diego Toreros at the Chiles Center on Monday. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.