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WCC Men's Basketball Mid-Week Report

Jan. 24, 2007

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WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Diamon Simpson, SMC
Saint Mary's sophomore forward Diamon Simpson collected his second consecutive WCC Player of the Week honor, and the third in the last four weeks, after guiding the Gaels to road wins at San Francisco and at San Diego. Simpson started the week by tossing in 15 points, grabbing four rebounds and handing out three assists in the Gaels' 71-64 overtime win at USF. The Hayward, CA native followed up that performance by scoring a team-high 21 points to go along five rebounds and four blocked shots in the win over the Toreros.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Saturday, January 27
*Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara - 2:00 PM
*San Diego at Portland - 2:00 PM #
*San Francisco at Gonzaga - 5:00 PM %
*Pepperdine at Saint Mary's - 7:00 PM &

Monday, January 29
*San Francisco at Portland - 7:00 PM
*Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary's - 7:00 PM
*Pepperdine at Santa Clara - 8:00 PM #
*San Diego at Gonzaga - 9:00 PM $

* Denotes Conference game; # Televised on ESPNU; $ Televised on ESPN2; & Televised on Comcast SportsNet West; % Televised on FSN Northwest

WCC TEAM NOTES

Gonzaga Bulldogs (13-7 / 4-1 WCC)
- Gonzaga rebounded from its first conference loss in nearly two years with an 80-68 win over Portland on Monday.

- Seniors Derek Raivio and Sean Mallon led the Zags with 19 points and 17 points, respectively. Raivio's 19 points marked the 13th time this season that he has led the Zags in scoring and moved him into 17th place on GU's all-time scoring chart with 1,228 career points.

- Mallon, who added six rebounds versus Portland, has been on a tear as of late, averaging 13.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg over the Zags' last seven games.

- Sophomore Micah Downs, a McDonald's All-American transfer from Kansas, has suited up for the Zags the last three games, tossing in five points versus Portland.

- The Bulldogs return to Spokane to host San Francisco (1/27) and San Diego (1/29).

Loyola Marymount Lions (8-13 / 0-5 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount dropped its eighth straight game, falling to rival Pepperdine, 57-55, on Saturday.

- LMU came back from a 14-point deficit in the second half against Pepperdine, closing the gap to two points with just 56 seconds remaining but could not pull off the win. The Lions have lost five games this season by eight points or less, including the last three straight.

- Senior guard Adoyah Miller led the Lions with 14 points against the Waves, while Matthew Knight added the 24th double-double of his career with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Miller and Knight have combined to lead the Lions in scoring in 13 of their 21 games this season.

- Loyola Marymount looks to snap it's losing skid as the Lions play at Santa Clara (1/27) and at Saint Mary's (1/29) this week.

Pepperdine Waves (5-16 / 1-4 WCC)
- Pepperdine earned its first WCC win of the season as the Waves downed rival Loyola Marymount, 57-55, on Saturday.

- With the win over LMU, the Waves snapped a six-game losing streak and an 11-game WCC regular-season losing streak that spanned back to January 2006 when they last defeated Loyola Marymount, 70-62, in Malibu. The victory was Pepperdine's first WCC road win since 2005.

- The Waves have won 17 of their last 19 meetings with LMU and hold an 84-60 advantage in the all-time series.

- Junior center Jarrad Henry blocked four shots versus the Lions, bringing his league-leading total to 51.

- The Waves travel to Saint Mary's (1/27) and Santa Clara (1/29) this week.

Portland Pilots (6-15 / 2-3 WCC)
- The Pilots have dropped their last three WCC games, including an 80-68 setback versus Gonzaga, after starting the conference season with a 2-0 record.

- The Pilots outscored the Bulldogs 46-43 in the second half thanks to the offensive exploits of senior guard Darren Cooper and freshman guard Taishi Ito, but couldn't overcome a 15 point halftime deficit. Cooper and Ito went a combined 8-for-11 from behind the arc in the second half, each connecting for four treys. Cooper led the Pilots with 17 points, while Ito finished with 15 points, four assists and just one turnover in 39 minutes of action.

- Ito, who hails from Mie, Japan, leads the Pilots with 3.2 apg.

- The Pilots finish their three-game homestand as they host San Diego (1/27) and San Francisco (1/29) this week.

Saint Mary's Gaels (12-9 / 4-1 WCC)
- Saint Mary's moved into a three-way tie with Gonzaga and Santa Clara for first place with a 71-64 overtime win at San Francisco on Saturday, before defeating San Diego, 85-78.

- Sophomore forward Diamon Simpson earned his second consecutive WCC Player of the Week honor, and the third in the last four weeks, after pouring in a team-high 21 points in the Gaels' win over the Toreros. The Gaels have won six of their last seven games thanks in large part to the play of Simpson. During that span, Simpson has averaged 17.7 ppg to go along with 6.7 rpg.

- Freshman center Omar Samhan has emerged as a leading candidate for the WCC Newcomer of the Year honor, averaging 13.0 ppg and 5.8 rpg during conference play.

- SMC wraps up the first half of WCC play by hosting Pepperdine (1/27) and LMU (1/29).

San Diego Toreros (12-8 / 2-3 WCC)
- USD suffered back-to-back setbacks, falling to Santa Clara, 61-47, on Saturday, before dropping an 85-78 decision to Saint Mary's on Monday.

- Sophomore guard Brandon Johnson recorded a career-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field in USD's loss to Saint Mary's.

- Johnson and fellow sophomore Gyno Pomare, who chipped in 18 points versus SMC, are the highest scoring sophomore tandem in the WCC, combining to average nearly 30 points per game (29.7 ppg).

- Senior guard Ross DeRogatis knocked down three treys last week to set a new USD career three-pointers made record with 185.

- San Diego travels to Portland (1/27) before heading to Gonzaga (1/29) for Big Monday.

San Francisco Dons (7-13 / 3-2 WCC)
- The Dons slipped out of first place by falling to Bay Area rivals Saint Mary's (71-64) and Santa Clara (61-58).

- Sophomore guard Manny Quezada scored 16 points to lead the Dons, while senior guard Armando Surratt added 15 points and senior forward Johnny Dukes matched his season high with 13 points.

- San Francisco played without sophomore guard Antonio Kellogg, who will sit out three games to concentrate on academics. The transfer from Connecticut leads the Dons -- and is sixth in the WCC -- with a 15.1 scoring average. Kellogg will continue to practice with the team and will return to action on February 3, 2007 for the road contest at the University of San Diego.

- The Dons look to close out the first half of conference play on a high note as they travel to Gonzaga (1/27) and Portland (1/29) this week.

Santa Clara Broncos (14-6 / 4-1 WCC)
- The Broncos moved into a three-way tie for first place with a 61-47 win at San Diego on Saturday and a 61-58 win at Bay Area rival San Francisco on Monday.

- Junior Scott Dougherty scored a career high 19 points, including a pair of free throws with 12.6 seconds remaining, in the Broncos' win over USF.

- Senior center Sean Denison is the WCC's top shooter, hitting a blistering 73.3 percent of his shots during conference play. Denison, who has only missed eight shots in five WCC games (22-for-30), is on pace to break the WCC field goal percentage record (WCC games) of 71.3 percent set by Craig Cottrell (USD - 1988-89) and later tied by Jumoke Horton (SMC - 1994-95).

- Santa Clara closes out the first half of conference play by hosting Loyola Marymount (1/27) and Pepperdine (1/29) this week.