Jan. 24, 2008
CONFERENCE PLAY: WEEK TWO RECAP
Just two weeks into conference play, the top two teams in the 2007-08 WCC Coaches Preseason poll have already established themselves at the top of the standings. Gonzaga, which owns a 4-0 conference record, and Saint Mary's, at 3-0 in league play, are the only teams with undefeated WCC records. Santa Clara and San Diego are right behind the Zags and the Gaels with identical 2-1 conference marks to round out the top four teams.
Cal State Bakersfield at Portland - 7:00 PM
Gonzaga at Memphis - 9:00 AM $
*Santa Clara at San Diego - 6:00 PM
*Loyola Marymount at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM
*Saint Mary's at San Francisco - 7:00 PM !
*Portland at Gonzaga - 5:00 PM #
*Saint Mary's at San Diego - 7:00 PM
*Santa Clara at San Francisco - 7:00 PM !
* Denotes WCC games; $ Televised on ESPN; ! Televised on CSNW; # Televised on FSN; All times PST
WCC TEAM NOTES
Gonzaga Bulldogs (15-4 / 4-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga improved to 4-0 in WCC play with a 72-64 win over San Francisco.
- Freshman Steven Gray scored a career-high 16 points and tallied a career-best five steals in the Zags' win versus the Dons. Gray has been solid since moving into the Bulldogs' starting lineup five games ago, averaging 10.8 ppg, while shooting a blistering 58.8 percent from the field, including 53.3 percent from beyond the arc.
- Junior Jeremy Pargo handed out six assists, while committing just one turnover in 34 minutes versus USF. Pargo currently leads the WCC and ranks 11th in the nation in assists with 6.1 apg.
- The Zags travel to Memphis (1/26) to take on the top ranked Tigers before returning home to host Portland (1/28) on Monday.
Loyola Marymount Lions (4-16 / 1-3 WCC)
- The Lions dropped the second game of their Bay Area road trip, falling to No. 24 Saint Mary's, 87-55.
- Junior transfer Quentin Turner led the Lions in scoring versus Saint Mary's with 14 points, while freshman Orlando Johnson had 11 points.
- The Lions connected on 6-of-10 three-point attempts in the first half versus the Gaels. On the season, LMU has knocked down 127 treys, the third most in the conference.
- Johnson is proving to be one of the top freshmen in the WCC, ranking 11th in the conference in scoring (12.8 ppg), and 13th in rebounding (5.2 rpg).
- This week, Loyola Marymount will make the short trip to Malibu to take on rival Pepperdine (1/26).
Pepperdine Waves (6-14 / 0-4 WCC)
- Playing their first games since Head Coach Vance Walberg resigned, the Waves put together a strong effort on their Bay Area road trip, but fell to Santa Clara, 101-86.
- Freshman guard Mychel Thompson came of the bench to knock down 4-of-5 three-point attempts against the Broncos. Led by Thompson, who ranks second in the WCC in made three-pointers (37) and seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.420), the Waves have knocked down 144 treys, the second most in the conference.
- Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas had team highs of 16 points and six rebounds in the Waves setback versus Santa Clara. Thomas has been one of the most impressive freshmen in the WCC this season, ranking ninth in the conference in scoring (13.4 ppg), third in rebounding (8.9 rpg), fourth in field goal percentage (.548), and fourth in blocks (1.6 bpg).
- Pepperdine returns to Malibu to host rival Loyola Marymount (1/26) this weekend.
Portland Pilots (6-13 / 1-3 WCC)
- The Pilots dropped a heartbreaker, falling 64-61 to San Diego at the buzzer.
- Sophomore forward Robin Smeulders led the Pilots with 15 points and nine rebounds against San Diego. Smeulders is averaging 12.7 ppg and 6.9 rpg over the last seven games.
- The Pilots are led in scoring by sophomore guard Nik Raivio, who ranks 12th in the WCC in scoring (12.7 ppg). Raivio has reached double figures in 12 of the last 16 games.
- Despite not having a single post player with Division I game experience entering the season, Portland has a +5.1 rebounding margin, the second highest in the WCC. The Pilots have outrebounded 14 of 19 opponents thus far this season.
- The Pilots host Cal State Bakersfield (1/25) before traveling to Gonzaga (1/28).
Saint Mary's Gaels (16-2 / 3-0 WCC)
- Saint Mary's improved to 16-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play with a convincing 87-55 win over Loyola Marymount.
- Junior forward Diamon Simpson earned his first WCC Player of the Week honor, sharing the award with SCU's Brody Angley, after averaging 19.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg in the Gaels' two wins last week. Simpson leads the WCC with 9.3 rpg, while ranking 10th in scoring (13.3 ppg).
- Simpson, SMC's all-time blocks leader, has tallied 163 career blocks and already ranks sixth on the WCC's career chart. He needs just 17 more blocks to pass former Gonzaga standout Ronny Turiaf for sole possession of fifth place.
- Simpson (39) and sophomore Omar Samhan (28) have combined to block 67 shots.
- Saint Mary's travels to San Francisco (1/26) and San Diego (1/28) this week.
San Diego Toreros (9-11 / 2-1 WCC)
- Junior guard Brandon Johnson's fade-away three-pointer at the buzzer lifted the Toreros to a 64-61 win at Portland on Monday.
- Freshman guard Devin Ginty, a walk-on from Alta, CA, scored 11 points and handed out seven assists with no turnovers in the Toreros' win over the Pilots.
- Junior Gyno Pomare scored a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds in the Toreros' win over Portland. Pomare, who has 564 career rebounds, needs just 10 more rebounds to pass former teammate Nick Lewis (2001-06) for fourth place on the Toreros' all-time list.
- Freshman forward Rob Jones grabbed a team-high nine rebounds against UP. Jones ranks 12th in the WCC in rebounding with 5.2 rpg.
- The Toreros return to San Diego to host Santa Clara (1/26) and Saint Mary's (1/28).
San Francisco Dons (5-13 / 1-2 WCC)
- The Dons dropped the second game of their Northwest swing, falling at Gonzaga, 72-64.
- Head Coach Eddie Sutton owns a career record of 799-320 and is looking to become just the fifth coach in NCAA Division I history with 800 career wins.
- Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn tossed in a game-high 21 points and pulled down six rebounds versus Gonzaga. Lowhorn now leads the WCC with 20.6 ppg, the 29th best scoring clip in the country.
- Lowhorn and junior guard Manny Quezada account for 35.8 ppg for USF, which is 53.7 percent of the Dons' total offense.
- USF hosts Bay Area rivals Saint Mary's (1/26) and Santa Clara (1/28) this week.
Santa Clara Broncos (10-8 / 2-1 WCC)
- Santa Clara improved to 2-1 in WCC play with a 101-86 win over Pepperdine on Monday.
- Santa Clara reached the century mark for the first time in 14 years. The Broncos scored their most points in a game since an 111-55 victory over Chico State on Nov. 27, 1993.
- Led by senior Brody Angley's career-high 24 points and career-best 13 assists, five Broncos scored in double figures for the first time this season. Angley, who recorded his second double-double of the year, earned his first WCC Player of the Week honor of the season, sharing the award with Saint Mary's Diamon Simpson.
- Sophomore Zac Tiedeman scored a career-high 13 points versus the Waves.
- Santa Clara travels to San Diego (1/26) this weekend, before heading to USF (1/28).