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WCC Men's Basketball Mid-Week Report

Feb. 13, 2008

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WCC WEEK SIX PREVIEW

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the top four teams in the WCC have begun separating themselves from the rest of the conference. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's are tied for first place with identical 8-1 conference records and are guaranteed of finishing in the top four in the regular season standings, locking up at least a first round bye in the conference tournament. San Diego sits just a half game behind the Zags and the Gaels, while Santa Clara is three and a half back of the leaders at 4-4 in league play. Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Portland, and San Francisco are in a four-way tie for fifth place.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Feb. 16
*Gonzaga at San Francisco - 5:00 PM $
*Portland at San Diego - 6:00 PM !
*Saint Mary's at Loyola Marymount - 8:00 PM
*Santa Clara at Pepperdine - 8:00 PM % #

Feb. 18
*Portland at San Francisco - 7:00 PM !
*Saint Mary's at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM # %
*Santa Clara at Loyola Marymount - 7:00 PM
*Gonzaga at San Diego - 8:00 PM ^

* Denotes WCC games; $ Televised on ESPNU; ! Televised on CSN; % Televised on FSN Prime Ticket; # Televised on FSN Bay Area; ^ Televised on ESPN2; All times PST

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo Earns Weekly Honor
Gonzaga junior guard Jeremy Pargo earned the second WCC Player of the Week honor of his career after leading the Bulldogs to wins over Pepperdine and LMU. Pargo turned in a brilliant week, averaging 14.0 points per game to go along with 9.0 assists per game and 4.5 steals per game in the Zags' wins over the Waves and the Lions. In addition, the Chicago, IL native shot an impressive 63.2 percent (12-for-19) from the field on the week. Pargo previously earned the WCC's weekly award earlier this season on December 3, 2007.

WCC TEAM NOTES

Gonzaga Bulldogs (19-6 / 8-1 WCC)
- The Bulldogs defeated Loyola Marymount, 83-50, on Monday to improve to 19-6 overall and 8-1 in conference play. With one more win, the Zags will secure their 11th consecutive 20-win season.

- By improving to 8-1 in WCC play, the Zags guaranteed themselves a top four finish in the final regular season standings and at least one bye in the conference tournament.

- Junior Jeremy Pargo earned his second career WCC Player of the Week honor after averaging 14.0 ppg, 9.0 apg, and 4.5 spg in the Zags' wins over Pepperdine and LMU.

- Freshman Austin Daye has turned up his play during league games, leading the Zags in scoring (13.7 ppg), while pacing the conference in field goal percentage (.662).

- The Zags travel to San Francisco (2/16) and San Diego (2/18) this week.

Loyola Marymount Lions (5-20 / 2-7 WCC)
- The Lions fell at Gonzaga, 83-50, on Monday evening to fall to 5-20 overall and 2-7 in WCC play.

- Sophomore guard Shawn Deadwiler led the Lions with 11 points against Gonzaga. Deadwiler has now led the team in scoring a team-high 12 times. Deadwiler is also leading the Lions in scoring during conference play with 11.3 ppg.

- Deadwiler leads the WCC in free throw accuracy during WCC play with at 87 percent.

- Freshman Orlando Johnson became just the sixth freshman in LMU history to score at least 300 points in a season. Johnson, who has scored 304 points, needs just 37 more points to move past Chris Haney (1984-85) for fifth place on the Lions' freshman scoring list.

- The Lions host Saint Mary's (2/16) and Santa Clara (2/18) this week.

Pepperdine Waves (8-17 / 2-7 WCC)
- The Waves rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to win at Portland, 71-66, for their second conference victory of the season.

- Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas, the Waves' only remaining post player on the roster, battled the Pilots' bigger frontline and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds, the ninth time this season he reached double-figures in rebounding.

- Thomas added two blocks against UP, giving him a WCC-high 21 blocks in league play.

- For the second time this season, freshmen scored fewer than half of the Waves' points, accumulating just 26 of the 71 (36.7%) against Portland. The only other time freshmen scored less than half was in the 118-76 win over Hope International.

- The Waves hosts Santa Clara (2/16) and Saint Mary's (2/18) this week.

Portland Pilots (8-17 / 2-7 WCC)
- The Pilots dropped a tough 71-66 decision to Pepperdine on Monday to fall to 8-17 overall and 2-7 in conference play.

- Sophomore guard Nik Raivio led the Pilots with 17 points versus Pepperdine. Raivio has led the Pilots in scoring the last four games and nine times overall this season. Raivio leads the Pilots and ranks seventh in the WCC during conference games in scoring with 13.8 ppg.

- Sophomore forward Robin Smeulders chipped in with 16 points and five rebounds. Smeulders ranks fifth in WCC games in rebounding with 8.0 rpg.

- Freshman guard Jared Stohl leads all WCC freshmen and ranks third in made three-pointers during conference play with 19.

- Portland travels to San Diego (2/16) and San Francisco (2/18) this week.

Saint Mary's Gaels (21-3 / 8-1 WCC)
- Saint Mary's earned a thrilling 54-50 win at Bay Area rival Santa Clara on Monday to improve to 21-3 overall and 8-1 in conference play.

- By improving to 8-1 in WCC play, the Gaels guaranteed themselves a top four finish in the final regular season standings and at least one bye in the conference tournament.

- Senior Tron Smith showed why he is arguably the best sixth man in the WCC, coming off the bench to score a team-high 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field in the Gaels' win over Santa Clara. On the season, Smith is averaging 8.6 ppg off of the Gaels' bench.

- The Gaels only turned the ball over 10 times against Santa Clara and average a WCC-low 13.7 turnovers per game.

- Saint Mary's travels to Loyola Marymount (2/16) and Pepperdine (2/18) this week.

San Diego Toreros (14-11 / 7-1 WCC)
- The Toreros stayed just a half game back of WCC leaders Gonzaga and Saint Mary's with a 73-62 win at San Francisco on Monday.

- The Toreros' 7-1 start in conference play is the program's best WCC-opening record.

- Juniors Brandon Johnson and Gyno Pomare tied for game-high honors with 18 points in the win over the Dons. Johnson (16.9 ppg) and Pomare (14.4 ppg), both of whom were selected as one of the top six returning players in the WCC prior to the start of the season by the league's head coaches, combine to average 31.3 ppg

- Pomare (1,149) and Johnson (1,093) are the only 1,000-point teammates in the WCC and the first for San Diego since the 1991-92 campaign (Kelvin Woods and Wayman Strickland).

- San Diego hosts Portland (2/16) and Gonzaga (2/18) this week.

San Francisco Dons (6-18 / 2-7 WCC)
- San Francisco dropped a 73-62 decision at Bay Area rival Saint Mary's on Saturday.

- With Bobby Knight's resignation at Texas Tech, San Francisco Head Coach Eddie Sutton becomes the winningest active coach in Division I men's basketball.

- Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn registered a team-high of 17 points in the Dons' setback versus San Diego. Lowhorn, who leads the WCC with 20.8 ppg, is the first Don to crack the top-25 on the NCAA scoring list since John Cox (1999-05) accomplished the feat as a senior.

- Junior guard Dean Hadley came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field.

- San Francisco hosts Gonzaga (2/16) and Portland (2/18) this week.

Santa Clara Broncos (12-11 / 4-4 WCC)
- Santa Clara dropped a tough 54-50 decision to Bay Area rival Saint Mary's on Monday to fall to 4-4 in WCC play.

- Junior center John Bryant posted his WCC-best 11th double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the setback versus the Gaels. Bryant is enjoying a breakout junior campaign. In addition to leading the WCC in double-doubles, he ranks second in the league in scoring (17.7 ppg), and paces the WCC in rebounding (9.5 rpg), field goal percentage (.586), and blocks (2.17 bpg).

- Senior Brody Angley (9th-.396), junior Calvin Johnson (6th-.408) and sophomore Jonathan Gunderson (4th-.435) are among the leaders in the WCC in three-point shooting percentage. They give SCU the only trio in the WCC to be ranked in the top 10 in three-point accuracy.

- Santa Clara travels to Pepperdine (2/16) and Loyola Marymount (2/18) this week.