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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Feb. 25, 2008

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TWO WCC TEAMS EARN NATIONAL RANKINGS FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON

For the second time this season, two WCC teams are ranked in the top 25 in the same week. Saint Mary's checks in at No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 25 in the AP poll. Gonzaga jumped back into the top 25, landing at No. 24 in the AP poll. The both earned national rankings in the same week earlier this season, marking the first time in 34 years that two WCC teams were ranked at the same time. The last time that the WCC had two teams ranked at the same time in the top 25 was during the 1973-74 season. San Francisco and UNLV, then a member of the WCC, formerly known as the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC), were ranked in the top-25 at the same time. Both San Francisco and UNLV earned preseason rankings and both were ranked in the AP's December 4, 1973 poll.

GONZAGA BATTLES PORTLAND IN BIG MONDAY SHOWDOWN

The Gonzaga Bulldogs, in a first place tie in the conference standings with Saint Mary's, travels to Portland to take on the Pilots in a Big Monday showdown on ESPN2. The tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (PST) with Terry Gannon and Stephen Bardo calling the action. The Zags and the Gaels own identical 10-1 conference records and will square-off on March 1 at Gonzaga. Earlier this season in Spokane, the Bulldogs beat the Pilots bya 79-41 margin.

UPCOMING WCC SCHEDULE

Feb. 25
*San Diego at Saint Mary's - 7:00 PM
*San Francisco at Santa Clara - 7:00 PM
*Gonzaga at Portland - 8:00 PM $

Mar. 1
*Saint Mary's at Gonzaga - 5:00 PM #
*Pepperdine at San Diego - 6:00 PM
*Loyola Marymount at San Francisco - 7:00 PM
*Santa Clara at Portland - 7:00 PM !

* Denotes WCC games; ! Televised on CSN; $ Televised on ESPN2; # Televised on FSN; All times PST

WCC TEAM NOTES

Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-6 / 10-1 WCC)
- The Bulldogs own a 21-6 overall record and a 10-1 mark in WCC play and are in a first place tie in the conference standings with Saint Mary's. With a 21-6 record, Gonzaga has won 20 games for the 11th straight season and for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons. The Zags have also hit double-digit wins in WCC play for the 11th straight year and for the 12th time in the last 13 campaigns.

- Junior Jeremy Pargo is in the top 10 on the Gonzaga career charts for assists and steals. His 394 career assists rank fourth behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). The Gonzaga co-captain is seventh in career steals with 119.

- Freshman Austin Daye ranks fourth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.8 percent).

- The Zags travel to Portland (2/25) before hosting Saint Mary's (3/1) in a big showdown between conference co-leaders this weekend.

Loyola Marymount Lions (5-23 / 2-10 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount fell to rival Pepperdine, 72-63, on Saturday to fall to 5-23 overall and 2-10 in league play.

- The Lions had four players in double figures versus Pepperdine as juniors Quentin Turner and Marko Deric had 12 each, while freshman Tim Diederichs and junior Corey Counts added 10 each.

- Freshman forward Brad Sweezy hauled in a team-high seven rebounds against the Waves as eight Lions grabbed at least four rebounds.

- Sophomore Shawn Deadwiler leads the Lions and ranks seventh in the WCC in three-point field goals with 48.

- The Lions travel to San Francisco (3/1) this weekend.

Pepperdine Waves (10-18 / 4-8 WCC)
- The Waves improved to 10-18 overall and 4-8 in conference play with a 72-63 win over rival Loyola Marymount.

- Freshman guard Tyrone Shelley scored 17 points and grabbed 12 for his fourth double-double of the season to lead the Waves past LMU.

- Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas had seven points and 11 rebounds against the Lions. It marked the 11th time this season Thomas has reached double-digit in rebounds. The San Diego, CA native leads all freshmen and ranks third in the WCC with 8.8 rpg.

- Junior Rico Tucker swiped a game-high five steals versus the Lions to give him a WCC-best 64 steals on the season.

- The Waves travel to San Diego (3/1) this weekend.

Portland Pilots (8-19 / 2-9 WCC)
- The Pilots own an 8-19 overall record and are 2-9 in WCC play.

- Freshman forward Luke Sikma is fifth in the WCC in rebounding (7.4) and is shooting 57 percent from the field. He has made 17-of-19 shots in the last five games and is averaging 11 ppg and 9.0 rpg in the Pilots' last three outings.

- Freshman guard Jared Stohl was inserted into the starting lineup for the last five games and has responded well, averaging 11.6 ppg during the span. In his first season on the Bluff, Stohl has established himself as one of the top marksmen in the conference. On the season, he ranks second in the WCC in made threes (54) and fifth in three-point percentage (.412).

- Sophomore Nik Raivio leads UP and ranks eighth in the WCC in scoring with 13.1 ppg.

- Portland hosts Gonzaga (2/25) and Santa Clara (3/1) this week.

Saint Mary's Gaels (23-4 / 10-1 WCC)
- Saint Mary's suffered just its fourth loss of the season, falling to Kent State, 65-57, on Saturday.

- Junior Diamon Simpson turned in a dominating performance against the Flashes, scoring a team-high 24 points, while hauling down a game-high 15 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. Simpson also added game-highs in assists (4), blocks (3), and steals (3).

- Simpson reached a significant milestone against Kent State. His 15 rebounds gives him 702 for his career, making him just the fifth player in school history to score at least 1,000 points and grab 700 rebounds. His 702 career boards ranks eighth on the Gaels' all-time list, while his 1,033 career points is 19th on the school's all-time charts.

- Saint Mary's has a challenging week ahead as the Gaels host San Diego (2/25) before traveling to Gonzaga (3/1) for a showdown with the Zags this weekend.

San Diego Toreros (16-12 / 9-2 WCC)
- The Toreros improved to 16-12 overall and 9-2 in conference play with a 66-62 win over Santa Clara on Saturday. The Toreros are just one game behind conference co-leaders Gonzaga and Saint Mary's.

- The Toreros have already guaranteed themselves a top four finish in the regular season standings and at least one bye in the conference tournament, held at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The last time the WCC Tournament was held in San Diego was in 2003, with Toreros earning the league's automatic bid with a 72-63 win over Gonzaga in the championship game.

- Freshman Rob Jones connected on 10-of-12 shots from the field en route to a game-high 24 points in the Toreros' win over the Broncos. Jones, one of the top freshmen in the WCC, is averaging 10.9 ppg and 6.0 rpg, while shooting 55.8 percent during conference play.

- San Diego travels to Saint Mary's (2/25) before hosting Pepperdine (3/1) this weekend.

San Francisco Dons (7-19 / 3-8 WCC)
- San Francisco earned its third conference win with a 73-60 victory over Portland on Monday.

- After sitting out the first 24 games of the season, senior forward Vince Polakovic made the most of his return, averaging 19.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg in his first two games back (Gonzaga and Portland). Polakovic was forced to sit out by the NCAA, which determined he had played on a professional team in Germany where other players were paid, but Polakovic was not paid for his services.

- Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn leads the WCC in scoring with 20.5 ppg and ranks sixth in rebounding with 7.3 rpg. Lowhorn has scored at least 20 points in 14-of-26 games and has registered 19 points six times.

- San Francisco travels to Bay Area rival Santa Clara (2/25) before hosting LMU (3/1).

Santa Clara Broncos (13-13 / 5-6 WCC)
- Santa Clara fell to 13-13 overall and 5-6 in conference play with a 66-62 loss to San Diego on Saturday.

- Junior center John Bryant scored 18 points versus San Diego to reach 1,000 for his career. He is the 27th player in school history to accomplish the feat. Led by Bryant, who ranks second in the WCC in scoring (18.7 ppg) and leads the conference in rebounding (9.7 rpg), the Broncos have dominated the paint this season. SCU has won the points in the paint battle 18 times in 26 games. The team is 12-6 when scoring more points in the paint, 1-4 when losing the paint battle and 0-3 when both teams have an equal number of points in the paint.

- Senior Brody Angley handed out six assists against USD to give him 485 career assists to pass Eddie Joe Chavez (1974-78 - 482 assists), for third place on SCU's all-time list.

- Santa Clara hosts Bay Area rival San Francisco (2/25) before traveling to Portland (3/1).