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2010 Zappos.com WCC Men's Basketball Tournament Recaps

March 6, 2010

Men's Game One

Loyola Marymount - 87
Pepperdine - 84

Box Score

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Whenever LMU and Pepperdine have met in the previous 151 meetings, it has been survival of the fittest. For the Lions, meeting 152 was extra sweet as they survived an up-and-down affair to defeat Pepperdine, 87-84, in the first round of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

And the sweetest thing with this survival, the Lions are moving on by defeating their rival for the second time in a season, which they had not done since 1996.

"At the end of the day, there are two columns: a W and an L and we put one in the W column," said Head Coach Max Good. "Last year at this time I was sitting here after a disappointing loss to San Diego where we thought we played well enough but just didn't make enough plays down the stretch, and I made a statement that we wouldn't be one and done this year.

"Well, I almost looked like the biggest fool and liar in North America. First of all, I would like to pay my respects to Pepperdine; they played well and really did some nice things. They made some big baskets but we did a good job of making our free throws down the stretch, especially Vernon Teel and Ashley Hamilton, who were 21-for-25."

The Lions improve to 17-14 on the season and will play in the quarterfinals against San Francisco, Saturday at 6 p.m. Pepperdine finishes the season at 7-23, falling in their 12th straight game.

For Teel, it was extra sweet as he led the Lions with 27 points, six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal to ease the pain of his WCC debut a year ago.

"I feel that this win is huge, not just for me but for LMU as a whole. Last year we struggled with our record and I struggled personally with our first round game. After the season, Coach Good and I sat down and had a talk and I think that really helped me progress and work harder. I came to LMU with goals to help make it a winning program and now we get to move to the next round," said Teel, who had just three points on 1-for-7 shooting and 1-for-9 effort from the free throw line. He was 9-for-13 from the field and 8-for-10 from the charity stripe to move the Lions on to Saturday.

Ashley Hamilton added a career-best 23 points, hitting 13-for-15 from the charity stripe. Jarred DuBois added 12 points with four steals and Drew Viney also chipped in 12 points, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Keion Bell led the Waves with 25 points.

The Lions had to earn this one the hard way as it was back-and-forth the entire way as the game featured 14 lead changes and 10 ties.

The opening half alone featured 12 lead changes and nine ties as both teams shot better than 50 percent through the first 10 minutes.

The Waves took a 27-22 lead with 9:09 to play when Taylor Darby put in a lay-up. It was the largest of the half for Pepperdine. At that point the Waves were shooting 63 percent from the field.

However, the Lions clamped down on defense the rest of the way, holding the Waves to just seven points the final nine minutes on 2-for-14 shooting to take a 44-37 lead at the break.

The Lions would grow the lead to nine, 48-39 early in the second stanza after a Hamilton dunk. But the lead would vanish in less than five minutes as the Waves would take a 51-50 lead on a 12-l run, capped by a Bell lay-in with 14:53 to play.

Back came the Lions, going on a 12-0 run over there own in a span of 4:02 to take a 62-51 lead, the largest of the game. The run was a team effort as the Lions had a pair of free throws from Hamilton, a lay-in by Given Kalipinde, a steal by DuBois that led to a Teel layin, and ended with back-to-back three-pointers by DuBois.

The Lions would never trail again, but the survival instincts were pushed to the limit. Pepperdine would cut the lead to five, 63-58, on a Taylor Darby lay-up with 7:38 to play. The lead would ebb-and-flow, never getting below two and landing back at five nine times.

"I think we played really good defense but Pepperdine, and I hate to use this term, as an eight-seed they were playing with house money. It seemed like every time we'd get a basket, they'd come down and get a basket," said Good. "And Keion Bell is a handful. But we didn't rebound particularly well and they made some tough shots down the stretch."

The Lions held Pepperdine to 43.5 percent shooting on the game while hitting 46.6 percent themselves. LMU was out-rebounded 41-31 and Pepperdine held a 17-11 edge in second chance points.

Pepperdine had one last shot as Lorne Jackson hit a three-pointer with 22 seconds left to cut the lead to 86-84. Viney would hit one of two free throws to make it a three-point game, and the Waves three-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer.

LMU finished the game scoring their final 11 points at the charity stripe and went 27-for-36 for the game. Pepperdine went 23-for-28.

The Lions will take on the Dons for the third time on the season as USF swept the season series. The game will tip-off at 6 p.m., and can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM and LMULions.com. The game will also be televisied on Comcast SportsNet California and ESPN360.com. Check local listings for the best chance to watch the game live.

Men's Game Two

San Diego - 61
Santa Clara - 59

Box Score

Las Vegas, NV - The USD Toreros (11-20), seeded No. 6 in the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships, dealt No. 7 seed Santa Clara (11-21) a 61-59 defeat to advance to Saturday's second quarterfinal game to be played at approximately 8:30 pm against No. 3 Portland. USD was paced by senior center Roberto Mafra who set a new USD school record with 7 blocked shots to go with 14 points and 12 rebounds. USD's other two seniors, Chris Lewis (12 points) and Brandon Johnson (11 points) also reached double digits.

It was a typical USD-SCU grinder type game with 11 ties throughout and 10 lead changes. Both teams held leads of at least 5 points during the contest. The final tie came at 53-all with 3:40 to go in the game on a layup by Mafra. That would be USD's last basket of the game but they would go on to make 7 of their final 10 free throws to close out the game. Brandon Johnson's charity with 18 ticks left gave USD a 60-57 lead, by SCU's Robert Smith scored on a layup 8 seconds later to make it 60-59. The Broncos fouled Johnson again and he cashed in on 1 of 2 for the 61-59 lead with 9 seconds to go. Santa Clara `s Smith missed a shot in close with 2 seconds to go and the ball went off a Torero with 4/10 of a second to go. The Broncos pass in was tipped away by Chris Lewis.

For the game USD finished with 12 turnovers, but only tallied one in the final 20 minutes of action. USD shot 42.9% for the game and 70.4% from the free throw line. Santa Clara, which shot 41.3%, was led by Robert Smith with 16 points.