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WCC Men's Basketball First Round Recaps

March 7, 2008

San Francisco - 79
Loyola Marymount - 60

SAN DIEGO - Dior Lowhorn scored 26 points and Manny Quezada added 24 to lead San Francisco to a 79-60 win over Loyola Marymount in the first round of the West Coast Conference tournament Friday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Lowhorn, the league's leading scorer, scored 14 of his points in the second half and Quezada had 19 as No. 5 seed San Francisco (10-20) slowly pulled away in the final 10 minutes. The Dons, who collected their fourth win in five ballgames, will face No. 4 seed Santa Clara in Saturday's quarterfinals.

"We did a nice job for the most part inside," USF interim head coach Eddie Sutton said. "If I had to criticize something in the second half, we made too many fouls, but I think offensively we did a good job of executing. Manny (Quezada) had a hot hand. He had some big time shots. I thought a real key tonight was the play of Hyman Taylor. Hyman hasn't given us that kind of effort and he had a real nice night with eight points and eight rebounds in 14 minutes of playing time. I thought he played real well so that was a real asset to us."

Lowhorn finished the night with 626 points on the year and is in sixth place on the USF single-season scoring list after passing names like Pete Cross (615, 1968-69), John Cox 621, 2004-05) and Bill Russell (622, 1955-56). The Texas Tech transfer needs just three points for sole possession of fourth place on the all-time list. Ollie Johnson (627, 1964-65) and Winford Boynes 628, 1977-78) are up next on the list.

Orlando Johnson led eighth-seeded Loyola Marymount (5-26) with 19 points as he broke the Lions' 35-year old single-season freshman scoring record. Johnson also grabbed five rebounds to tie the school's freshman single-season rebounding mark.

Loyola Marymount lost in the first round of the WCC tournament for the eighth time in 11 seasons. The Lions finished the season on an eight-game losing streak and dropped to 0-4 against San Francisco in the league tournament.

Lowhorn made 10 of 15 shots from the floor and had nine rebounds. Vince Polakovich scored 11 points for the Dons, who shot 16-for-19 from the foul line.

Sutton, the winningest active Division I coach, recorded his 804th career victory.

"We've played a lot better the last five ball games. We're playing better basketball than we were earlier. It's taken some of these young men longer to get adjusted to my yelling and barking. But I'm really pleased," Sutton said.

Pepperdine - 50
Portland - 48 OT

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Freshman guard Tyrone Shelley scored all four of Pepperdine's points in overtime, and that was enough for a 50-48 win over Portland in a first-round WCC Tournament game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Friday night.

Shelley (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) scored a game-high 21 points to lead the sixth-seeded Waves (11-20) to their first WCC Tournament victory since 2005. Pepperdine beat seventh-seeded Portland (9-22) for the second time in three tries this season and improved to 3-0 in overtime games.

The Waves move on to the quarterfinals to play host San Diego, the #3 seed, on Saturday night (March 8) at approximately 8:15 p.m.

Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas (San Diego, Calif./Crawford HS) had five points and 10 rebounds, his 12th time this season with double-figure boards. Freshman guard Jon Reed (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Peninsula HS) had eight points and junior guard Mike Hornbuckle (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian HS/Azusa Pacific) added seven.

Pepperdine took a 27-15 lead at halftime and won despite making only six field goals in the second half plus overtime.

"This team, I've said it over and over, had every reason to quit, and every reason to give up," interim coach Eric Bridgeland said. "This game encompassed our season. We had the lead, Portland battled back, they force overtime, we miss our free throws and miss some opportunities, but we still found a way. We had an adversity-filled year but they won't quit. They played with hearts of champions. It's a special team."

The Waves were down to nine healthy players (seven on scholarship) and were without starting point guard Rico Tucker (San Diego, Calif./University HS/Minnesota), who suffered a knee injury here in San Diego one week ago.

"We came focused and ready to play," Shelley said. "Portland's a good team. But we wanted to win."

Defensively, the Waves couldn't have asked for a better start. They kept the Pilots without a point for the first six minutes of the game, as Portland missed its first six shots and turned the ball over five times. Pepperdine didn't get off to a great start on offense, but did enough to build a 10-0 lead. Reed scored the last five points on a 28-foot three-pointer and a driving lay-up.

Then it was the Waves' turn for a drought as they went five minutes without scoring, and Portland cut the lead to 10-9. But Hornbuckle hit a deep three-pointer and a jumper to push the Waves' lead back up to 15-9 with eight minutes left.

Pepperdine ended the half on a 7-0 run and went into the break with a 27-15 lead. Shelley had the first five points and junior guard Ryan Holmes (Phoenix, Ariz./Millennium HS/Phoenix CC) beat the shot clock with a driving lay-up with just 10 seconds remaining in the half.

Pepperdine forced 14 first-half turnovers and held the Pilots to just six field goals made at the break. The previous low first-half total by a Pepperdine opponent this season was 23 points by Loyola Marymount on Jan. 26.

The Waves started the second half slowly and their first field goal didn't come until nearly six minutes had passed. But a three-pointer by Reed pushed Pepperdine's lead back up to 32-23 with 14:11 left.

Pepperdine had a double-digit lead after a three-pointer by freshman guard Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Stoneridge Prep), which made it 44-33 with 6 ½ minutes to play. But, then the Waves suffered through another 4 ½ minutes without a point. Although Pepperdine wasn't making baskets, the team was grabbing offensive rebounds and limiting Portland's number of possessions. A short lean-in jumper by Shelley made it 46-41 with 1:58 left.

After a Portland basket and a Pepperdine miss, the Pilots' Nik Raivio tied the game at 46-46 on a three-pointer with 54 seconds remaining. The Waves turned the ball over on their final possession, and Portland missed a lay-up attempt in the final seconds, sending the game into overtime.

The Pilots took their first lead of the game on a Raivio jumper with 3:15 left in overtime, making it 48-46. Pepperdine's first points of the extra period came with 1:34 left as Shelley hit a tough six-foot jumper in traffic, tying the game at 48-48.

Shelley hit two free throws with 37.5 seconds left to give Pepperdine the lead again, but after a Portland turnover, the Waves missed two free throws on their next possession, giving the Pilots another chance. When UP's Taishi Ito missed a short jumper, Holmes grabbed the rebound and threw it in the air, allowing the clock to expire.

Pepperdine shot just 30.9 percent for the game compared to 42.6 percent for Portland. The Waves did force 20 turnovers and committed only eight. 48 points was a season low by a Pepperdine opponent.

Fans can listen to Al Epstein's call of the WCC Tournament at www.pepperdinesports.com.