March 8, 2009
NO. 4 SANTA CLARA - 80
NO. 5 SAN DIEGO - 69
LAS VEGAS (AP) - John Bryant had 24 points and a West Coast Conference tournament record 27 rebounds Saturday night to lead Santa Clara to an 80-69 victory against San Diego in the quarterfinals.
Bryant, the conference player of the year, had 17 first-half rebounds to help Santa Clara (15-16) build an early double digit lead and advance to the semifinals Sunday against top-seeded Gonzaga.
Bryant's effort helped Santa Clara outrebound San Diego 47-24. Santa Clara, the tournament's No. 4 seed, used an 8-0 run midway through the second half to stop a San Diego rally and take a 52-37 advantage with under eight minutes to play.
Kevin Foster was a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line for Santa Clara to finish with 21 points, and Marc Trasolini contributed 18 points.
NO. 3 PORTLAND - 69
NO. 6 PEPPERDINE - 45
LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- The Portland Pilots used stifling defense and efficient offense en route to a 69-45 win over the Pepperdine Waves in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament Saturday night at the Orleans Arena. The Pilots built a 20-point halftime lead and led by as much as 30 in the second half behind 52 percent shooting from the field.
Portland advances to the WCC Tournament semifinals for the first time since winning the event in 1996. The Pilots will face No. 2 seed Saint Mary's on Sunday at approximately 8:30 p.m. live on ESPN2. The teams split the regular season series with each squad winning at home by double figures.
Saturday was perhaps Portland's most dominating performance of the season as head coach Eric Reveno got significant contributions from a number of players. Junior Nik Raivio led all scorers with 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting and sophomore Jared Stohl finished with 13 points. Sophomore B.J. Porter added a career-high 11 points in his second career start. Ten different Pilots scored as no Portland player logged more than 22 minutes.
"Some of us got to rest more than usual and I still feel fresh," Raivio said.
The Pilots (19-11) got off to a 10-0 start and held Pepperdine without a point for the first 6:05 and led 18-2 on a Raivio jumper with 9:29 left. The Waves (9-23) started the game just 1-for-17 from the field.
Portland carried a 36-16 halftime lead and didn't look back after the break. Junior point guard T.J. Campbell, the WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year, played a season-low 17 minutes and did not score for the first time this season, but had four assists with no turnovers.
The Pilots were 24-for-46 from the field and made 10-of-22 three-pointers. Pepperdine struggled to 26 percent shooting and 1-of-14 from the three-point line.
"I love our guys when they play defense like that," Reveno said. "When they play that kind of defense, it is fun to watch and fun to play. That's the kind of team we've been this year: play hard, defend and play unselfishly on offense."
Portland gained a 38-33 edge on the glass and had 20 assists compared to just five for the Waves.