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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 23, 2007

Southern California - 60
San Diego - 50

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - O.J. Mayo and Taj Gibson scored 20 points each and USC held off scrappy USD 60-50 in a first-round game of the new Anaheim Classic on Thursday night.

Mayo scored seven straight points in a game-ending 11-6 run that helped the Trojans (3-1) advance to Friday's game against Miami of Ohio, which beat South Alabama 64-59.

USD (2-3) will play South Alabama.

Brandon Johnson led the Toreros with 19 points while playing all 40 minutes. Gyno Pomare added 11 rebounds. They got within four with 2:06 remaining on a 3-pointer by Ray Murdock.

But Mayo took over, hitting a runner, banking in a shot, making a free throw and dunking to extend the Trojans' lead to 56-47.

Gibson grabbed 12 rebounds, but USC was outrebounded 35-32, including 13-7 on the offensive glass. Gibson had 12 points in the first half when Mayo had six.

The Toreros turned the ball over 22 times and USC had 20 miscues.

Mayo scored five of the Trojans' first seven points of the second half on a 3-pointer and a fastbreak dunk off a teammate's block to extend their lead to 34-23.

But free throws were a problem for USC, with no one making two in a row until Mayo did with nearly nine minutes remaining. The Trojans went 13-of-22 from the line.

Daniel Hackett and Dwight Lewis hit back-to-back 3-pointers to keep USC ahead 47-37 with 5:42 remaining. But De'Jon Jackson scored five in a row to cut the Toreros' deficit to 47-42 before Mayo dominated.

Mayo's presence helped attract 29 NBA scouts who were credentialed for the new eight-team tournament.

The Trojans led by nine in the first half before USD ran off nine consecutive points to trail 27-23 at the break despite shooting 33 percent from the floor. Both teams committed 12 turnovers in the sloppy half, with USD scoring 14 points off USC's miscues. The Toreros didn't have an assist in the half.

Gonzaga - 74
Western Kentucky - 71

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Gonzaga had an awful night shooting free throws until it mattered most.

After making just half their foul shots for most of the game, the 14th-ranked Bulldogs made their last eight to hold off Western Kentucky 74-71 in the first round of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.

"One thing (about the free throw shooting) I think we showed a lot of courage," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "It was going bad and we fixed it, and that takes a lot of courage."

The Bulldogs (4-0) were 10-for-20 from free throw line before finally finding their stroke in final 6:12. Jeremy Pargo made four, Matt Bouldin two and Micah Downs two.

"It was a very, very gutty hard-earned win," Few said. "We weathered a lot of adversity tonight."

Gonzaga was also able to get second chances, outrebounding Western Kentucky 43-30. Robert Sacre had a huge put-back with 22 seconds left that sealed the win.

"I think it was a big, big factor in getting us through some rough spots on the offensive end," Few said.

The Hilltoppers got into early foul trouble in the second half, picking up six quick fouls that put the Zags in the bonus early on.

"We really lost our aggressiveness," he said. "That's something we're going to have to play through."

Gonzaga led by as many as seven early in the first half, getting strong inside play and seven points from Bouldin. But Courtney Lee scored five unanswered points for Western Kentucky and the teams battled back and forth with the Hilltoppers leading briefly twice before Gonzaga took a 36-34 halftime lead.

Bouldin and Lee each scored 12 points in the first half, but Bouldin's scoring dropped off when he was forced to assume most of the ball-handling duties after Jeremy Pargo got into early foul trouble.

The Bulldogs hit only one of seven 3-pointers in the first half but stayed in it by outrebounding Western Kentucky 26-14.

Western Kentucky (3-1) ran off eight straight points to start the second half and led by as many as seven with 13:13 to go. But Gonzaga whittled it down and tied it at 60 on Pargo's free throws with 6:12 left.

Playing without Abdullahi Kuso and Austin Daye, who fouled out with 2 minutes to go, Gonzaga got two key baskets inside in less than a minute by David Pendergraft to take the lead for good at 70-66.

Bouldin led Gonzaga with 18 points. Downs chipped in 14 for Gonzaga and Pargo 12.

Lee led Western Kentucky with 19.