Sunday, November 23, 2008

Around the WCC: 11/16-11/23 Edition

To say this was a disappointing weak for the LMU Lions would be quite the understatement. The Lions kicked off the week with a tough loss to UC Davis. In the 64-55 defeat, only Vernon Teel managed to score in double-digits, as he led the Lions with 23 points. The week worsened for LMU, as they fell to #9 Notre Dame 65-54. Although LMU was competitive throughout the game, they had no answer for Luke Harangody, who had 27 points and 15 rebounds. Making matters worse, was the news that head coach Bill Bayno has taken a leave of absence to deal with a serious medical issue. It seems that things can only go up, and TKR would like to wish the best to Bill Bayno and his family.

Schedule this week: 11/24@ Wagner; 11/29@ University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Pepperdine: It seems that this might be a very long season in Malibu. After winning their opener, Pepperdine has now dropped 4 games in a row. This week saw the Waves fall to BYU, New Mexico St., and Arizona St. The disheartening aspect of these losses, is that all 3 came by over 20 points. In the 82-53 loss to BYU, no Pepperdine player was able to score in double figures. After a competitive first half against New Mexico St., the Waves were outscored by 23 points in the second half, and fell 90-66. Pepperdine had no answer for James Harden and Arizona St., as the All-American guard scored a career high 33 points, and collected 12 rebounds, in the 61-40 victory.

Schedule this week: 11/29 vs. Cal State Bakersfield

Portland: The Portland Pilots have been the biggest surprise in the WCC so far. Portland opened the season with a great win over Washington, and followed that up with a 2-1 week. Portland began the week with a tough 81-76 loss to Portland St. The game was close throughout, but the Pilots had no answer for Jeremiah Dominguez, as he led the Vikings with 23 points. This was especially bittersweet for Portland fans, as Dominguez began his career at Portland. However, the Pilots were able to recover behind a terrific team performance, as they dominated Yale throughout the 77-58 victory. In the win, all 5 starters scored in double-digits. The Pilots finished the week with a terrific 75-72 victory at UC Davis. T.J. Campbell led the way with 20 points and 5 rebounds.

Schedule this week: 11/29 vs. Nevada

St. Mary's: How this team has not cracked the Top 25 continues to baffle me. St. Mary's was dominate in both their wins this week. The Gaels began the week by hosting Fresno St. as part of the ESPN Hoops Marathon. With the offense being led by Patty Mills, who scored 27 points, St.Mary's coasted to a 99-85 victory. Things were even easier for the Gaels later in the week, as they blew out the Vanguard Lions. Diamon Simpson and Patty Mills carried St.Mary's to an easy 86-54 victory.

Schedule this week: 11/27 vs. UTEP

San Diego: As we get closer to the NCAA Tournament, San Diego may look back at this week as a blown opportunity to pick up some quality wins. While the Toreros went 2-1 this week, the loss to Wisconsin might haunt this team. USD opened the week with an impressive 65-51 victory over Nevada. Rob Jones scored 23 points in the victory, as Billy Grier's squad held Luke Babbitt to just 3 points. After the victory, the team headed to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam. USD opened the tournament with a lacklustre effort in their 73-66 victory over Valpo. Gyno Pomare led the team with 17 points, but the Toreros were never able to assert their dominance against Valpo. This poor effort carried over into the semi-final game against Wisconsin. San Diego put together a putrid performance on the offensive end in their 64-49 loss. Only Brandon Johnson played at a high level, as he scored 17 points in the defeat.

Schedule this week: 11/24 vs. #16 Miami; 11/29 vs. San Diego Christian

San Francisco: Along with Portland, USF has been biggest pleasant surprise in the WCC. Although the Dons opened the week with a 87-74 loss to California, their performance in the game was noteworthy. The game was close until late in the second half, and Manny Quezada was scintillating, as he scored 27 points off the bench. California is a well-coached and athletic team, and USF played them very tough. The Dons finished the week in impressive fashion, as they defeated the Academy of Art by the score of 74-23 (this is not a typo). Dior Lowhorn scored 26 points in the victory, which saw the Academy of Art score only 9 points in the 1st half.

Schedule this week: 11/24 vs. UCSB; 11/29 vs. Colorado St.

Santa Clara: This was the type of week that will give Kerry Keating nightmares. Santa Clara headed to the University of Arizona to compete in the NIT Season Tip-Off. With Arizona in turmoil, Santa Clara had an excellent opportunity to win the round robin and advance to New York City for the final round of the tournament. However, this was not to be for the Broncos, as they stumbled to defeat in both of their games. Santa Clara opened the round robin with UAB. It seemed that they were on their way to victory, but UAB overcame a 9 point deficit and the Broncos fell 64-61. The tough luck continued against Florida Atlantic in the next round. Despite holding a 58-57 lead with less then two minutes to play, Santa Clara fell 65-61. John Bryant was dominant in the defeat, as he scored 25 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

Schedule this week: 11/24 @ Georgia; 11/25 @ Arizona; 11/30 @ Montana

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