Wrap-up of WCC Action: January 16th


Jan 16, 2014; Malibu, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs center Sam Dower (35) reacts after being fouled in the second half against the Pepperdine Waves at Firestone Fieldhouse. Gonzaga defeated Pepperdine 70-53. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s WCC action had a great deal of implications on the conference standings. Gonzaga took full control of first place, BYU climbed up to second place and San Diego climbed out of the basement. Find out how it happened below.

BYU 83, San Francisco 76

The BYU Cougars went into War Memorial Gymnasium and defeated the San Francisco Dons, despite being outrebounded by the Dons by 40-28.

Kyle Collinsworth led the Cougars with 19 points. Nate Austin’s 8 rebounds was a team high for the Cougars. BYU only totaled 5 assists in the evening, which were distributed among 5 different players (Skylar Halford, Tyler Haws, Josh Sharp, Matt Carlino and Frank Bartley IV).

Cole Dickerson’s 26 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Dons to knock off the Cougars. Avry Holmes led the Dons with 5 assists.

More in-depth analysis will come from our staff writer James Pigott.

Gonzaga Asserts Itself as WCC Topdog, Defeats Pepperdine 70-53

Gonzaga led big at the half, thanks to a 17-1 run that was sparked by two back-to-back threes by senior Drew Barham.

The Bulldogs were led by Sam Dower, who finished with 18 points (team-high) and 8 rebounds (tied with Kyle Dranginis for a team-high). The senior forward got his first start since December 21st, and appears to have healed from the back injury he sustained against Kansas State.

Kevin Pangos led the Zags in assists with 4, and also chipped in 14 points. Przemek Karnowski was the other Gonzaga player to finish in double digit points with 11.

Stacy Davis’s 12 points was not enough for the Waves to overtake the Bulldogs. He also led Pepperdine with 12 rebounds.

Pepperdine’s starters shot only 26.2 percent from the field tonight, and 16.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Keys to the Game Checklist

Malcom Brooks: Sharpshoot (Pepperdine)

X – Brooks was not able to find his stroke in this matchup. Brooks only shot 2 of 8 from the field, and 1 of 2 from the three-point arc. Pepperdine needs Brooks to shoot the three-ball with more success in order for the Waves to see success in the future.

The Smash Bros.: Coleman and Nunez (Gonzaga)

X – Gonzaga quite frankly did not need the smash brothers in this game. Coleman and Nunez played about 5 or 6 minutes in the first half, but Nunez was hindered by early foul trouble.

Few made a decision to not play Coleman and Nunez down the stretch. It paid off, but Gonzaga will need the athleticism of Nunez and Coleman come conference tournament time.

Matchup of the Game

Karnowski versus Lane: Advantage Karnowski

Karnowski and Dower switched off guarding Stacy Davis and Brendan Lane, but Karnowski got the nod in this matchup. Karnowski not only won from a statistical standpoint (11 points, 4 rebounds versus 7 points and 4 rebounds), but the Gonzaga center made it nearly impossible for Lane to get going offensively or on the glass.

Portland Stays Hot, Defeats LMU 71-57

Portland did not have to endure a hangover from their transcendent win against Gonzaga last Thursday. The Pilots 14 point victory over Loyola Marymount was their second straight victory, and propelled them to sixth place overall in the conference.

Bryce Pressley did not play in the second half due to an illness, according to a report from the Portland Pilots twitter account, but that was not a problem for the Pilots. Bobby Sharp stepped in Pressley’s place and led Portland with 14 points (4-5 shooting). Ryan Nicholas led the Pilots with 10 rebounds, and also finished with 12 points. Korey Thieleke was the Pilots leading distributor with 3 assists.

Kevin Bailey and Thomas van der Mars were the other Pilots to finish in double-figures with 13 and 10 points respectively.

Evan Payne and Anthony Ireland led the Lions with 14 points apiece. Alex Osborne was 1 point away from recording a double-double; the starting forward finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds, a team high. Ireland’s 4 assists led the Lions.

Keys to the Game Checklist

Road Warriors (Portland)

(Check) – Portland never looked as if the road was too much for them. They concocted a couple of runs that put the Lions out of reach late in the game.

LMU Starting backcourt to its starting frontcourt: “A little help please” (LMU)

X – The starting frontcourt combined for 20 points, which isn’t that bad, but it wasn’t enough for the Lions to edge the Pilots

Matchup of the Game


The wily vet versus the freshman – Advantage: ?

Whenever I looked, it was either Bryce Pressley or Korey Thieleke guarding Ireland.

Santa Clara Cannot Defend Home-Court, Fall to San Diego 69-66

San Diego picked up its second conference victory of the season by knocking off the hosting Broncos by a score of 69 to 66.

Despite some missed free throws down the stretch, the Toreros were able to hold on to a 3 point victory over the Broncos.

The Toreros were led by Duda Sanadze, who dropped 25 points on the Broncos. Three separate Toreros – Jito Kok, Dennis Kramer and Brett Bailey – all finished with 5 rebounds to lead the team. Kok also led the Toreros in assists with 3. Christopher Anderson and Dennis Kramer were the two other San Diego players to finish with double-digit points with 11 and 14 respectively.

Santa Clara was led by Brandon Clark and Jared Brownride, who scored 21 and 19 points respectively to lead the Broncos in scoring. Point guard Evan Roquemore grabbed 5 rebounds to lead the Broncos in rebounding with 5. Another forward, John McArthur finished with 4 assists, a team high for Santa Clara. Jerry Brown and Roquemore also finished in double figures (11 and 10 points).

Keys to the Game Checklist

Johnny Dee is in a slump? Let’s keep it that way (Santa Clara)

(Check) – Despite the loss, this was success for the Broncos. Dee only finished with 8 points and shot 3 of 8 from the field. However, this was not enough to drive the Broncos to victory tonight.

No freshman allowed (San Diego)

X – The Toreros got the W, but did not control Brownridge to any extent. The freshman guard finished with 19 points off 6 of 9 shooting.