Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Evan Payne scored 19 points as the Loyola Marymount Lions rallied back from a 13-point second half deficit to edge the Portland Pilots, 67-64, in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena.
Anthony Ireland scored 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting from the floor and handed out six assists for LMU (13-18), while Nick Stover made four of his six field goal tries and 6-of-7 at the free-throw line for 14 points. Stover and Gabe Levin grabbed seven boards apiece for the No. 10 seed Lions, who will take on the second-seeded BYU Cougars on Saturday.
For the Pilots (15-16), Thomas Van der Mars registered a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards, while Bobby Sharp also netted 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor. Ryan Nicholas recorded a double-double of his own with 13 points and 11 boards, but it was not enough for Portland, which was also upset by LMU in last season's WCC Tournament.
The Lions took a narrow, 31-30, lead into the intermission despite knocking down only 1-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc in the first half. Portland shot just 37.9 percent from the floor in the opening stanza.
Sharp opened up the scoring in the second period with a 3-pointer that put the Pilots in front and they extended their advantage to 48-35 with just over 12 minutes remaining in regulation. LMU responded with a 21-4 run that gave it a 56-52 edge at the 5:09 mark of the second period, but the lead continued to change hands until Stover made a clutch layup off an Ireland assist with only 32 seconds left to play. With Portland trailing by two points, Sharp committed a costly turnover on his team's next possession and Stover sank a pair of free-throw attempts on the other end to put it out of reach.
The Lions were outscored, 21-12, from beyond the arc and also, 24-20, in the paint. Portland also enjoyed a 40-28 edge in the rebounding battle, but it was not enough to overcome its 20 turnovers which turned into 30 LMU points.
Final Score: Santa Clara 81, Pacific 64
Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Jared Brownridge paced four teammates in double figures with 20 points, as the Santa Clara Broncos made easy work of the Pacific Tigers, 81-64, in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena.
Evan Roquemore poured in 17 points for ninth-seeded Santa Clara (14-18), which will take on No. 1 seed Gonzaga in Saturday's quarterfinals. Brandon Clark netted 15 points, while Jerry Brown added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Sama Taku put up 16 points and Tony Gill scored 10 for the eighth-seeded Tigers (15-15), who closed out their campaign with losses in five of their last six.
Although Santa Clara was outshot from the field in the first half, 43.5 percent to 38.7 percent, it still took a 34-29 lead into intermission by draining five 3-pointers and grabbing eight offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
The Broncos never relinquished their advantage in the second half, pulling away by as many as 21 down the stretch.
Santa Clara finished a stellar 10-of-24 from 3-point range, while Pacific was only 4-of-18 from long distance.