The 2011 West Coast Conference tournament is officially underway and we've had our first upset of the weekend. The eighth-seeded Loyola Marymount Lions kicked the tournament off by knocking out the fifth-seeded Portland Pilots. Somehow Portland had worked its way into the third favored team after Gonzaga and St. Mary's, but they were dispatched tonight by the Lions. Loyola Marymount advances to face fourth-seeded Santa Clara tomorrow night at 6:00pm pacific. The winner of that matchup gets top seeded Saint Mary's in the semifinals on Sunday.
In the other opening round matchup, Pepperdine rode Mychel Thompson's 26 points to victory over the 6-23 San Diego Toreros. Pepperdine advances to face the third seeded San Francisco Dons. The winner of that matchup gets Gonzaga in the semifinals on Sunday.
We'll have a running WCC tournament story stream throughout the weekend's games. Additionally, you can get a Gonzaga perspective on this weekend's games in SB Nation Seattle's WCC tournament story stream. Below are more thorough Sports Network previews of each of tonight's games including all the nitty gritty details.
Recap: Portland vs. Loyola Marymount
Sports Network | March 5, 2011
Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Drew Viney posted a game-high 25 points to lead the eighth-seeded Loyola Marymount Lions to a 72-68 win over the fifth- seeded Portland Pilots in the opening round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena. Vernon Teel added 13 points in the win for LMU (11-20), which also saw 12 points from Anthony Ireland. Godwin Okonji pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for the Lions, who advance to face fourth-seeded Santa Clara on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Jared Stohl scored 23 points to pace Portland (20-11) in the loss, while Nemanja Mitrovic finished with 14 points. The Pilots made good on 48.3 percent from the floor during the opening 20 minutes, but still found themselves trailing by a slight 40-37 margin heading into the break.
The Lions then converted 46.2 percent from the field during the second stanza to stave a late Portland rally and escape with the four-point win. The Lions drained 8-of-17 from long range during the contest.
Recap: Pepperdine vs. San Diego
Sports Network | March 5, 2011
Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Mychel Thompson poured in 26 points to lead the sixth-seeded Pepperdine Waves to an 84-81 victory over the seventh-seeded San Diego Toreros in first round action of the West Coast Conference tournament at the Orleans Arena. Lorne Jackson added 23 points and eight assists for Pepperdine (12-20), which will now meet the third-seeded San Francisco Dons in the quarterfinal round on Saturday. Chris Gabriel registered 18 points for San Diego (6-24), while Darian Norris and Devin Ginty posted 14 points apiece in the loss. Chris Manresa chipped in 12 points in the loss.
The Waves shot a staggering 63.2 percent from the floor in the first half and went into the break with a 41-30 advantage. Pepperdine used a 22-of-29 showing from the foul line in the second stanza to hold on for the win. The Waves finished 36-of-44 from the foul line, while San Diego connected on just 17-of-27 attempts from the charity stripe.