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WCC Thursday Roundup: Typical Tandem Atop Again

Do you live on the West Coast? Statistically, probably not. So for all of you who don't stay up late enough or live in the right TV market to catch West Coast Conference action, we've got you covered. Disclaimer: this is not a healthy replacement for live, visual consumption of WCC games.

James Walker III led Saint Mary's past San Diego.
James Walker III led Saint Mary's past San Diego.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Four WCC games went down last night. Here are brief recaps of them all.

Pepperdine Waves 68 at Gonzaga Bulldogs 83

Gonzaga bounced back from a non-conference loss at Memphis last weekend by soundly defeating Pepperdine. Read the entire recap here.

Gonzaga is now 22-4 (12-1) and in first place.
Pepperdine is now 14-12 (7-7) and in fifth place.

Loyola Marymount Lions 64 at Portland Pilots 71

This was the second to last home game of the Pilots' season. That makes it, junior night, right?

Well, if that isn't a real thing maybe it should be. Junior center Thomas van der Mars recorded a double-double, his seventh of the season, with 14 points and ten rebounds. Fellow junior Bobby Sharp added 11 points, nine of which came from long range.

The Pilots trailed at the break but opened the second half on a 14-0 run sparked by Sharp and senior forward Ryan Nicholas (16 points, 9 rebounds) to take the lead. Portland would not relinquish the lead from that point forward.

LMU was led by freshman Evan Payne's 21 points (6-17 from the field). Senior guard Anthony Ireland added 15 points and continued his climb of the Lions' all-time scoring list. Ireland entered the game in fourth place. He's still in fourth, but is now just 23 points shy of third place. Ireland (18.5ppg) could move into third as soon as Saturday, when the Lions visit Gonzaga.

Portland is now 14-11 (6-7) and in sixth place.
LMU is now 11-15 (3-11) and in tenth place.

San Diego Toreros 57 at Saint Mary's Gaels 69

When these two met just two weeks ago in San Diego, the Toreros squashed the efficient Gaels. For much of this game, it looked as if this may be a repeat performance.

San Diego led briefly in the first half but took a one point deficit, 34-35, into the locker room. After the break the Toreros came out firing. Just after the first TV timeout of the second, Dennis Kramer hit a jumper that gave San Diego a 45-40 lead.

James Walker III was the story of the game. He's averaging 10.2ppg but was coming off back-to-back games with zero points. With his team down five, at home, he led a ferocious comeback. 14 of Walker III's career high 21 points came after the Toreros took that five point lead.

Saint Mary's is now 19-7 (9-4) and in second place.
San Diego is now 13-14 (4-10) and in ninth place.

BYU Cougars 82 at Pacific Tigers 89

Call it the curse of Cinderella Watch. Or, call it a trap game (actually, please call it that). With a trip to Saint Mary's looming on Saturday, BYU didn't seem ready for Pacific.

Tony Gill scored a team high 18 points for the Tigers. Other than Gill, Pacific's scoring looked pretty much like it always does. Four other Tigers finished with just over ten points and the balanced offensive attack proved too much for BYU.

Tyler Haws (24.5ppg) fouled out in the final minutes with just 20 points. Matt Carlino went 6 of 11 from long range and had the game high with 28 points. It wasn't enough.

Pacific was red hot in the second half. Connecting on 62.5% of their field goals in the second half, including seven of nine from long range, the Tigers were able to outscore the high-scoring Cougars.

The good folks over at Vanquish The Foe took a more detailed look at this game.

Pacific is now 14-10 (5-8) and in seventh place.
BYU is now 17-10 (9-5) and in third place.