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West Coast Conference Saturday: Favorites hold serve, but not comfortably

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The top five teams in the league all won on Saturday, even though four of them were on the road.

NCAA Basketball: Barclays Center Classic-BYU vs Massachusetts
Yoeli Childs almost had a triple-double on Saturday.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Didn’t want to stay up late to take in a full slate of West Coast Conference weekend action? Well, that’s a shame. Don’t worry though, we’ll get you all caught up anyway. Here are last night’s scores, the league standings and three thoughts on everything that went down out west on Saturday.

Saint Mary’s Gaels 91 - Pepperdine Waves 67
Gonzaga Bulldogs 75 - San Francisco Dons 65
BYU Cougars 84 - Santa Clara Broncos 50
Pacific Tigers 66 - Portland Pilots 54
San Diego Toreros 75 - Loyola Marymount Lions 71

BYU dominates the Broncos on both ends

The Cougars shot 79.2 percent from the field in the first half and 61.5 percent for the game. And while their numbers fell in the second half, they held the Broncos to just 26 percent in that half. It was the team’s third-most efficient performance of the season on the offensive end and second-most efficient defensively.

Yoeli Childs nearly recorded a triple-double. The sophomore led the game in scoring with 22 points, while also pulling down 13 rebounds and dishing out eight assists. Zac Seljaas, back in the starting lineup for the second straight game, matched his season-high with 11 points.

San Diego’s skid comes to an end

After back-to-back road losses to Saint Mary’s and Pacific, the best start in program history had faded into memory. Back at home on Saturday, the Toreros bounced back, but just barely. LMU’s James Batemon scored 30 points to keep the Lions in the game until the very end, which led to a scary moment in the closing seconds. As the Toreros inbounded the ball up three, Tyler Williams (10.8 points per game) fell to the floor in pain with an ankle injury. Williams got up, but if the injury is serious, this could be a bittersweet return to the win column.

Zags face first true test

Gonzaga’s first five games of the conference season were high-scoring, blowout victories. But they came against the WCC’s five worst teams according to KenPom. San Francisco may not be living up to expectations, but the Dons are still a 10-win team with a victory over Nevada on their resume.

San Francisco never let the Zags get too far ahead, with the largest lead being 14 points. Gonzaga’s closest conference game before Saturday was a 19-point win over LMU, so that’s something.

But with a date with arch-rival Saint Mary’s looming on Thursday, this could’ve been a classic trap game. Gonzaga didn’t look like the unbelievably dominant team that it had been for the past few weeks, but the Bulldogs passed the test.