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West Coast Second Round Preview

March 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

West Coast Conference Second Round Preview

Preview by Mitch Schneider

(7) Loyola Marymount vs. (3) Pepperdine
After defeating Portland 82-77 in first round of the WCC Tournament, Loyola Marymount (15-13, 6-9) will face another team that swept it during the regular season as the Lions will battle Pepperdine (14-14, 9-5) tonight in second round action. The Waves cruised in the first meeting 82-67, but barely squeaked by in the second, 67-65. That game went back and forth in Los Angeles, and was finally decided by a Glen McGowan dunk with less than three seconds left in regulation.

Tonight’s showdown should be another close one as both LMU and Pepperdine carry plenty of momentum into Santa Clara’s Leavey Center. The Lions have won four of six and are enjoying their first winning season since 1996. Not to be outdone, the Waves have won five of six and boast the league’s leading scorer in junior forward Yakhouba Diawara (18.5 ppg). There’s much at stake for both the Lions and Waves since both are in desperate need of a victory to keep their post-season hopes alive.

Hoopville prediction: LMU 73, Pepperdine 70

(5) Santa Clara vs. (4) San Francisco
Santa Clara exploded for 82 points (its highest total since it hung 90 in a win over Holy Names way back in December) in its 34-point blowout of San Diego on Friday. But the Broncos (15-15, 7-8) will be hard-pressed to match that total against a San Francisco (17-13, 7-7) squad that held Santa Clara to nearly half that in their last meeting — a 64-48 Dons win.

Fortunately the Broncos have home-court advantage in this one, and they also have nine competent players who can rotate in and out to defend against USF’s solid starting five. If Santa Clara can continue its offensive prowess and keep the Dons’ John Cox (8.0 rpg) and Tyrone Riley (7.1 rpg) off the glass, the Broncos could stampede into Sunday’s semifinal with top-seeded Gonzaga.

Hoopville prediction: Santa Clara 65, San Francisco 57

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