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West Coast Semifinals Recap

March 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

West Coast Conference Semifinals Recap

Recap by Mitch Schneider

(2) St. Mary’s 79, (3) Pepperdine 74
Guard E.J. Rowland (21 points) led four Gaels in double-figures as St. Mary’s held off a feisty Pepperdine squad to advance to Monday’s WCC title game. Rowland also collected seven boards and six assists in the win, while teammates Paul Marigney, Daniel Kickert and Jonathan Sanders combined for 47 points and 30 rebounds on the night.

The Waves (15-15, 10-6) trailed by a dozen at the break, but fought back in the second half thanks to the play of Yakhouba Diawara (26 points, 6 rebounds) and Marvin Lea (9 points, 9 rebounds). Pepperdine committed only seven turnovers in the loss, but was dominated on the glass (out-rebounded 51-36) and in the post. St. Mary’s (19-12, 10-5) has now won two straight over Pepperdine and four of its last five.

(1) Gonzaga 63, (5) Santa Clara 62
Gonzaga’s 18-game winning streak nearly came to an end on Sunday night, but the Bulldogs overcame poor shooting (21-56, .375) and an 11-point second half deficit to defeat the Broncos and clinch a berth in the WCC championship. The gritty play of Gonzaga’s Cory Violette (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Ronny Turiaf (10 points, 12 rebounds) proved the difference in this nail-biter of a semi-final, and Turiaf’s put-back shot in the lane with five seconds remaining gave the ‘Dawgs the lead and ultimately the victory against Santa Clara.

The Broncos (16-16, 8-9) came out firing against Gonzaga (26-2, 15-0), jumping out to a 19-8 lead and then a 29-26 advantage at the break. An Alex Kargbo three-pointer gave Santa Clara a 46-35 cushion with under 14 minutes to play in front of the home crowd, but the ‘Zags responded minutes later. Trailing by ten at the 7:44 mark, the Bulldogs closed the game on an 18-7 run and saw their winning streak reach 19 after Kyle Bailey’s desperation three-point attempt fell short for Santa Clara. Bailey, who scored 30 the night before against San Francisco, was held to just eight points on 3-10 shooting. Doron Perkins, who nearly pulled out the upset by himself, poured in 26 points (5-11 from three-point range) in the loss.

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