We are still a full month away from conference play, but there is never a thing as too much basketball related news. Gonzaga is always in the news, and Saint Mary's and BYU have their big games here and there. It can be a bit easy to forget about the rest of the West Coast Conference.
Right now, as a collective, the WCC is 52-22. That record has us sitting pretty good as a conference in the RPI rankings, currently at eighth in the nation. Let's take a peek and see how everyone played last week.
def Texas 86-82, lost Wichita State 75-62, def Utah State 85-74
The Cougars were looking good when Tyler Haws had a huge second half to lead BYU over Texas to open up the CBE Classic. But then those guys Wichita State showed up. The Shockers forced BYU to play by its rules, and they just barely got by in a game where the final score wasn't indicative of how close it was throughout. BYU got back on track against Utah State, with the big duo of Haws and Matt Carlino leading the way, scoring 21 and 18 points respectively.
lost Vanderbilt 77-68
LMU played Vanderbilt tight in their only game last week. The Lions battled back from a first half deficit to take the lead with eight minutes remaining. They only trailed by four with less than two minutes to play, but free-throws as Anthony Ireland went a bit cold at the end. He finished with 20 points on 8-for-21 shooting.
lost Oregon 85-62, def Cal Poly 73-71, def North Dakota 93-76
Pacific had some quality wins rolling into the game against Oregon, but the Ducks positively pasted them in Eugene. That loss carried over a bit against Cal Poly, where the Tigers got the go-ahead points from Tony Gill with only 30 seconds left in the game.
lost Green Bay 97-89, def Denver 68-56, lost Indiana State 73-70
The Waves had a tough bout last week. They lost a tough one to Green Bay WIsconsin to open the Great Alaska Shootout, but followed it up with a nice rebound win over Denver. Then, they came 33 seconds away from upsetting Indiana State in the consolation game of the tournament. Malcolm Brooks hit a three with 1:32 left, but the Waves couldn't hold on for the win.
def San Jose State 86-69, def Southern Utah 86-57
It isn't often that the Pilots are 20-point favorites heading into a game. They conquered the spread against Southern Utah, and then some. Freshman guard Alex Wintering had a nice game in that one, finishing with a career high 10 assists.
def Murray State 89-64
Saint Mary's stayed the lone undefeated team with a win over the hapless Murray St. Racers in their only game last week. Brad Waldrow continued his strong play this season, and will make himself a person of interest against the Zags, with 18 points in the game.
lost Illinois Chicago 74-70, def UNC Greensboro 83-71, def Southern Illinois 59-56, lost New Mexico 73-66
San Diego finished fifth in the Gulf Coast Showcase over the holiday weekend, but lost their biggest statement game of the non-conference against the New Mexico Lobos. The Toreros held New Mexico to 43 percent from the floor but couldn't keep the inside strength of the Lobos out of the paint. New Mexico went 26-for-29 from the free throw line in the win, compared to just eight free throw attempts for San Diego.
def Sonoma State 96-73, def Vermont 72-61, lost Illinois State 90-76
It was a rough week for the Dons, getting past the fact that senior point guard Cody Doolin abruptly retired from college basketball. They opened the week with a sizeable win over Sonoma State (a non-Division I opponent), and then defeated a Vermont team that just pushed Duke to the brink a couple of weeks ago. Lights out three-point shooting from Illinois State ended the week on a sour note for the Dons. The Redbirds hit 13-of-27 from beyond the arc while the Dons were completely cold, going 4-for-27 in the loss.
lost North Dakota State 91-85, lost Rice 67-66
It was a rough week for the Broncos. Brandon Clark dropped 32 points against North Dakota State, but Santa Clara still lost because the entire Bison starting lineup scored in double digits. Santa Clara almost rebounded against Rice, but they lost on a coast-to-coast layup with 0.3 seconds remaining on the clock. Brutal.