WCC Standings: BYU moving up in the ranks

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

We are starting to get a bit of separation towards the top.

After a couple of weeks of chaos, the standings in the West Coast Conference are settling exactly how most people thought they would look -- Gonzaga, BYU and Saint Mary's at the top.

Gonzaga 6-1 16-3
BYU 5-2 13-7
Saint Mary's 4-2 14-5
San Francisco 5-3 12-8
Pepperdine 5-3 12-8
Portland 3-4 11-8
Santa Clara 3-5 10-11
San Diego 2-5 11-9
LMU 2-6 10-10
Pacific 1-5 10-7

Onto a quick breakdown of the week.

BYU Cougars

def. @ San Francisco, 83-76; def. @ Santa Clara, 91-81

The BYU offensive machine is rolling strong right now. After opening conference play with two straight losses, they have rattled off five straight wins, scoring at least 83 points in each game -- eclipsing 90 points twice. Five players scored in double figures in a win over San Francisco, and six players topped that number against Santa Clara.

St. Mary's Gaels

def. Pacific, 79-73

Stephen Holt had 26 points as the Gaels used a big second-half of 48 points to overcome Pacific at home in their lone game of the week. Brad Waldow scored nine of St. Mary's first 12 points in the second half to put the Gaels towards the top of the WCC standings.

San Francisco Dons

lost BYU, 83-76; def. San Diego, 64-62

By all accounts, against BYU the Dons looked pretty solid. Cole Dickerson led all scorers in the game with 26 points and was one of four USF players to score in double figures. But it wasn't enough offense to top BYU. They needed a bit more heroics against San Diego, with Avry Holmes knocking down a jumper with half a second left to get the win.

Pepperdine Waves

lost Gonzaga, 70-53; def. Portland, 76-65

The Waves couldn't get any offense going against Gonzaga in a loss to open the week. They got back on track against Portland, surviving Kevin Bailey's 27-point explosion by going strong on the defensive glass. The outside shot wasn't falling in the game, but they got enough offense from Stacy Davis, Malcolm Brooks and Jeremy Major to pull out the win.

Portland Pilots

def. @ LMU, 71-57, lost @ Pepperdine, 76-65

Those upstart Portland Pilots continued the good fortune from the Gonzaga win against LMU, led by a balanced attack from Kevin bailey, Thomas van der Mars and Ryan Nicholas. Against Pepperdine, Portland fell on their face. They shot 40 percent from the floor and were dominated on the boards, 40-27, a rare occurrence against Portland.

Santa Clara Broncos

lost San Diego, 69-66; lost BYU, 91-81

The Toreros fouling gamble worked late against the Broncos. With Santa Clara trailing 67-64, San Diego fouled Jared Brownridge instead of gambling for the three, and it paid off as the Broncos took the loss at home. Brownridge dropped 30 points against BYU, but it meant nothing as the Broncos defense couldn't stop the Cougar machine. BYU shot a season-high 61.5 percent from the floor.

San Diego Toreros

def. @ Santa Clara, 69-66; lost @ San Francisco, 64-62

Outside of a big loss at BYU, the Toreros are looking like one of the hardest outs in the WCC. They also apparently like to keep it close, with their past three games decided by a combined nine points. Duda Sanadze had a career-high 25 points in a win against Santa Clara. Against the Dons, they lost on a last second shot by Avery Holmes.

LMU Lions

lost Portland, 71-57; lost Gonzaga, 82-72

The Lions rough start to the WCC continued after dropping both games at home to extend their losing streak to six games. LMU's streaky style of play was evident in both games last week, where they trailed going into the half by double-digits, only to go on a run to tie it up. In the game against Portland, poor shooting doomed any chance of a win, hitting just 32 percent from the floor.

Pacific Tigers

lost @ Saint Mary's, 79-73

The Tigers went into Moraga where the Gaels suddenly appear vulnerable. Unfortunately, basketball games last longer than 20 minutes. Pacific led 38-31 at half but Saint Mary's would outscore Pacific by 13 points in the second half to take home the win.

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