Everything is looking up Gonzaga right now. The Zags needed a Sam Dower three to push past Santa Clara and they got their Sam Dower three. They avoided the normal pitfall of the War Memorial Gym in San Francisco and now sit three games ahead of the rest of the competition.
First off, the conference standings
Let's take a look at the past week's scores.
def. Pacific, 88-78; def. Saint Mary's, 84-71
BYU got back home and remembered how to win. Tyler Haws dropped 38 points on top of Pacific and then followed it with 33 against Saint Mary's. BYU, despite the bizarre losses they've incurred, are still the conference's most dangerous team.
def. Portland, 84-71; lost Gonzaga, 75-65
A solid team effort and very hot shooting helped the Dons push past the Pilots. Cole Dickerson had 21 points and Kruize Pinkins added 20 while the team shot 56 percent from the floor. Gonzaga shut down both their players and held San Frnacisco to just 34 percent shooting in the loss.
lost @ San Diego, 61-43; lost @ BYU, 84-71
I can understand losing to San Diego. They've played teams tight all season. But the way in which the Gaels went and did it is rather impressive. Brad Waldow scored 18 points and was the only player who could hit the side of Jupiter as the rest of the starting lineup went a combined 4-for-31. Saint Mary's shot 25 percent in the loss and was a measly 1-of-14 from beyond the arc. They got things going a bit better against BYU. Waldow scored 25 points, but they were out shot, out rebounded and out hustled by BYU.
def. LMU, 80-69
Malcom Brooks scored 16 points to lead five Waves players in double figures. Pepperdine was aggressive on the boards, out rebounding LMU, 35-27.
lost @ San Francisco, 84-71; def. @ Santa Clara, 76-64
Despite the close score, Portland didn't have too much going for it against the Dons. The Pilots, who are normally one of the conference's better rebounding teams, finished with 21 rebounds as a team. Things were more on track against Santa Clara. Thomas van der Mars led everyone with 28 points and 11 rebounds.
def. Saint Mary's, 61-43; lost Pacific, 84-67
San Diego's defense absolutely throttled the Gaels, which is a very good thing since their offense had a few struggles of their own. Johnny Dee led the team with 14 points and Dennis Kramer and Duda Sanadze added 14. That was it for offense, however, as the team shot 40 percent from the floor. Things were more on track against Pacific, but the defense was pretty non-existent. Kramer led all scorers with 19 points in the game.
lost @ BYU, 88-78; def. San Diego, 84-67
As a team Pacific shot better than BYU in the loss. But it is tough to win games when an opposing player goes off for 38 points. Tony Gill had 15 for the Tigers and Andrew Bock added 13 in the loss. Both Bock and Gill led the charge against San Diego, as the Tigers hot shooting streak continued into the next game.
lost @ Pepperdine, 80-69
LMU's ugly, injury riddled, WCC season continued with their latest loss, leaving them with eight losses in their last nine games. Anthony Ireland had 24 points and Gabe Levin added 16, but there is just no one for the Lions to turn to past the bench right now.
lost Gonzaga, 54-52; lost Portland, 76-64
If there is one team in a worse position than LMU right now, it is Santa Clara. The almost upset of Gonzaga is an after thought now that they have cemented a six-game losing streak. Jared Brownridge rediscovered his shooting touch against the Pilots, but the team shot just 38 percent from the floor and were badly outrebounded.