West Coast Walkthrough: Jan 31

There is still a lot left to play out, but we know one thing for sure: Saint Mary's is really good. That's something we all knew, but now we know. We look back at the week that was, what's to come, stat leaders and power rankings in the West Coast Conference -- all in this edition of the West Coast Walkthrough.

SAINT MARY'S DESTROYS BYU ... AGAIN

We've actually written a lot on it. Suffice it to say that BYU's defense was entirely overwhelmed, and so were the officials.

Here's our game recap, quick thoughts, a note on the fans, and some sweet Dave Rose pics.

With the win, Saint Mary's has officially locked up a berth in the NCAA tournament barring complete and utter disaster, while the loss has BYU's tournament hopes on life support.

GONZAGA SURVIVES CHILES

Gonzaga got a scare at Portland, but down the stretch was able to take care of things with a 74-62 final tally. The Pilots led at halftime, and for the first 12 minutes or so of the second half kept hitting shots to stay within 5-7 points. The Bulldogs outscored Portland by 19 points at the foul line, with Elias Harris, Gary Bell, and Robert Sacre combining to shoot 20-23 from the line. Bell finished with 18, Harris with 17 & 10, and Sacre with 16.

Gonzaga was able to put the game away with a plenty of good looks inside combined with the free-throw shooting. Take away their 1-11 display from three-point land, and the Zags shot very well on the night (23-40 2PT, 25-31 FT). The win helped Gonzaga move up to #24 in this weeks AP Poll.

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT KEEPS PACE

While LMU did lose at home (again), it was to Saint Mary's, so no shame for the Lions there. Saturday, the Lions squeaked by Portland for their first home win of the season. Anthony Ireland and Drew Viney struggles accounted for the close score, and the normally strong duo shot just 6-17 and combined to score 20 points. But backup guard Jarred DuBois stepped up, shooting 7-11 and scoring 18 points to lead LMU to the win. Loyola Marymount is now deadlocked in third place with BYU, as both are 6-3 and split their season series.

BRACKETBUSTERS

Saint Mary's got the premiere matchup of ESPN's BracketBuster event this year. Randy Bennett will take his Gaels east to face the undefeated Murray State Racers. The game will be Saturday, February 18 at 3:00 pm PT on ESPN or ESPN2.

The only other WCC team participating is Loyola Marymount, who will be hosting Valparaiso (15-8) on Friday, February 17 at 6:00 pm PT on ESPN2.

NOW PLAYING

The wheat and tares have separated themselves decently well at this point, so only two games stand out on the upcoming schedule. This Saturday, San Francisco (5-5) plays at LMU (6-3) in a game that can help LMU cement its standing in the top four. Then we have...

GAME OF THE WEEK

Gonzaga @ BYU - Thursday Feb 2., 9:00 pm MT on ESPN2 - BYU is in must-win territory, especially with this game at home. But Gonzaga has a lot to prove as well, losing big road games like Illinois and St. Mary's. While the Zags' schedule was put together well, some of the teams (Arizona, Butler) aren't cooperating very well. So a road win at BYU would help Gonzaga shape its at-large case as well.

POWER RANKINGS

1. SAINT MARY'S -- Dominating everyone. Best guard in the conference, best rebounder in the conference. Winning. Not much else to it.

2. GONZAGA -- Gonzaga has avoided getting upset so far, keeping its spot at #2 secure.

3. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT -- The Lions keep getting it done when it counts. Since they and BYU are 6-3 and split the season series, I'm giving LMU the edge with a larger win margin in the game it won against BYU.

4. BYU -- The Cougars have lost two-straight at home for the first time in the Dave Rose era (7 seasons) and are ice cold from three-point land (11 of their last 73). It's hard to see both of those things continuing, so perhaps (Cougar fans hope) Gonzaga is coming in to town at the wrong time.

5. SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dons have won 5 of their last 6, with the lone loss an 11-point one to Gonzaga. With a shot at Loyola Marymount, the Dons look to keep climbing.

6. SAN DIEGO -- Having beat Portland, Pepperdine, and Santa Clara for their three wins, the Toreros are squarely entrenched in the 6-spot. (Not that that means anything.)

7. PORTLAND -- The Pilots beat Pepperdine in their only matchup, and just came off a week of close battles with Gonzaga and LMU. Here's to moral victories.

8. PEPPERDINE -- See, "Not as bad as Santa Clara."

9. SANTA CLARA -- Losers of 10 of its last 11

STANDINGS

School

Conf

Overall

RPI (+/-)

#18 Saint Mary’s

10-0

21-2

20 (+11)

#24 Gonzaga

7-1

17-3

21 (-5)

BYU

6-3

18-6

48 (+10)

Loyola Marymount

6-3

13-9

108 (+6)

San Francisco

5-5

15-9

154 (+8)

San Diego

3-6

8-13

218 (+4)

Portland

2-7

5-17

224 (+4)

Pepperdine

2-8

8-13

234 (-9)

Santa Clara

0-8

8-13

262 (-33)

STAT LEADERS

PLAYER

SCHOOL

PTS

Kevin Foster

Santa Clara

17.8

Noah Hartsock

BYU

17.5

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

15.4

Anthony Ireland

LMU

15.4

Johnny Dee

San Diego

14.5

PLAYER

SCHOOL

REB

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

10.8

Corbin Moore

Pepperdine

8.5

Elias Harris

Gonzaga

8.0

Brandon Davies

BYU

7.9

Ryan Nicholas

Portland

7.5

PLAYER

SCHOOL

ASTS

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

6.4

Evan Roquemore

Santa Clara

5.2

Anthony Ireland

LMU

5.0

Chris Anderson

San Diego

4.5

Caleb Willis

Pepperdine

3.7

PLAYER

SCHOOL

BLKS

Noah Hartsock

BYU

1.6

Robert Sacre

Gonzaga

1.5

Brandon Davies

BYU

1.3

Dennis Kramer

San Diego

1.2

Corbin Moore

Pepperdine

1.1

PLAYER

SCHOOL

STLS

Stephen Holt

St Mary’s

2.1

Angelo Caloiaro

San Fran

1.8

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

1.7

Chris Anderson

San Diego

1.7

Rashad Green

San Fran

1.6

PLAYER

SCHOOL

FG%

Brad Waldow

St Mary’s

66.1

Noah Hartsock

BYU

58.2

Perris Blackwell

San Fran

55.3

Thomas Van Der Mars

Portland

55.1

Sam Dower

Gonzaga

53.6

PLAYER

SCHOOL

FT%

LaRon Armstead

LMU

87.9

Jorden Page

St Mary’s

87.5

Kevin Pangos

Gonzaga

84.1

Noah Hartsock

BYU

83.6

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

82.0

PLAYER

SCHOOL

3PT%

Clint Steindl

St Mary’s

43.8

Johnny Dee

San Diego

43.8

Gary Bell

Gonzaga

42.9

Raymond Cowels

Santa Clara

41.2

Brock Zylstra

BYU

40.2

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