West Coast Walkthrough: Feb 20, San Francisco Treat Edition

After a rather bland week of play two weeks ago, the West Coast Conference gave us plenty of excitement last week. Intrigue is alive and well at the top of the conference due to a couple thrillers in the Bay, and Loyola Marymount is a team nobody will want any part of in Las Vegas. Here's the week that was, the week to come, and more in this week's West Coast Walkthrough.

SAN FRANCISCO SERVES UP PLENTY OF ONIONS

Our good friend Matt Zemek of College Football News had to have been pleased with the amount of onions Bill Raftery would have handed out in San Francisco last week. First it was BYU battling the Dons to the wire. After Matt Carlino lit up the Dons for 20 points in the first eight minutes of play, both teams settled in and engaged in a back-and-forth battle for the duration of the night. BYU gave up an eight-point lead over the final three minutes, but Carlino would drop home his 30th point on a strong drive to the hoop with 23 seconds remaining. Angelo Caloiaro got one final look for USF, and though the guard was 7-12 from the field on the night when he put the cowhide up into the air, his final attempt rimmed out, and BYU escaped with an 85-84 win.

Then Saturday, the Dons welcomed Gonzaga to War Memorial Gym and hosted yet another nailbiter. USF used a strong shooting night (49%) and had four starters in double digits, led by Rashad Green with 16 points. Gonzaga shot even better at 51%, and the post duo of Elias Harris and Robert Sacre combined for 32 points on 12-21 shooting, 19 rebounds, and four blocks. But the story of the game was turnovers. The Zags coughed up the ball 21 times, while USF committed only 10 turnovers. Sacre put Gonzaga up 65-64 with nearly four minutes remaining, but neither team would score again until the closing seconds. Green made a strong dive to the hoop--one that included plenty of contact--and dropped in a floater with three seconds left to give USF the 66-65 win.

SAINT MARY'S HOBBLED DOWN FINAL STRETCH

Loyola Marymount kept up its road-warrior ways on Wednesday. With Stephen Holt out with an injury--arguably the Gaels' most complete player--and Matthew Dellavedova hampered by ankle problems, the Lions took advantage with a 75-60 win in Moraga. LMU moved its conference road record to 7-1. It was an impressive display from the Lions, as Anthony Ireland dropped seven assists, guard Jarred DuBois contributed 15 points off the bench, and LMU shot 47% while only committing eight turnovers. The Loyola Marymount Suprise keeps getting better and has kept the conference race wide open.

BRACKETBUSTERS

The loss to LMU was only the first for the Gaels last week. The top-billed game of ESPN's BracketBuster weekend was Saint Mary's traveling to one-loss Murray State, but the aforementioned injuries ground the glimmer right off the game. Murray State cruised to a 65-51 win as SMC struggled to score.

In other BracketBusters games, Loyola Marymount picked up a nice, confidence-building win over Valparaiso at home by the score of 61-53, while San Diego was outdone by Zachary Lamb and the CS-Bakersfield Roadrunners 72-63.

TOP SEEDS UP FOR GRABS

With Saint Mary's and Gonzaga both losing last week, seeds 1-4 for the conference tournament are still undetermined. The seemingly-crippled Gaels must finish the season at San Francisco, a squad Rex Walters has playing with loads of confidence after a slow start. Meanwhile, BYU travels to Gonzaga, and LMU hosts San Diego and Santa Clara. The Lions should stay right there ready to move up if any of the other three slip.

NOW PLAYING

As mentioned, Saint Mary's has to travel to San Francisco to end its regular season on Saturday. USF can make one last statement before everyone heads to Vegas, and are close to reaching the nobody-wants-to-see-us-in-Vegas status that LMU has attained.

GAME OF THE WEEK

BYU @ Gonzaga - Thurs. 2/23 at 9:00 pm MT, ESPN2 - In the final week of the season, our beloved Cougars travel to Spokane to claim a tough, tough road win. The game should decide who claims the coveted 2-seed in the conference tournament -- and also who could win the conference if Saint Mary's continues to falter.

STANDINGS

School

Conf

Overall

RPI (+/-)

#23 Saint Mary’s

12-2

23-5

32 (-9)

Gonzaga

11-3

21-5

21 (-4)

BYU

11-3

23-6

48 (-9)

Loyola Marymount

10-4

18-10

97 (+10)

San Francisco

8-7

18-11

142 (+15)

San Diego

6-8

11-16

215 (-24)

Portland

3-11

6-21

234 (-24)

Pepperdine

3-12

9-18

269 (-17)

Santa Clara

0-14

8-19

274 (+9)

STAT LEADERS

PLAYER

SCHOOL

PTS

Noah Hartsock

BYU

17.3

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

15.5

Anthony Ireland

LMU

15.5

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

14.9

Angelo Caloiaro

San Fran

14.8

PLAYER

SCHOOL

REB

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

10.5

Corbin Moore

Pepperdine

8.4

Elias Harris

Gonzaga

8.2

Brandon Davies

BYU

7.7

Ryan Nicholas

Portland

7.4

PLAYER

SCHOOL

ASTS

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

6.4

Evan Roquemore

Santa Clara

5.4

Chris Anderson

San Diego

4.9

Anthony Ireland

LMU

4.8

Caleb Willis

Pepperdine

3.8

PLAYER

SCHOOL

BLKS

Noah Hartsock

BYU

1.7

Robert Sacre

Gonzaga

1.6

Brandon Davies

BYU

1.3

Dennis Kramer

San Diego

1.1

Brad Waldow

St Mary’s

1.1

PLAYER

SCHOOL

STLS

Chris Anderson

San Diego

1.9

Stephen Holt

St Mary’s

1.8

Angelo Caloiaro

San Fran

1.7

Rashad Green

San Fran

1.7

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

1.6

PLAYER

SCHOOL

FG%

Brad Waldow

St Mary’s

65.2

Perris Blackwell

San Fran

57.0

Noah Hartsock

BYU

56.6

Niyi Harrison

Santa Clara

55.5

Thomas van der Mars

Portland

55.5

PLAYER

SCHOOL

FT%

Kevin Pangos

Gonzaga

85.6

LaRon Armstead

LMU

85.5

Noah Hartsock

BYU

84.3

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

83.1

Tim Douglas

Portland

81.5

PLAYER

SCHOOL

3PT%

Gary Bell

Gonzaga

44.4

Johnny Dee

San Diego

42.8

Clint Steindl

St Mary’s

42.6

Raymond Cowels

Santa Clara

41.5

Brandon Clark

Santa Clara

41.1

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