Ronny Turiaf and the rest of the Gonzaga men’s basketball team made sure there wouldn’t be another upset at Loyola Marymount.
Turiaf scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and the No. 16-ranked Bulldogs took charge in the second half en route to a 74-60 victory in front of a near-capacity crowd of 3,910 in Gersten Pavilion.
In a dominating performance, the 6-foot-10 junior forward made 10 of 16 shots from the field. Turiaf scored nine consecutive points early in the second half to help the three-time defending West Coast Conference champions (12-2, 2-0 in WCC) break loose after being tied, 32-32, at halftime.
“We had no answer for Ronny Turiaf in the second half,” Coach Steve Aggers said. “He showed with eight NBA scouts in attendance why he’s a potential first-round draft choice.”
Blake Stepp had 17 points and Cory Violette scored 10 for Gonzaga, which shot 70% in the second half. Loyola (8-5, 0-1) upset the Bulldogs, 80-74, at home last season but was held to 37% shooting this time.
Sherman Gay led Loyola with 18 points and Keith Kincade had 17.
“It was exactly what we expected out of Loyola,” Coach Mark Few said. “We talked a lot about [last year] and we even talked about it at halftime.”
Gonzaga used 14-2 run in the first half to grab a 10-point lead but the Lions battled back. Kincade started the late rally with a three-point basket and Charles Brown made a jump shot. Turiaf made a jump hook but Loyola used two key plays by guard Damian Martin to forge a halftime tie.
Martin’s defense on Adam Morrison forced a turnover and Gay countered with a free throw to cut the deficit to 32-30. After a defensive stop, Kincade missed a bank shot and Morrison grabbed the rebound but Martin stole the ball and made a layup in one motion at buzzer.
Gonzaga scored the first six points of the second half and wasn’t threatened again.
-- Eric Stephens
Pepperdine 97, Portland 88 -- Based on the number of air balls, errand passes and botched defensive rotations Pepperdine committed in the second half, one would think Coach Paul Westphal’s Waves had lost their fifth game in a row.
Against a better team, that probably would have been the case. But against struggling WCC rival Portland, the Waves didn’t really have to worry and rode a dominating first half in front of 1,200 at Malibu.
Glen McGowan led the Waves (6-11, 1-1 in WCC) with 24 points and eight rebounds, and Alex Acker had 21 points and eight rebounds. Center Derick Grubb had his best game this season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“Everybody was hungry to go out and get us a win,” said guard Terrance Johnson, who scored 10 points and was one of five players to score in double figures for the Waves. “We know what we are capable of doing and tonight we went out and did it.”
The Pilots were scheduled to open WCC play at Loyola Marymount on Thursday, but the game was postponed until Monday because an ice storm in Portland prevented them from traveling.
Portland made only eight of 27 (29.6%) field-goal tries in the first half and Pepperdine took advantage for a 43-26 lead at the half.
In the second half, Portland made things interesting after the Waves made mistakes.
“We were OK until about eight minutes to play and then we got sloppy and lost our intensity,” said Westphal. “Basically, I was never worried about the outcome. But I would like us to play 40 minutes instead of 32.”
Portland (0-1, 6-8) was led by guard Eugene “Pooh” Jeter, who scored 27 of his game-high 33 points in the second half.
-- Lonnie White
Cal State Northridge 79, Long Beach State 57 -- Davin White scored 20 points and Chris Davis scored 15, and the Matadors ended a two-game losing streak in a Big West Conference game at Northridge.
Chris Roberts led Long Beach State (4-9, 2-2 in Big West) with 21 points. It was the 22nd consecutive road loss for the 49ers, who matched Northridge (6-6, 2-2) with 21 turnovers.
Coach Bobby Braswell, upset with Northridge’s lack of production, benched White and Davis, starters who average in double figures, to start the game.
Davis sat out the first 5 1/2 minutes, but scored 11 first-half points to help the Matadors open a 37-29 lead just before the break.
White, who matched Davis’ first-half output, put Northridge on top, 59-40, with a layup with 11:53 to play. The Matadors went on to extend the lead to as many as 27 points.
“Me and Chris looked at each other and said that we didn’t want to be in this position, so we better get out there and do something,” White said.
Northridge, which shot 38% in Thursday’s 72-56 loss to UC Irvine, 23 of 59 (59%) shots from the field.
-- Paul McLeod
UC Riverside 64, Cal State Fullerton 60 -- Nate Carter had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the Highlanders (5-6, 2-1 Big West) held off the Titans (4-8, 0-3) at Riverside.
Fullerton’s Pape Sow had a game-high 17 points and 17 rebounds.
The Highlanders trailed in the first half by as many as 12 points, with the Titans scoring 13 consecutive points at one point.
Riverside managed to get back into the game, using an 11-2 run that culminated at the 13:24 mark with a three-pointer by Kevin Butler to tie the score, 41-41.
The Highlanders took the lead for good with 1:46 left on a Rickey Porter layup.
UC Santa Barbara 59, Idaho 47 -- The Gauchos’ zone defense held Idaho (3-9, 0-3 Big West) to 32.6% shooting and forced 19 turnovers at Santa Barbara.
Casey Cook scored 10 of his team-high 12 points after the break.
Cook and Bryan Whitehead each had six rebounds for Santa Barbara (8-5, 2-2).
Pacific 67, UC Irvine 52 -- David Doubley scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the second half and the Tigers (9-6, 4-0 Big West) rallied after halftime at Stockton to win their fifth in a row.
Stanislav Zuzak and Ross Schraeder each scored 10 points for Irvine (7-6, 2-2).
Pacific held Irvine’s top two scorers, center Adam Parada and guard Mike Efevberha, to a combined five points and without a field goal.