Brandon Brown made all 10 of his free-throw attempts and scored 20 points as Loyola Marymount fended off a late San Diego rally to defeat the Toreros, 64-61, in the first-round game of the West Coast Conference tournament at Las Vegas.
Loyola Marymount (14-16) advanced to play top-seeded St. Mary’s on Saturday night in the quarterfinals. The Lions were without leading scorer Adom Jacko, who has missed the last five games because of a back injury.
LMU had a 42-30 lead with 12:37 to play on Marin Mornar’s jumper. San Diego (9-21) got back in it when Jito Kok made a pair of free throws, and Cameron Neubauer and Duda Sanadze each made layups.
Petr Herman’s three-point play pushed LMU’s lead to 56-47, but Olin Carter III made a three-pointer and Sanadze made a layup with 50 seconds left to cut it to 60-58.
Brown and David Humphries each made two free throws in the final 21 seconds to blunt the Toreros’ comeback. Carter and Sandaze each finished with 20 points.
Brigham Young 72, Pepperdine 59: The Cougars (25-5) had a 12-0 run to start the second quarter and built a 22-point advantage to reach the semifinals. BYU’s Lexi Rydalch had 28 points and 12 rebounds, with Kalani Purcell getting 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Kelsey Brockway scored 12 points for the Waves (7-24), who didn’t score for the first seven minutes of the second quarter and committed 19 turnovers.
“You’ve got to give it to BYU, that’s a heck of a team that’s very well coached,” Pepperdine Coach Ryan Weisenberg said. “They played hard from the get-go and they’ve got two of the best players in the WCC. We tried to slow them down but our best wasn’t good enough. I’ve got to hand it to my kids, they fought on every possession and our effort was 100%, so I’m really fired up for that.”
St. Mary’s 85, Loyola Marymount 71: Lauren Nicholson scored 24 points and Devyn Galland added 16 as the second-seeded Gaels (24-6) dominated in the paint to end the Lions’ season. Leslie Lopez-Wood (18 points) and Cheyanne Wallace (17) were the only players in double figures for Loyola Marymount (11-20).
After a first half in which neither team established any offensive consistency, the Gaels come out after halftime by making 10 of 14 field goal attempts (71.4%) in the third quarter.
“We played a little bit more comfortably,” said the Gaels’ Megan McKay, who had 13 points and nine rebounds. “We got our nerves out in the first half. We had 10 turnovers in the half. We played good St. Mary’s basketball, which we needed to.”