WCC: Loyola Marymount earns right to face Gonzaga

James Batemon scored 29 points and made 11 of 12 free throws and eight-seeded Loyola Marymount rallied from 15 points down in the first half to beat ninth-seeded Portland 78-72 in Friday night’s opening round of the West Coast Conference tournament at Las Vegas.

Eli Scott scored 12 points with 10 rebounds and four assists and Mattias Markusson added 11 points for the Lions (11-19), who will face No. 7-ranked and top-seeded Gonzaga in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

It was Scott’s sixth double-double of the season.

Batemon’s three-pointer amid a 13-0 run put the Lions up 50-47 and they led 71-62 on his free throw with 2:06 left. Portland closed to 71-67 on D’Marques Tyson’s three-pointer, but Loyola Marymount made hit five straight free throws for a nine-point lead with 39 seconds to go.


Marcus Shaver Jr.’s layup with 22 seconds left cut it to 77-72, but Zafir Williams made one of two free throws to seal it. Shaver scored 17 points, Josh McSwiggan had 16 with four three-pointers and Tahirou Diabate added 14 points for the Pilots (10-22), who hit 10 three-pointers and shot 54% but lost their seventh in a row.


Gonzaga 81, Pepperdine 70: The Bulldogs (25-5) took a 53-24 halftime lead and coasted past the Waves (10-20) in the quarterfinals.