WCC basketball: Gonzaga rebounds from first loss to win quarterfinal game

T.J. Wallace, Josh Perkins
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins drives against Pacific guard T.J. Wallace during their game Saturday night in Las Vegas.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Jordan Matthews scored 22 points, Nigel Williams-Goss added 20 and No. 4 Gonzaga recovered from its first loss of the season and a sluggish first half to beat Pacific, 82-50, on Saturday night in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals.

Playing a week after a stunning home defeat to Brigham Young ended their hopes for a perfect season, the Bulldogs (30-1) couldn’t shake the Tigers (11-22) until Matthews keyed an 18-4 spurt to start the second half.

Matthews had a steal, three-point play and made a three-pointer to put top-seeded Gonzaga ahead 45-29. The Bulldogs, who have won 12 straight WCC Ttournament games, will play Santa Clara in a Monday semifinal. The Broncos beat San Francisco, 76-69, earlier Saturday.

T.J. Wallace scored 21 points and Ray Bowles added 14 for ninth-seeded Pacific, which was plagued by foul trouble in its 10th straight loss to Gonzaga.


The BYU loss dropped the Zags from the top spot in the AP Top 25, and they again looked disjointed early. Gonzaga missed 11 of 12 shots during one stretch in the first half, made sloppy turnovers and was only up 27-25 at halftime thanks to Pacific’s 36 percent shooting.

With former Zags star John Stockton watching from the stands, Gonzaga was fueled by one key sequence in the first minute of the second half.

Matthews ripped the ball away from Bowles at midcourt and drove for a layup as Anthony Townes was called for his fourth foul before Matthews hit the free throw.

Less than three minutes later, fellow Pacific big man Tonko Vuko picked up his fourth foul as the Tigers struggled inside. Przemek Karnowski grabbed nine rebounds and Gonzaga held a 42-26 edge on the glass.


Williams-Goss added six rebounds and went 5 for 5 from the foul line to extend his streak to 43 straight makes.

Brigham Young 89, Loyola Marymount 81: Eric Mika scored 25 points, Nick Emery added 21 and the Cougars outlasted the Lions in a quarterfinal game.

Emery made a trio of free throws to give BYU its largest lead, 65-51, with 12:52 left. The Cougars led 69-56 three minutes later, but LMU scored 11 straight points, capped by Steven Haney’s layup with 6:36 remaining to get within two, 69-67.

BYU (22-10) stretched the lead back to eight, and LMU pulled within four with 1:25 left, but TJ Haws made 6 of 6 free throws for BYU in the final 32 seconds to put the game on ice.

The Cougars, which topped then-No. 1 ranked Gonzaga a week ago, shot 59 percent from the field (13-22) and made 18 of 21 free throws in the second half en route to a third straight win. Brandon Brown led LMU (15-15) with 22 points, Petr Herman scored 15 on seven-of-eight shooting, and Buah Tuach added 14.

Santa Clara 76, San Francisco 69: Jared Brownridge scored 28 points, including 11 of 11 at the free-throw line, as the Broncos finally pulled away in the final minute.

Santa Clara (17-15) led 64-63 with 1:13 to go but scored the next five over a 43 second period to stretch its lead to six. A Ronnie Brown three-pointer for San Francisco (20-12) cut the score back to 69-66, but that was as close as the Dons got. Two Brownridge free throws pushed the Broncos lead back to five, and Santa Clara held on from there.

Nate Kratch finished with 16 points and Jarvis Pugh added 12 for the Broncos, who hit 20 of 23 free throws overall. Ronnie Boyce led all scorers with 33 points for the Dons, who hit 50 percent of their shots but only four of 16 from three-point range.


St. Mary’s 81, Portland 58: Calvin Hermanson hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points, and No. 20 St. Mary’s pulled away in the second half for an 81-58 victory over Portland on Saturday night in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals.

Jock Landale added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the second-seeded Gaels (27-3), who won their fifth straight game and advanced to play third-seeded BYU in Monday’s semifinals. The Cougars beat Loyola Marymount 89-81 earlier Saturday.

Jazz Johnson matched a career high with 26 points for the 10th-seeded Pilots (11-22), who were outrebounded 38-23.

Portland, which snapped a 16-game conference losing streak Friday night with a first-round win over San Diego, ended the first half on a 6-0 run to get within 32-27. But then Saint Mary’s started to go inside to Landale and he consistently scored in the post. When Portland started collapsing inside, Hermanson answered from the outside and with drives to the basket.

Get our daily Sports Report newsletter