Over the course of the WCC season, four teams seemed to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. With Gonzaga and St. Mary’s already waiting in the semi-finals, LMU and Portland joined them with convincing victories over USF and USD respectively.
Despite entering the game as the lower seed, LMU came into the match up with USF having recently defeating both Gonzaga and Portland in the final month of the season. After a hotly contested first half, which saw the two teams tied at 38, LMU used their experienced and talented starting five to pull away for the convincing 84-76 victory. The Lions were led by the experienced combination of Drew Viney and Vernon Teal, who each scored a team-high 18 points. In a losing effort, Dior Lowhorn finished his illustrious career with 18 points and nine boards.
In the second game of the night, Portland controlled the tempo throughout the 40 minutes, setting up a tantalizing match up with St. Mary’s tomorrow night. In a typically tough and gritty performance, the Pilots used their size and experience to completely control the game from the opening tip. T.J. Campbell dictated the game from the point guard position, scoring 15 points and dishing out eight assists. When Campbell is able to score and push the tempo on the offensive end, Portland is a very difficult team to match up with.
Tomorrow night will provide two terrific games for fans of the WCC. Gonzaga will take on LMU in the first game of the night, with the inexperienced but talented Lions hoping to extend their season another game. The second game of the night will see Portland and St. Mary’s match up, with these two teams splitting their season series. It should be a very competitive and compelling night in Sin City.