Ninth-seeded Loyola Marymount opened the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas Wednesday night by knocking off eighth-seeded Portland, 65-54, in the tournament's only game of the evening.
The win was just the Lions' second conference win of the year and their ninth win overall as the tournament's lowest-seeded team kept its season alive with the mild upset. It was also their first win since Jan. 10, snapping a 14-game losing streak.
Ashley Hamilton had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Loyola Marymount, while Kevin Bailey had 21 for Portland. Bailey also turned the ball over eight times, however, contributing to the 19 total possessions that the Pilots gave away in the losing effort.
With the win, Loyola Marymount advances to play No. 5 San Francisco Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST. That will be one of two second-round games, with No. 6 San Diego facing No. 7 Pepperdine shortly after the Lions and Dons finish up.
No. 3 BYU and No. 4 Santa Clara have byes to the third round and will play Friday. BYU will face the San Diego-Pepperdine winner, while Santa Clara gets either Loyola Marymount or San Francisco. The top two seeds, Gonzaga and St. Mary's, automatically received byes to the semifinals and won't play until Saturday.
The championship game will be played Monday, March 11 at 9 p.m. EST and will air on ESPN.