Lions, Toreros reach semis
LAS VEGAS – Loyola Marymount continued its surprising run through the West Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament as Anthony Ireland hit the go-ahead basket with 5.2 seconds remaining Friday night in a 60-58 victory over Santa Clara.
The Lions (11-22) came into the nine-team tournament as the lowest seed after finishing conference play 1-15 and dropping their final 14 games.
But they have already tripled that victory total by beating eighth-seeded Portland 65-54 in the opening round, fifth-seeded San Francisco 61-60 in overtime of the second round and fourth-seeded Santa Clara on Friday. Next up is top-seeded Gonzaga in the semifinals today (6 p.m., ESPN2).
Ireland, who had 23 points, scored on a layup to put Loyola Marymount ahead 59-58. After Brandon Clark missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity for the Broncos, Ireland then hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2 seconds left, and Kevin Foster’s half-court shot at the buzzer was off the mark.
Foster led Santa Clara (21-11) with 23 points.
San Diego 72, BYU 69: Johnny Dee scored 25 points, including eight in the closing minutes, as the Toreros (16-17) knocked off the Cougars (21-11) in Friday’s other quarterfinal.
The sixth-seeded Toreros took the lead for good on a three-point play by Dee that made it 65-62 with 2:12 remaining, and Chris Anderson added a pair of free throws to make it a five-point lead.
Third-seeded BYU scored three times in the final 30 seconds to make it a one-possession game, but Dee responded by hitting 5 of 6 free throws to secure the victory.
San Diego advances to meet No. 2 seed Saint Mary’s today.
Anderson finished with 16 points and six assists for the Toreros while Ken Rancifer added 15 points.
Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws scored 20 points apiece for the Cougars.
Davies also had eight assists.