Portland ended San Diego’s season with a 72-57 win in the second round of the West Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament in the final game of the day on Saturday at the Orleans Arena.
T.J. Campbell had 15 points and eight assists in the victory.
It was the biggest margin of victory in the tournament thus far.
Jared Stohl added 13 points and Robin Smeulders had 12 points and four rebounds..
Ken Rancifer had a game-high 20 points for the Toreros, who ended a very disappointing season.
“I’ve never been through anything like this and it was a very difficult year on all of us. Players, coaches, staff, administration, fans, it was hard on everyone,“ San Diego coach Bill Grier said. “Especially after the way we got off to such a good start with some really good wins early on.
“I think the thing they kept doing is kept playing pretty hard for the most part except for a few games throughout the season.”
Brandon Johnson, one of the best players in San Diego history, ended his career with just seven points on 3 of 9 shooting.
Portland will now move on to play Saint Mary’s in the semifinals tomorrow.
The teams split a pair of games this season with each team winning at home. Portland’s win came in overtime, and the Pilots are still thinking about a bad loss to the Gaels in last year’s conference tournament.
“They kind of beat up on us bad last year, so we’re coming back and looking for revenge,” Campbel said. “We’re going to play hard, I know that.”
A very small contingent of Portland fans did the traditional “left, right, left, right” chant at Chris Manresa after he fouled out late in the game.
It is a common practice at college games when an opposing player is disqualified.
Either Manresa didn’t like it, or he decided to goof around with the fans in a game his team was losing.
Before reaching the bench, Manresa stopped and shuffled his feet for several seconds to throw the fans off their cadence.
Let the games begin
The first two days of the West Coast Conference tournament have provided plenty of excitement, with several great performances and a few games going right down to the wire.
The real tournament begins tomorrow, however.
Semifinal Sunday is when the top two seeds finally hit the floor and with that comes the big, boisterous crowds.
Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are the premiere programs in the conference on both the men’s and women’s sides and carry the largest traveling contingents.
That particular goes for the Bulldogs, who are the top seed in both tournaments.
Gonzaga’s men will play Loyola Marymount at 5:30 p.m, while the women take on Santa Clara at 11:30 a.m.
The Santa Clara women are the No. 8 seed and have stunned everyone just by making it this far.
The Saint Mary’s women Pepperdine in the second game of the early session. The Gael men will Portland in a matchup of two teams that have been ranked at some point this season in the nightcap.
Both of Sunday’s men’s games will be televised on ESPN2.