Gonzaga 76, Pepperdine 48
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) _ Lorenzo Rollins scored 18 points as Gonzaga advanced to the West Coast Conference tournament finals by beating injury-wracked Pepperdine 76-48 in a semifinal game Sunday night.
Jon Kinloch added 15 points, Scott Snider 14 points and Paul Rogers 13 points and 11 rebounds for second-seeded Gonzaga (21-7). The Bulldogs will seek their second straight WCC tournament title and an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament Monday night against the winner of the San Diego-Portland semifinal.
Khary Hervey scored 12 points and Tezale Archie 11 for Pepperdine (10-18), the eighth and last seed in the tournament.
The Waves, who upset top-seed Santa Clara Saturday night, finished the game with only six players available after starting guard Marques Johnson left the game in the first half with an ankle injury. WCC scoring champion Gerald Brown already was out with a knee injury suffered against Santa Clara.
Gonzaga overwhelmed Pepperdine with a 24-4 run after the Waves scored the first 10 points of the second half to pull within 39-34 with 15:51 left.
Rollins and Kinloch had eight points each during the run, which gave the Bulldogs a 63-38 lead with 8:23 left in the game.
Pepperdine led 13-12 after seven minutes as Archie scored seven points. But after Johnson hurt his ankle, Rollins scored five points during an 11-0 run that gave Gonzaga a 27-17 lead with 7:49 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs led 39-24 at halftime.
The contest was the final game for Pepperdine interim coach Marty Wilson, who took over in January after coach Tony Fuller resigned unexpectedly. The Waves were 3-10 under Wilson.
UCLA assistant and former NBA player Lorenzo Romar will take over the Pepperdine program when UCLA’s season finishes.