Loyola Marymount continued its surprising run through the West Coast Conference tournament as Anthony Ireland hit the go-ahead basket with...
LAS VEGAS — Loyola Marymount continued its surprising run through the West Coast Conference 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 Saturday.
In the late quarterfinal, sixth-seeded San Diego (16-17) upset third-seeded Brigham Young (22-11) 72-69 to earn a shot Saturday against No. 2 seed Saint Mary’s. Johnny Dee scored 25 to lead San Diego.
In Loyola’s win, Ireland had 23 points scored on a layup to put the Lions ahead 59-58. After Brandon Clark missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity for the Broncos, Ireland then hit 1 of 2 free throws with two seconds left, and Kevin Foster’s half-court shot at the buzzer was off the mark.
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Foster led Santa Clara (21-11) with 23 points.
WCC women’s tournament
Stephanie Seaborn scored 21 to lead Brigham Young (21-9) to a 67-59 victory over Loyola Marymount (13-18) in the conference tournament and a berth against top seed Gonzaga in Saturday’s semifinals in Las Vegas.
Saint Mary’s (20-9) beat Portland (11-20) 54-51 and will play No. 2 seed San Diego on Saturday.
pleads not guilty
CLEVELAND — Akron’s special season has hit a stunning snag.
Zips starting point guard Alex Abreu pleaded not guilty to trafficking and possession of marijuana, hours before his teammates lost to rival Kent State 68-64 in their regular-season finale — on senior night — without the junior floor general and inspirational leader. Abreu has been suspended indefinitely, pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Abreu appeared via closed-circuit TV from jail in Akron Municipal Court. On Thursday, the 21-year-old and Austin L. Durgala, 18, were arrested by police for allegedly accepting a package containing 5 pounds of marijuana. According to police, narcotic-unit detectives arrested Abreu and Durgala at the latter’s residence.
Abreu posted $5,000 bond and was released from the Summit County Jail at around 6 p.m.
Abreu is due back in court March 22.
Following the game, Akron coach Keith Dambrot wrestled with his emotions.
“I felt like my son got arrested,” Dambrot said. “It’s a heartbreaking thing. I love that kid, and I’m going to stick behind him.”
Although the Zips (24-6, 14-2) recently won 19 straight games and will be the No. 1 seed in next week’s Mid-American Conference tournament, they’ll need to win the tourney to get the league’s automatic NCAA bid.