Men's Basketball Regains Control Of Title Destiny

Feb. 25, 2000

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (AP) - Gonzaga got the help it needed Thursday night to put the Bulldogs back in control of their West Coast Conference regular-season title hopes.

Sam Adamo scored a career-high 19 points, including three crucial baskets down the stretch, to lead San Diego to a 73-62 win over Pepperdine Thursday night. The loss dropped the Waves to 11-2 in the WCC while Gonzaga, 10-2, awaits Friday's showdown at Santa Clara and Sunday's television matinee at San Francisco. Pepperdine ends the regular season Saturday at Saint Mary's.

A Pepperdine win Thursday over the Toreros, who darkened Gonzaga's title hopes one week earlier by snapping the Bulldogs' 20-game winning streak in The Kennel, would have clinched no worse than a tie for first and would have assured the Waves the top seed heading into next week's WCC Tournament.

If Pepperdine wins Saturday and if Gonzaga sweeps its weekend series, the two teams will share the regular-season title and a coin toss will determine the top seed for the first time in the 13 years of the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga and Pepperdine split its season series. A Pepperdine loss Saturday and two Gonzaga wins would give the title outright to the Bulldogs. A Pepperdine win and one Gonzaga loss, or a Pepperdine loss and two Gonzaga setbacks would give the crown to Pepperdine.

Adamo gave San Diego (18-8, 9-4 WCC) a huge lift after the Waves cut the lead to 54-51 at the 7:09 mark. The reserve guard scored on three straight possessions, culminating in a backdoor lay-up off a pass from Cameron Rigby, to give the Toreros a 61-51 lead with 5:11 left.

Adamo hit 7-of-12 shots from the field, including three three-pointers. San Diego's Tom Lippold led all scorers, tying his career high with 21 points. Lippold made 6-of-10 shots and was 9-for-9 from the line for the Toreros, who won their fourth straight game.

Pepperdine was seeking its first regular-season WCC championship since 1993 when it won the third of three straight titles. The Waves, winners in 13 of 14 games coming in, had their five-game win streak snapped.

Brandon Armstrong led Pepperdine with 16 points and Tommie Prince added 15.



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