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USD Plays Host to Pepperdine Tonight

February 25, 1988|CHRIS ELLO

SAN DIEGO — Hank Egan, University of San Diego basketball coach, said he doesn't care whom his team meets in the first round of the West Coast Athletic Conference basketball tournament next week, as long as it's not first-place Loyola Marymount.

In order to avoid playing the 19th-ranked Lions, USD could use a win over Pepperdine in a 7:30 game tonight at the USD Sports Center. USD (10-15, 2-10) is one game ahead of last-place Portland. The Toreros finish WCAC regular-season play at home Saturday against Loyola. Portland plays at home against San Francisco and Santa Clara this weekend.

The eighth-place team in the conference will open tournament play against Loyola.

By hanging on to seventh, USD would meet either St. Mary's, Santa Clara or Pepperdine in the first round. All three of those teams are currently tied for second place.

Pepperdine (16-9, 8-4) finishes its regular season Saturday at St. Mary's. The Waves are coming off back-to-back losses to Loyola last week.

"In order to have a chance against Pepperdine, we have to limit them to one shot," Egan said. "They'll put it up in a hurry, and we have to hope that's the only shot they get."

The first time the two teams met, Jan. 16 at Malibu, USD led Pepperdine, 18-17, before the Waves went on a 17-0 run and won, 92-77. Forward Tom Lewis, who led Pepperdine with 29 points that night, is the conference's leading scorer, averaging 22.9 points per game.

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