Portland wins WCC tournament opener 74-70
LAS VEGAS (AP) Ryan Nicholas scored a career-high 24 points to lead Portland to a 74-70 victory Wednesday night over Santa Clara in the opening game of the West Coast Conference tournament.
The ninth-seeded Broncos (8-22) cut the Pilots' lead to 72-70 on two free throws by Evan Roquemore with 57 seconds left. But Roquemore committed a turnover with 7 seconds left and after a timeout, Riley's dunk put the game away for Portland.
Roquemore led Santa Clara with 21 points. Niyi Harrison scored 15 and Raymond Cowels III added 11 points for the Broncos, who were winless in the conference's 16-game regular season schedule.
The WCC's top two seeds, Saint Mary's and Gonzaga, have byes into Saturday's semifinals.
Updated March 1, 2012
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