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College Basketball

WCC rep

St. Mary's earns first trip to NCAAs with tournament win

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Posted: Sunday February 28, 1999 08:43 PM

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Tracy Morris scored 19 points and St. Mary's hung on to beat top-seeded Pepperdine 72-69 Sunday in the West Coast Conference tournament championship.

Leslie Quintal had 17 points, J.R. Payne 12 and Jerkisha Dosty 10 for the Gaels (26-6), who nearly blew a 12-point lead in the final 4 1/2 minutes.

St. Mary's won its first WCC tournament title after losing to Santa Clara in the final last season. The third-seeded Gaels earned their first trip to the NCAA tournament as the WCC representative.

Nadja Morgan's 17 points led Pepperdine (21-8), which reached the conference championship game for the first time after getting to the semifinals in each of the past four seasons.

Rasheeda Clark had 16 points and Jenny Frank added 13 for the Waves, who saw their winning streak snapped at eight.

St. Mary's was leading 70-58 with 4:34 remaining after a baseline jumper by Dosty but Pepperdine went on 11-0 run capped by Clark's 3-pointer with 1:26 remaining to pull within a point.

After a turnover by St. Mary's, the Waves had one more chance but Clark's 15-foot jumper under pressure missed with five seconds left. Stacey Berg was fouled on an inbound play and converted both free throws with one second left for the game's final points.

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