LAS VEGAS -- Santa Clara won't get a shot at top-ranked Gonzaga after losing 60-58 to ninth-seeded Loyola Marymount in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference tournament on Friday.

"We just blew a great opportunity," Broncos coach Kerry Keating said.

"I won't sleep tonight," senior forward Marc Trasolini said.

The Lions won it when guard Anthony Ireland converted an acrobatic drive to the basket with 5.4 seconds left. Santa Clara's Brandon Clark was fouled in the backcourt with 4 seconds left, but he missed a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity.

Ireland made the second of two free throws with 2 seconds left before Santa Clara's Kevin Foster missed a 40-foot heave at the buzzer.

The Broncos led for large portions of both halves but could not hold off the Lions, who won for the third straight night here after dropping their final 14 regular-season games.

"We got up 10 a couple times and kind of felt like the game was ours," Foster said. "We didn't close the deal, and they kept fighting."

LMU (11-22) will take its best shot at the nation's top-ranked Bulldogs (29-2) in a 6 p.m. Saturday semifinal.

"I'm kind of speechless," said LMU coach Max Good, whose team was 1-15 in the WCC with a Jan. 10 win over Santa Clara.

The Lions lost nine games this season by four points or fewer, and Ashley Hamilton said, "We just got tired of losing."

Santa Clara athletic director Dan Coonan said the Broncos (21-11) have applied for a spot in either the National Invitation Tournament and the College Basketball Invitational.

"We fell short of the goal of the NCAAs," said Keating, referring to the automatic bid that goes to Monday night's WCC tournament winner. "But the postseason is a reward. We'll be in one of them."

LMU used a 9-0 run fueled by three baskets from Hamilton to take a 57-53 lead with 2:39 left.

Foster answered with a 3-pointer to get the Broncs within one point, then was whistled for charging with 1:13 left.

Foster got one more chance when he was fouled 30 feet from the basket by Godwin Okonji. The senior guard made two free throws with 26.8 seconds left, pushing SCU into a 58-57 lead.

That set up Ireland's winning shot.

"I've been searching for that feeling all season," Ireland said, when asked to describe the game's final seconds. "We're a different team than we were in all season."

Foster finished with 23 points, but he shot just 5 for 19 and had seven turnovers. SCU's career scoring leader pushed his total to 2,265 points.

The Broncos shot just 39.6 percent, turned the ball over 14 times and were outrebounded 37-31.

LMU's Ireland had 23 points, seven steals and just two turnovers in 39 minutes.

Women

Saint Mary's 54, Portland 51: Prior to the Gaels' WCC quarterfinal game against the Pilots (11-20), coach Paul Thomas predicted a gritty defensive struggle.

He couldn't have been more accurate. The third-seeded Gaels (20-9) overcame a tough outside shooting day with a solid defensive effort to advance to Saturday's semifinals against No. 2 San Diego at Orleans Arena.

Juniors Kate Gaze (13), Jackie Nared (13) and Danielle Mauldin (11) combined to score 37 points for the Gaels.

"It's been a battle in all three games we've played them (Pilots)," Thomas said. "We just had a little more in the tank today."

Wire services contributed to this report.

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Saturday's games
WCC tournament semfinals
All games on ESPN2
Gonzaga vs. Loyola Marymount, 6 p.m.
Saint Mary's vs. BYU/San Diego, 8:30 p.m.