More than 3,000 fans gathered in Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday evening to watch the first-place showdown between Pepperdine and Gonzaga. The Waves (11-8, 4-3) began the game with high energy and led the Bulldogs by five points early, but Gonzaga (15-3, 5-1) had a change of pace later in the first half.
Pepperdine suffered a 70-53 defeat, and is now tied with San Francisco (11-8, 4-3) for fourth place in the West Coast Conference.
Pepperdine's field goal percentage was just over 32%, and the Waves went 15-for-24 from the line with 16 turnovers. Sophomore forward Stacy Davis was the only Wave to score in double-figures and he led the team with 12 points. Junior Malcolm Brooks followed with eight points, while senior forward Brendan Lane fouled out of the game late in the second half after having scored a total of seven points.
Freshman Jeremy Major said: "In the beginning we had a lot of energy and came out strong. Gonzaga went on a 15-0 run, and made three three-pointers in a row, and we just started playing catch up from there. As a team, we were never able to get into our rhythm, and it was a bad day to not have a good game. Offensively we struggled, we really weren't able to make shots, and defensively Gonzaga really had us. The game is over now, and tomorrow is a new day with a new beginning. We have suffered from this loss as a team, and it is important that we all stick together, learn from our mistakes, and go into Saturday's game against Portland with a clear mind and a positive attitude."
Pepperdine will host Portland (11-7, 3-3) on Saturday (Jan.18) at 5 p.m. The game will be shown for free online with Al Epstein's commentary and will be available to watch via WaveCasts.