Lane Dominates as Waves Win at Santa Clara, Improve to 3-0 in WCC
Pepperdine will aim to go to 4-0 on Saturday at San Francisco in the WCC Game of the Week.
Jan. 2, 2014
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Brendan Lane put together a dominant performance - 26 points and 17 rebounds - and the Pepperdine men's basketball team improved to 3-0 in the West Coast Conference as the Waves won at Santa Clara, 70-61, on Thursday evening.
Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) tied his career high for points and set a new career high in rebounds to help the Waves (10-5, 3-0) to continue their best start in the WCC since 2009-10, their quickest 10 wins since 2004-05 (also in 15 games) and their fourth consecutive victory. Only Pepperdine and Gonzaga are unbeaten in league play.
The game followed a similar flow as the Waves' home wins over San Diego and BYU last weekend. Pepperdine went ahead at halftime (38-33), extended its lead in the second half (up to as many as nine points), saw the opponent battle back (Santa Clara tied it at 55) but took over down the stretch (outscoring the Broncos 10-2 over the final four minutes).
Lane had the best stat line by any Wave since Glen McGowan recorded a 31-point, 22-rebound performance against Colorado State on January 3, 2005. It was Pepperdine's first 25-15 game since then, as well as the most rebounds by any Wave. Lane made 10 of 15 shots and six of eight free throws and also had four blocked shots. He had 14 points and eight rebounds in the first half and 12 points and nine rebounds in the second half.
"(Brendan) saved us in a number of ways," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We knew they were going to have a hard time guarding him down low. But to grab 17 rebounds, and more importantly, he saved us a number of times defensively, blocking a shot or altering a shot.
"We feel good about the win. We still have to continue to gain respect. Our guys are buying into that. We're not going to get caught up in what our record is. We have to focus on the process and continue to get better."
The Broncos closed within one point at 60-59, but a Lane tip-in put the Waves up by three. After a Bronco miss, freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) sank one of two free throws with 3:03 to play.
Santa Clara made it a two-point game at 63-61 with 2:47 to play, but that would be it for the Broncos as the Waves' defense forced SCU into 0-for-5 shooting the rest of the way. Freshman guard Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./St. Thomas More Prep) nailed a three-pointer to put the Waves ahead 66-61 with 1:43 left. Major and sophomore guard Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS) added to the final score line with free throws in the final 30 seconds.
Major finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Junior guard Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lamar CC), the reigning WCC Player of the Week, also scored 11 points and made three of four three-pointers. Russell scored a season-high eight points.
The Waves barely outshot the Broncos, 43.1% to 42.4%, but had a big advantage in rebounding, 41-30. The Waves turned 11 offensive rebounds into a 14-2 edge in second-chance points. Both teams committed eight turnovers.
Santa Clara (8-8, 1-3) got 18 points from Jared Brownridge and 16 from Brandon Clark.
Pepperdine continues its four-game road stretch at San Francisco on Saturday (Jan. 4) at 1 p.m. There will be an audio-only WaveCast with Al Epstein at www.pepperdinesports.com. It's also the WCC Game of the Week and it will be shown locally on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
The Waves will be trying to start WCC play at 4-0 for the first time since 2002 (the last time Pepperdine went to the NCAA Tournament).