Davis, Mills Spark Men's Hoops to Comeback Win Over Portland

Austin Mills

Jan. 5, 2013

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MALIBU, Calif. - Stacy Davis posted a double-double and Austin Mills sparked a big second-half comeback as the Pepperdine men's basketball team rallied to beat Portland, 54-47, on Saturday night in West Coast Conference action.

The Waves (9-6, 1-1 WCC) trailed by 12 on three occasions in the second half, last at 39-27 with 13:16 left. Mills then scored the first seven points of a 12-0 run that tied the score, and the Waves later broke a 43-43 tie with a 5-0 run to help put the Pilots (7-10, 0-2 WCC) away.

Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS), the top freshman scorer and rebounder in the WCC, recorded his third double-double of the season with game highs of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Mills (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills HS), a freshman walk-on guard who saw his most action of the season, finished with a career-best eight points in 14 minutes. Sophomore guard Jordan Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS) added 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

"We showed some toughness tonight," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We showed some discipline. We turned up our energy and we started to press and became more active. We had four freshmen and a sophomore in there at the end of the game. It's a great thing that we can trust those guys to make good defensive decisions and smart offensive plays to finish off a game."

On Mills, Wilson said: "For a freshman who hasn't played a whole lot, he's got a great feel for the game and a huge heart. He's not afraid to fail and that's why he succeeds. He makes great plays. He's very good on ball screens, he's very unselfish and makes great decisions."

The Waves overcame their worst shooting night of the season (35.7%) while tying their season low for points scored. But a great second-half effort limited the Pilots to 33.3% shooting overall, making it the 13th straight game that Pepperdine has outshot its opponent. It's the second time this season the Waves have held an opponent below 50 points. Portland missed its first nine shots of the game, then ended the contest by making one of its final 11 attempts.

The Waves also posted a season-best +9 turnover margin and had a 17-8 edge in points off turnovers.

Pepperdine couldn't take advantage of Portland's slow start and led just 4-1 after 5 1/2 minutes of play. Three straight three-pointers by the Pilots put the visitors ahead 16-10, and they went up 22-13 before settling for a 28-21 lead at halftime.

The lead grew to 12 at 35-23, 37-25 and 39-27 before the Waves got going. Mills came off the bench and drove in for a lay-up, then made two free throws and sank a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 39-34. Senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) then connected on two free throws, and junior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) tied things up with a three-pointer.

The Waves took their first lead of the second half at 45-43 with 4:50 left when Jackson fed Baker for a fast-break lay-up. Davis would make a free throw, and later sink a jump shot to put the Waves up 48-43 with less than three minutes to play.

After Portland scored its only field goal in the final 6 1/2 minutes, freshman forward Jett Raines (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS) beat the trap on an inbounds pass, spun and worked his way to the basket for a lay-up, pushing Pepperdine's lead back up to 50-45 with 1:02 left. The Waves only gave up two more free throws the rest of the way.

Portland got 11 points from Oskars Reinfelds, 10 points from Derrick Rodgers and 10 rebounds from Thomas Van Der Mars. The Pilots shot 28.6% (8-for-28) in the second half.

Pepperdine next travels to BYU on Thursday (Jan. 10) for a game at 6 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. MT that will be televised by BYUtv. Fans can also listen to Al Epstein's broadcast and join an interactive live game blog/chat at www.pepperdinesports.com.



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