Second Half Unkind in Waves' Loss at BYU
The men's basketball team next hosts Saint Mary's at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
PROVO, Utah – The short-handed Pepperdine men’s basketball team kept things close for a half at BYU, but the Cougars surged early in the second half en route to an 83-63 West Coast Conference victory on Thursday evening.
The Cougars (14-4, 3-2) led just 40-34 at halftime but had runs of both 12-0 and 9-0 in the first eight minutes of the second half. Pepperdine (3-14, 0-5) had no answer for two of the WCC’s top scorers, Elijah Bryant (25 points, five three-pointers) and Yoeli Childs (21 points, 12 rebounds).
- Freshman guard Colbey Ross (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS) led the Waves with 16 points, 12 of which came in the first half. He also had five assists.
- Senior center Matthew Atewe (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Washington) matched his career high with 15 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.
- Junior guard Eric Cooper Jr. (Ontario, Calif./St. Anthony HS/Nevada) contributed 12 points.
- Freshman guard Trae Berhow (Watertown, Minn./Watertown-Mayer HS) had eight points and five rebounds.
- The Waves shot 56.0% in the first half but just 40.0% in the second half to finish at 48.0% overall.
- BYU shot 58.3% overall (60.9% in the first half, 56.0% in the second).
- The Waves made five three-pointers in the first half and had seven overall; the Cougars made six in the second half and had nine total.
- BYU enjoyed a 22-8 edge in points off turnovers, with the Waves committing 16 to the Cougars’ 10.
- BYU went 18-for-27 from the free throw line compared to 8-for-13 by Pepperdine.
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The Waves led twice by a point early, last at 9-8, though a 7-0 run put BYU ahead at 15-9. The Waves later came back with a 7-1 run with five points by Ross and a jumper by Knox Hellums that tied the game at 24 with 7 1/2 minutes to go.
Though the Cougars were held nearly 5 1/2 minutes without a field goal around this stretch, they did get to the free throw line multiple times to keep the Waves from capitalizing further. Six points on three possessions put BYU up 40-32 late in the half, and the Cougars went into the break with a 40-34 lead.
After the Waves got the first basket of the second half, the Cougars ran off 12 straight points to take their first double-digit lead and go ahead 52-36. They later scored nine straight to make it 64-40 with 12:17 to go. The lead stayed around 20 the rest of the way.
- Amadi Udenyi had three assists and moved to sixth place on the Waves’ all-time list with 374.
- Three key players didn’t make the trip. Kameron Edwards (concussion), the Waves’ leading scorer and rebounder, missed his eighth straight game. Nolan Taylor (shoulder) was out for the second consecutive game and Jade’ Smith (concussion) sat out his first.
- The Waves’ total number of player-games missed due to injury or illness is up to 43 this season. Pepperdine hasn’t had its expected starting lineup available for a single game this season. Smith became the ninth Wave to miss a game due to injury or illness this season.
- The Waves have won four straight in Malibu against the Cougars, but BYU has won six of the seven meetings in the Marriott Center since the Cougars joined the WCC, including three straight.
The Waves return home for another WCC Game of the Week on Saturday as Pepperdine hosts Saint Mary’s at 5 p.m. in Firestone Fieldhouse. It will be shown locally on Spectrum SportsNet and there will be an audio-only WaveCasts with Al Epstein. Replica Pepperdine jerseys will be handed out to the first 1,000 fans.