Men's Hoops Falls at Saint Mary's, 80-74
Pepperdine, 5-4 at the WCC's midway point, visits Pacific on Saturday night.
Jan. 23, 2014
MORAGA, Calif. - The Pepperdine men's basketball team gave a spirited effort at Saint Mary's, but the Gaels had a big second half from the free throw line and prevailed 80-74 on Thursday night in West Coast Conference action.
The Waves (12-9, 5-4 WCC) fell behind by 11 in the first half and cut the deficit to one a couple of times in the second half. They also held the Gaels to 29.2% shooting (7-for-24) after the break. But after going 1-for-2 from the free throw line in the first half, Saint Mary's went 25-for-34 in the second half.
Senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) had a team-high 18 points before fouling out. Junior guard Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Cardozo HS/Lamar CC) added 11 points. Sophomore guard Austin Mills (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills HS) tied his career high with 10 points and freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) also scored 10 points before sitting out the final 10-plus minutes due to injury.
The Waves trailed 40-35 at halftime but made it a one-point game at 45-44 after a three-pointer by Major. After a stop, Pepperdine had a chance to take its first lead since 3-2, but couldn't connect, and then the Gaels ran off five straight points.
The Gaels led 57-47 with 12 minutes to play when the Waves went on an 11-2 run over about a two-minute span. During the run, Major scored on a fast-break lay-up and was undercut, though no foul was called on the play. He fell to the floor face-first and left the game with a bloody mouth. Major did not return.
To finish the run, two free throws by Brooks again made it a one-point game at 59-58 with 9:05 to play. Even though the Gaels were in the midst of being held without a field goal for 7 1/2 minutes, they wouldn't relinquish their lead thanks to their performance from the foul line.
Saint Mary's went back up by six, but a three-point play by freshman guard Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle HS/St. Thomas More Prep) pulled the Waves back within three at 66-63 with under five minutes to play. But the Gaels ended their field-goal drought on a three-pointer by Kerry Carter with 4:20 left, and Brad Waldow followed with a tip-in two possessions later, pushing Saint Mary's lead back up to 71-63 with less than three minutes to go, and the Waves wouldn't be able to complete a comeback.
The Waves ended up outshooting the Gaels, 44.1% to 42.1%, but Saint Mary's had 41-34 rebounding edge and a 15-7 advantage in second-chance points. Pepperdine committed just seven turnovers, its second-fewest of the season, but forced just six. The Gaels' totals of 26 free throws and 36 attempts were season highs by an opponent.
Waldow had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Gaels, while Stephen Holt scored 20.
Pepperdine continues its Northern California swing at Pacific on Saturday (Jan. 25) at 7 p.m. It will be the first WCC game between the two schools since 1971. The game can be seen on TheW.tv, while there will also be a free audio broadcast via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the call.