Men's Hoops Falls at Saint Mary's Despite Baker's 20
Jordan Baker is averaging a team-best 15.6 points in league play.
Jan. 26, 2013
Jordan Baker reached the 20-point mark for the third time in the last five games, but the Pepperdine men's basketball team was outscored by Saint Mary's, 84-72, on Saturday night in West Coast Conference action.
The Waves (10-10 overall, 2-5 WCC) shot 50.9% from the field but had trouble stopping the Gaels (17-4, 6-1), who made 53.7% of their shots (including 64.5% in the first half en route to a 49-40 lead at the break). Saint Mary's posted season highs by a Pepperdine opponent for both points and field goal percentage.
Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS), a sophomore guard, continued his stellar play in conference games with a game-high 20 points along with five rebounds and four assists. He was coming off a 21-point performance in Thursday's win at Loyola Marymount and is averaging a team-best 15.6 points in league play.
Senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) added 16 points and three assists.
"Saint Mary's is a good offensive team," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "Especially in the first half, they got in a rhythm, but we got in a rhythm as well. (Matthew) Dellavedova is as good as there is in our league at the point. He makes plays and makes everybody else's job easier.
"The good thing is, we're getting better. We've got three freshmen in there a lot of the time. They're gaining experience on the fly and understanding what we're trying to do. The confidence I've gaining putting them in bodes well for our team later on."
The Waves got off to a good start, hitting their first three shots and five of their first six, though that was only enough to tie the game at 11-11 four minutes in. The Gaels would take their first double-digit lead at 26-16, but a 9-2 run by Pepperdine, capped off by a three-pointer by Jackson, made it 28-25 with 9:14 to play in the half.
It was a three-point game again at 33-30 when Jackson made another three-pointer, and after two free throws by freshman forward Jett Raines (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS), the Waves cut the deficit to two at 37-35 with 4:27 to go. Pepperdine's offense cooled off a bit, and SMC would go on a 12-3 run from there, though a putback at the buzzer by Raines made the halftime score 49-40.
The Waves held the Gaels to 39.1% shooting in the second half, but free throws helped Saint Mary's grow its lead to as many as 19 points, first at 66-47 with 10:48 to go, and again at 76-57 with 5:28 left. The Waves ended the game with a 6-0 run.
Pepperdine shot 55.2% in the first half and 46.2% in the second. Turnovers again hurt the Waves. Though their 14 was one less than their season average, the Gaels committed only nine and had a 20-8 edge in points off turnovers.
Saint Mary's had five players score in double-figures, led by Beau Levesque's 19 points on 9-for-11 shooting. Matthew Dellavedova had 10 points and 10 assists.
Pepperdine has two games in Malibu next week. The Waves will host BYU on Thursday (Jan. 31) at 7 p.m. and San Francisco on Saturday (Feb. 2) at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be televised locally by Time Warner Cable SportsNet and fans can also catch the games via WaveCasts and join an interactive live game blog/chat at www.pepperdinesports.com.