Slow Start Dooms Men's Basketball at Portland
Pepperdine looks to bounce back at rival Loyola Marymount on Thursday in an ESPNU-televised game.
Feb. 15, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Pepperdine men's basketball team could never quite catch up after a slow start in a 74-62 loss at Portland on Saturday in West Coast Conference action.
With the loss, the Pilots (15-11, 7-7) leapfrogged the Waves (14-13, 7-8) in the WCC standings and dropped Pepperdine into sixth place.
Junior guard Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Cardozo HS/Lamar CC) scored a team-high 15 points, while sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) scored 12 points and senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) had his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Waves, who never led, shot just 35.1% from the field, compared to 46.0% for the Pilots.
Playing its final home game, Portland started all four of its seniors and they sparked the Pilots to a 15-5 lead just a little more than six minutes into the contest. Early Wave turnovers led to eight of those Pilot points.
An 8-2 run got the deficit down to four points at 17-13 with 11 minutes left, but the Pilots would go up by double-digits again at 23-13.
The Waves made another run and back-to-back lay-ups by Brooks made it just a two-point deficit at 35-33, but the Pilots scored the final five points of the half to go into the break with a 40-33 advantage.
Pepperdine made several pushes in the second half to reduce the margin to three or four points, but either Portland was able to counter, or the Waves found themselves unable to take the next step.
An early 6-0 run made it a three-point game at 42-39, but Portland came back with the next two baskets. Later, a lay-up by Davis cut the deficit to four at 55-51 with nine minutes left. The Waves got the ball back twice with a chance to cut the game to one possession but missed both times.
A Davis three-pointer from the left corner made it a four-point game again at 58-54 with under seven minutes to play, but Portland's Ryan Nicholas responded immediately with a three-point play.
Freshman guard Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle HS/St. Thomas More Prep) made two free throws with 5:22 left and drove in for a lay-up with five minutes to go, pulling the Waves back within three points at 61-58. The Waves had two possessions to tie or take the lead, but turned it over on the first one, then missed a shot as well as the front end of a one-and-one on the second. Portland's Nicholas, who scored a game-high 21 points, then made another three-point play.
Two free throws by Davis made it 64-60 with 2:13 left, but the Pilots scored the next six points and the Waves would only get two free throws the rest of the way. The 12-point final margin was Portland's largest of the game.
Although Pepperdine had a 35-33 rebounding edge -- sophomore guard Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS) had a career-high six boards in just 12 minutes -- including 15-9 on the offensive end, Portland was the team that took advantage with a 16-9 edge in second-chance points.
Pepperdine's final road game is on Thursday (Feb. 20) at rival Loyola Marymount in a Wells Fargo PCH Cup battle. The game will be shown on ESPNU at 8 p.m. and there will be a free audio broadcast via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the call.