Men's Hoops Falls in WCC Quarterfinals to Saint Mary's
Pepperdine's 15 wins were the most since 2005.
March 8, 2014
LAS VEGAS - The fifth-seeded Pepperdine men's basketball team fell 80-69 to fourth-seeded Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals late Saturday night.
After falling behind by 13 points at halftime and by as many as 16 in the second half, the Waves (15-16) were able to close the gap to seven before the Gaels (22-10) pulled away.
Freshman guard Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle HS/St. Thomas More Prep) led the Waves with a season-high 13 points, while sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) had 12 points and junior guard Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Cardozo HS/Lamar CC) added 10.
Saint Mary's shot better (50.0% to 42.9%) than Pepperdine and outrebounded the Waves 39-30, which led to an 18-7 advantage in second-chance points.
"I thought our guys played hard, played smart, played together," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "There was about a four-five-six minute period in the first half where they got in a rhythm and hit six-seven-eight shots in a row, and that opened a gap and let them get comfortable. We had to fight back. In the second half we opened things up and tried to be more aggressive offensively and defensively. But it's hard just trading baskets with a quality team.
"I'm proud of our team. I'm excited about our young guys and the future of the program. I'm excited about where it's going and the foundation that's been laid by our seniors who are passing the torch."
The Waves got off to a good start and led 12-8 after 6 1/2 minutes after Davis connected on a short jumper and senior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) sank a three-pointer. But with the game tied 14-14, SMC's James Walker III started a barrage where the Gaels made five of their final six three-point attempts of the half, in addition to eight of their final 10 shots. Pepperdine couldn't match that pace, and the Gaels went into halftime with a 41-28 lead.
Three-pointers by Brooks and freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) helped the Waves get the deficit down to 10 points at 53-43, but the Gaels responded with an 8-2 run to take their largest lead of 16 points at 59-43.
Davis later made three-pointers on consecutive possessions to make it a 10-point game again at 61-51. Not long after, the Waves finally got it back to single-digits at 63-54 for the first time since 35-26 on a free throw by senior forward Malte Kramer (Freiburg, Germany/Cuesta CC) with 9:10 left.
Kramer nailed a three-pointer to get the Waves within seven points at 66-59 with 8:39 left, and it was again a seven-point game at 68-61 with eight minutes left after two free throws by Skouen. But a 7-1 run by the Gaels over the next three-and-a-half minutes helped ice the victory.
Senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) led the team with four assists and had two blocks, extending his streak to 19 consecutive games with a blocked shot, second-longest in school history.
Saint Mary's got 21 points from Brad Waldow and 15 points apiece from Beau Levesque and Stephen Holt.