Men's Basketball Wins Season Opener, 81-68
The Waves play the next two games on the road at UC Riverside and Central Michigan.
Nov. 9, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - Stacy Davis scored a career-high 24 points and several Pepperdine men's basketball newcomers had good debuts as the Waves defeated San Diego Christian, 81-68, in their season opener at Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Most notable of those debuts were 13 points from freshman forward Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) and 12 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots from senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA).
Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS), last year's West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year and a 2013-14 preseason All-WCC first teamer, shot 9-for-13 from the field and 6-for-9 from the foul line. He also had five rebounds and three assists.
San Diego Christian, an NAIA school that was playing this game as an exhibition, got 22 points from Andy Saharan and 14 points and 10 assists from Kwaminique Brandon.
Seven of the 12 Waves that got into the game were playing in their first contest for Pepperdine (1-0), as were six of the nine players that scored. The newcomers combined for 48 of the 81 points (59%). The 81 points were more than Pepperdine scored in a game all of last season.
San Diego Christian hung around for much of the game and never allowed the Waves to fully pull away, however. The game was tied at halftime, 35-35, and SDC led by a point at 41-40 with 18:57 to go.
That's when the Waves went on a 14-0 run, fueled by eight points by Davis. That gave Pepperdine a 13-point lead of 54-41 with less than 16 minutes to go.
The Hawks would close the gap to six after back-to-back three-pointers by Josh Richardson and Trevor English made it 60-54 with 9:44 to go. But the Waves wouldn't let them get any closer as a 9-2 run that ended with a pair of baskets by Murray Jr. pushed Pepperdine's lead back up to 13 at 69-56 with 6:16 left.
Pepperdine shot 52.5% from the field and overcame a 4-for-18 night from beyond the arc. The Waves' prowess from short range led to a 46-24 edge in points in the paint. San Diego Christian shot 39.3% overall and sank 10 three-pointers.
"We've got to defend better right from the start, especially against teams where you can't afford give them some momentum and confidence," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We have to be more aggressive in the post offensively. And we're got to push the ball harder. We need to make simple plays. We had too many turnovers. It's good to learn, to be able to go back and watch the video and see our mistakes, and we'll teach our young guys to build upon this and to get ready to take it on the road."
The Waves had only one player who saw action last year (Davis) in the starting lineup. He was joined by Lane, junior Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Cardozo HS/Lamar CC) and freshmen guards Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) and Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle HS/St. Thomas More Prep). Major had eight points and four assists and Brooks and Udenyi each recorded six points, four rebounds and four assists.
"It was great for Brendan to go out there and do so well in a number of areas," Wilson said. "He was the guy in the middle doing everything we need him to do. Having Jeremy, Amadi and Malcolm starting together, they're going to play a lot so we need to get them comfortable out there."
Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS) also had a good performance off the bench with seven points in 13 minutes.
Pepperdine hits the road for the next two games, as the Waves will visit UC Riverside on Wednesday (Nov. 13) at 7 p.m. and Central Michigan on Saturday (Nov. 16) at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Fans can listen to both games via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com with Al Epstein on the call.