Waves Improve to 3-0 With Impressive Road Win at CMU
Pepperdine comes home to host San Jose State and Utah Valley this week.
Nov. 16, 2013
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - A big second-half shooting effort and more strong performances by Stacy Davis and Brendan Lane lifted the Pepperdine men's basketball team to an 88-71 win at Central Michigan on Saturday, giving the Waves their first 3-0 start since 1998-99.
The Waves trailed 41-38 at halftime but shot 18-for-25 (72.0%) from the field in the second half and kept their perfect start to the season intact, while dropping the Chippewas to 1-2.
Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS), last year's West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year, tied his career high with 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting. He made both of his three-point attempts, putting him at 4-for-4 on the season. He also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots. Davis has scored at least 23 points in each of the first three games of the season (the first time a Waves has done that since 1987-88).
Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) recorded his second double-double in three games with a 15-point, 10-rebound effort that also included five blocked shots, four assists and two steals.
A number of other Waves turned in strong performances, and it seemed as if whatever lineup Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson put out there in the second half clicked. Senior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) hit two late three-pointers to extend the lead and finished with eight points. Freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) had seven points and six assists before fouling out.
Coming off the bench, sophomore guard Austin Mills (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills HS) had eight points and a career-high six assists, and senior forward Malte Kramer (Frieberg, Germany/Cuesta College) contributed career highs of eight points and three assists.
"I'm very excited about what we did tonight," Wilson said. "The guys stuck to the game plan and executed on both ends. We moved the ball with purpose and the open man got the ball. Defensively, we stayed home and contested and made them take tough shots, and we got rebounds. I'm proud of our two young point guards, Jeremy and Austin, they had 12 assists and one turnover. As a team we had 24 assists on 34 baskets, and that's the sign of an unselfish team."
Pepperdine's 50-point second-half explosion sent the Waves to their largest point total since January 2011 against San Francisco.
The Waves shot 56.7% from the field overall and held the Chippewas to 39.7%. The Waves committed just nine turnovers to CMU's 11 and had big advantages in various other categories: three-pointers made (10 to six), blocks (10 to two) and assists (24 to 10).
Pepperdine scored the first six points of the game, and took its biggest lead of the first half at 30-23 with 6:15 to play on a basket by Lane. Though the Waves led for nearly the entire first half, the Chippewas eventually tied the contest at 34-34 with two minutes left and went into the break with a 41-38 lead.
The second half was all Pepperdine, however. The Waves started on an 11-2 run and made 11 of their first 13 shots. A Mills three-pointer gave the Waves their first double-digit lead at 57-47 with 14 minutes to play. CMU got as close as seven, but Davis' second three-pointer pushed the lead back to 10 at 69-59 with 8:23 to go. Later, back-to-back three-pointers by Skouen and a lay-up by Lane made it 81-62 with 3:22 left.
This was the end of a three-game series between the two schools, and the road team won every time. Central Michigan won each of the last two years in Malibu.
Combined with Wednesday's road victory at UC Riverside, it's the first time that Pepperdine has posted back-to-back wins on the road since 2007-08. The 17-point win was also the largest margin of victory in a road win for the Waves since 2007-08.
Pepperdine returns home for two games next week, as the Waves host San Jose State on Wednesday (Nov. 20) at 7 p.m. and Utah Valley on Saturday (Nov. 23) at 5 p.m. Fans can watch both games via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com with Al Epstein on the call.