Men's Hoops Finishes Strong, Beats Houston Baptist 76-64
West Coast Conference play starts at home next Saturday vs. San Diego.
Dec. 21, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - After being locked in a close game for most of the contest, the Pepperdine men's basketball team outscored Houston Baptist 16-2 over the final 3 1/2 minutes and defeated the Huskies 76-64 in Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
Pepperdine (7-5) outscored Houston Baptist (3-9) 52-20 in the paint as the Waves got big performances from senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) and sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS).
After being limited by first-half foul trouble, Lane recorded 19 of his 21 points and eight of his 11 rebounds in the second half. Davis almost duplicated Lane's performance with a 21-point, 10-rebound effort. It was Lane's fifth double-double of the season and Davis' second.
The Waves led for a portion of the first half, but a late 8-0 run by the Huskies helped them take a 34-31 lead at halftime. Pepperdine has played well from behind, however, as the Waves improved 4-2 this season when trailing at the half.
Pepperdine briefly took a 40-38 lead with 15 1/2 minutes to go after a basket by junior guard Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lamar CC), but Houston Baptist would quickly go back in front. The deficit wouldn't get any larger than four points in the second half, however.
The Waves trailed 62-60 with less than four minutes to play, but turned in a dominating finish. Sophomore guard Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS) missed a shot but got his own rebound, then drove in and scored while drawing a foul. He completed the three-point play to put the Waves up 63-62 with 3:25 left. On their next three possessions, the Waves got close-range baskets by Davis, Lane and Lane again to make it 69-62 with under a minute and a half to go.
The Huskies scored once to make it a five-point game with less than a minute to play, but the Waves hit their final seven free throw attempts and HBU didn't make another shot.
Freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) added nine points, while Brooks had eight points and five assists, Russell contributed seven points and freshman guard Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) posted six points and five rebounds.
The Waves shot 48.4% in the second half and 46.8% for the game, but went 0-for-7 from the three-point line. Pepperdine held HBU to 33.3% shooting in the second half and 39.0% for the game.
The Waves also had a 41-33 edge in rebounding and committed just nine turnovers to HBU's 13.
After a few days off for the Christmas break, the Waves will be back in action next weekend for the start of the West Coast Conference season. Pepperdine hosts San Diego on Saturday (Dec. 28) at 5 p.m. and Brigham Young (Dec. 30) at 7 p.m. in Firestone Fieldhouse. Fans can watch the San Diego game on WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com, and the BYU contest will be shown on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.