Men's Hoops Wins WCC Opener vs. USD, 75-64
The Waves next host Brigham Young on Monday night.
Dec. 28, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - Malcolm Brooks scored a season-high 20 points and the Pepperdine men's basketball team fought off a San Diego comeback to post a 75-64 victory in the West Coast Conference opener for both schools on Saturday evening.
The Waves (8-5, 1-0 WCC) led by eight at halftime and by 12 early in the second half, only to have the Toreros (9-5, 0-1) rally and take their only lead of the game with less than 12 minutes remaining. Tied at 58 with fewer than eight minutes left, Pepperdine then went on a 10-0 run to help put the game away. The Waves also held USD scoreless for the final three-plus minutes.
Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lamar CC), a junior guard in his first season at Pepperdine, knocked down four three-pointers and added four rebounds and three assists. Senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) had his third double-double of the season with 11 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Sophomore guard Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS) made his first career start and garnered five points and three assists before fouling out. Freshman guard Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./St. Thomas More Prep) had missed the previous 10 games with a knee injury but returned to post three points and five assists.
Pepperdine committed just eight turnovers (and had a 21-8 edge in points off turnovers) and outshot USD, 47.4% to 41.1%.
"We haven't been playing well at home," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "The urgency of the conference season starting meant we needed to change that. We got a monkey off our back since USD won the last six straight. We had a lot of motivation to do well. I'm excited and proud of the energy we had. I'm excited and proud that we stayed together when they took the lead."
Brooks scored 15 of his points in the first half, including a three-pointer that opened the scoring. The Waves never trailed in the first half and led by as many as 10 before taking a 34-26 lead at the break.
Another Brooks three-pointer gave Pepperdine its largest lead of 12 points at 46-34 with 17 minutes to go in the second half.
But the Toreros then began chipping away at the lead and eventually took their only lead of the game on a lay-up by Christopher Anderson, putting USD in front 53-52 with 11 1/2 minutes left.
Tied 58-58 with under eight minutes to play, Major began a 10-0 run with a three-pointer to beat the shot clock. Lane then took over, sinking a jumper, scoring off a putback and converting a three-point play to put Pepperdine in front 68-58 with less than five minutes to go.
USD's Johnny Dee, who scored a game-high 26 points, hit two three-pointers to make it a five-point game at 69-64 with 3:25 left, but the Toreros wouldn't score again.
The Waves won their WCC opener for the fifth time in the last six years. Pepperdine had lost its last six meetings with San Diego, all in the last two seasons (twice in the regular season and once at the WCC Tournament).
Pepperdine is home again on Monday (Dec. 30) as the Waves host Brigham Young at 7 p.m. in Firestone Fieldhouse. The contest will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, and there will be an audio-only WaveCast with Al Epstein at www.pepperdinesports.com.