Waves Use Second Half Run to Cruise to 74-51 Win
Pepperdine closes out non-conference play with the victory and will open WCC play Dec. 28 at San Diego.
Dec. 21, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's basketball team used a blistering second half performance to score its largest margin of victory in nearly two years, with a 74-51 win over Northern Arizona Saturday. The Waves entered the second half trailing by one, but went on a 31-4 run to pull away and cruise to the win.
Four Waves scored in double figures on the night and Pepperdine hit 18-of-37 shots in the second half, while holding the Lumberjacks to just seven second half field goals.
"I'm happy with how confident we looked offensively, but I'm more impressed with the fact that we clamped down defensively and only allowed them to score 21 points in the second half," said Pepperdine Head Coach Ryan Weisenberg. "We did a good job of making (Amanda Frost) do something other than just taking set shots and I think they tried to force the issue. That's where some of those turnovers came from."
Pepperdine trailed by as much as four early in the second period and by as much as eight in the game, but kicked off a 31-4 run that spanned nearly 12 minutes to take control. Trailing 41-37 at the 16:20 mark, the Waves scored nine straight points behind two jumpers from Allie Green (Sacramento, Calif./Sacramento HS) and a three from Ea Shoushtari (Los Angeles, Calif./L.A.C.E.S.) to take a 46-41 lead. After the teams traded baskets, the Waves rattled off 18 unanswered points to eventually take a 68-45 lead with 4:34 to play.
Pepperdine got baskets from six different players during the run and forced 10 turnovers. In all, NAU committed 24 turnovers on the night. Bria Richardson (Hawthorne, Calif./Serra HS) posted four steals to go along with her team-high 18 points and Green added 15 points and three steals.
"Defensively our posts started doing a better job of fronting in the second half as well," said Weisenberg. "Those passes were not as easy as they were in the first half for them. They were mishandled and we were in the right place at the right time."
The Waves fell behind 9-2 out of the gates, but fought back behind a long ball from Shoushtari and two straight baskets by Keitra Wallace (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS). Pepperdine grabbed its first lead of the half when Shoushtari grabbed a steal at half court and pushed it forward, feeding it to Kelsey Brockway (Rolling Hills, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) for the lay-in, putting the waves up 22-21 at the 4:16 mark. NAU took the advantage right back, hitting three straight baskets including Amanda Frost's third three of the half, to regain a six-point lead. Baskets by Richardson and Green going into the half made it a 30-29 game in favor of the Lumberjacks.
NAU's Frost posted 25 points to lead all players in the game, hitting 5-of-11 3-pointers and Raven Anderson had 11 points. No other Lumberjack scored more than four after that. The Lumberjacks shot 34.5 percent from the field to 42.6 percent for the Waves.
Shoushtari added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Waves and Wallace posted 10 points and eight boards.
The win moves Pepperdine to 4-7 on the season and drops NAU to 3-5. The Waves' last win by at least 23 points was a 66-43 victory over Colorado State on Jan. 2, 2011. The victory closes out non-conference play for Pepperdine as the Waves head to San Diego on Dec. 28 (2 p.m.) to open WCC play.