The Waves should return six of 13 letterwinners, while three more players redshirted.
Corbin Moore had his eighth double-double, most by any Wave in the last 11 seasons.
The Waves trailed 27-26 at halftime but used an 18-3 run to take their largest lead of 13 points at 47-34 with 11 minutes to play.
Corbin Moore, thanks to a 4-for-5 performance from behind the three-point line, set a career high for points.
The Waves open at home on Saturday with an exhibition against Occidental.
Senior Night, Basketball Homecoming and a 70-65 win by the Waves over the Pilots. Photos by Martin A. Folb.
Martin A. Folb's photos of the Waves' 77-61 WCC-opening win over the Dons.
Martin A. Folb's photos of the kickoff event for college basketball season.
Jeff Golden's photos of the Waves-Gaels contest at Firestone Fieldhouse.
CAREER: A walk-on who appeared in 14 games over four seasons ... Averaged 1.3 points in 2.7 minutes ... Scored all 18 of his career points via three-pointers.
PEPPERDINE 2011-12: Sank five three-pointers to score a total of 15 points as a senior ... Appeared in eight games and averaged 1.9 points in 3.8 minutes ... Nearly doubled his career playing time in the WCC Tournament game vs. San Diego (3/1), playing 17 minutes, knocking down two three-pointers and grabbing two rebounds ... Also sank a pair of threes at Seattle (2/16), establishing a career high of six points ... Sank his other three-pointer at BYU (2/11).
PEPPERDINE 2010-11: Came off the bench twice as a junior ... Scored his first career points on his only shot of the season, a three-pointer at the end of the contest at Miami (12/30) ... Played a career-high three minutes vs. Saint Mary's (1/8) and pulled down his first career rebound.
PEPPERDINE 2009-10: Saw action in three games as a sophomore ... Played one minute each against Portland (2/18), Saint Mary's (2/25) and San Diego (2/27) ... Missed his only shot attempt at Saint Mary's.
PEPPERDINE 2008-09: Appeared in one game as a freshman ... Played one minute at Portland (2/19) with no stats.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School, located in Atherton, Calif., in 2008 .... Played two years on the varsity ... As a senior, named to the San Francisco Examiner's All-San Mateo County first team, Daily News All-Area third team, San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro honorable mention and the All-Peninsula Athletic League first team ... Averaged 13.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 44% on three-pointers and 90% on free throws as a senior ... Set school records for free throw percentage and three-pointers in a season (78) ... Team played in the Northern California Division II regional semifinals his junior year and quarterfinals his senior year ... Menlo-Atherton lost in the Central Coast Section Division II final both years ... Attended St. Francis High School, located in Mountain View, Calif., his first two years.
CLUB: Played with the West Valley Basketball Club in 2006-07.
PERSONAL: Born in Laguna Hills, Calif. ... Son of Rich and Dianna Branning ... His father played basketball at Notre Dame and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers ... His mother played volleyball at Cal Poly SLO ... Has three siblings: Kelli, Hannah and Royce ... His sister Kelli is a member of Pepperdine women's volleyball indoor and sand teams ... Majoring in economics ... Chose Pepperdine "for the combination of great athletics and academics, and being able to go to a school that shares my faith."
FAVORITES: Enjoys going to the beach ... Lists his sports hero as Pete Maravich because "his dedication and passion for the game was pretty amazing" ... Favorite pro basketball team is the Los Angeles Lakers ... Favorite book is the Bible ... Favorite movie is Remember the Titans ... Favorite TV show is SportsCenter ... Favorite musical artist is The Game ... Favorite sport other than basketball is baseball ... Favorite things about basketball are "I love working on my game and the excitement that comes with the game."