Short-Handed Men's Basketball Team Battles But Falls at BYU
Jan. 9, 2014
PROVO, Utah - Even without the team's two top scorers in West Coast Conference play, a short-handed Pepperdine men's basketball team put together a strong effort before falling at Brigham Young, 84-72, on Thursday evening in the Marriott Center.
Senior forward Brendan Lane (knee) and junior guard Malcolm Brooks (ankle), who both rank among the conference's top 10 scorers with averages of 17.0 and 15.8 points in WCC play, respectively, were held out of the game. Both players had started the first 16 games of the season. Additionally, senior guard Nikolas Skouen became ill on Thursday and was also unavailable. It's hoped that all three players will be available for Saturday's contest at San Diego.
Without those three upperclassmen, the Waves (10-7, 3-2 WCC) were left with one senior, four sophomores and six freshmen to go against the more experienced Cougars (10-7, 2-2 WCC) and a raucous crowd of 14,012.
BYU led the entire game and kept building a decent-size lead, but Pepperdine kept coming back until one final Cougar surge. Freshman guard Jeff Van Dyke (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) nailed a three-pointer with five minutes remaining that made the score 62-60 in BYU's favor.
But after a timeout, the Cougars went on a game-saving 8-0 run keyed by Tyler Haws. He had two three-pointers during that run, and scored 11 of his game-high 35 points in a 2 1/2-minute span as the Cougars' lead grew to 75-62. The Waves were unable to catch up one last time.
Sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) scored a team-high 17 points for the Waves. Freshman guard Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) had season highs of 14 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) added 12 points and six assists.
"We played a lot of guys that haven't played very many minutes," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "Our guys fought. Especially defensively, we battled. We needed to do a better job on Haws. But without the three guys that we were missing, our guys played hard, we played smart, and we stayed together, especially after that early run."
The Waves beat the Cougars at home less than two weeks ago, and BYU came out hot in the return matchup. The Cougars jumped out to a 12-0 lead after just three-and-a-half minutes.
The Waves got themselves together, especially on the defensive end, and made it a one-point game at 18-17 with 9:40 to go after a basket by sophomore guard Austin Mills (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills HS). A drive and basket by sophomore guard Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS) eventually tied the game at 28-28 with 2 1/2 minutes left, and it was tied again at 30-30 after two Major free throws. But, the Cougars went into halftime with a 33-30 lead.
BYU's lead grew to eight points at 38-30 after scoring the first five points of the second half. Six straight points by the Waves on a three-point play by sophomore forward Jett Raines (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS) and a three-pointer by freshman guard Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle HS/St. Thomas More Prep) made it 38-36 with 17 minutes to go.
The Cougars' lead went up to nine with nine minutes to play at 57-48. The Waves chipped away, and Van Dyke's three-pointer made it a two-point game again with five minutes left before BYU went on to win.
BYU had advantages of 46.6 to 40.4% in shooting and 40-27 in rebounding. In the first meeting the Waves made 13 three-pointers to the Cougars' one, but tonight both teams made seven.
Pepperdine concludes a stretch of four straight road games at San Diego on Saturday (Jan. 11) at 6 p.m. There will be an audio-only WaveCast with Al Epstein at www.pepperdinesports.com. The game will be shown on FOX Sports San Diego and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and for out-of-market viewers on TheW.tv.