Great First-Half Effort, But Men's Hoops Falls at BYU
Jan. 10, 2013
Pepperdine (9-7, 1-2 WCC) led by as many as nine in the first half and took a 35-30 lead at the break in front of a stunned crowd of 14,888. But after the Cougars (13-4, 3-0 WCC) were held to 28% shooting in the first half, BYU turned up its defense and blitzed the Waves in the second half.
Sophomore guard Jordan Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS) scored 20 points for Pepperdine, but all of them came in the first half. Despite battling illness, senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) scored eight points.
"BYU made some great adjustments," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "They had trouble guarding Jordan Baker in the first half. In the second they doubled him every time he got it and dared our other guys to have to make a play, and we couldn't score. We stuck to our game plan, we did a great job defensively in the first half, and in the second half it got away from us."
In the first half, junior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) bookended an 11-2 run with three-pointers, and Baker scored the five points in between, helping the Waves take a 24-17 lead with less than six minutes remaining in the first half.
Back-to-back baskets by Baker gave the Waves their first nine-point lead at 28-19 with 4:44 to go, and Baker's final basket of the half pushed the lead back up to nine at 35-26 with under a minute to go. BYU would score the final four points of the half, however, making the score at the break 35-30.
In the second half, the Waves led by five at 39-34 after a basket by Jackson, but Pepperdine wouldn't get another field goal for nearly 7 1/2 minutes, and by that time the Cougars led 54-40. The lead steadily grew from there as the Waves made just six of 22 shots in the second half (27.3%) and committed 10 of their 16 turnovers.
Overall, the Waves shot 39.6% to BYU's 42.9%, the first time in 14 games that the Waves had been outshot. The Cougars committed just six turnovers and had a 23-2 edge in points off turnovers.
A week ago, the Waves had an eight-point first-half lead against Gonzaga, as well as a one-point lead with 14 minutes left, but ended up losing 78-62.
Before the game, Wilson announced that senior guard Caleb Willis (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge HS) became academically ineligible at the start of the spring semester.
Willis, a two-year starter, was averaging 5.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and a team-high 4.7 assists. Last season he became the first Wave to record 100+ assists since 2007, and this season he ranked fifth in the WCC in assists.
"It's disappointing to lose a senior, a guy who's been the glue of our team," Wilson said. "He's held us together. He's our toughest, most physical perimeter guy and is someone who understands our offense and defense. It's disappointing to lose him at this time, him being a senior, and probably at a time when we need him the most. We'll play the guys we have, we can't dwell on the past, we have to focus on the future."
Pepperdine returns home to host San Diego on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 7 p.m. Fans can also watch the game via WaveCasts and join an interactive live game blog/chat at www.pepperdinesports.com. The game will also be shown online by WCC Digital.