Baker Scores 26, But Men's Hoops Falls 78-63 at USF
Jan. 14, 2012
Jordan Baker had a scintillating 26-point performance, but the Pepperdine men's basketball team lost at San Francisco, 78-63, in West Coast Conference play on Saturday afternoon.
The Waves fell to 7-10 overall and 1-5 in the WCC, while the Dons improved to 12-8, 2-4, and avoided a two-game series sweep. Pepperdine beat USF, 77-61, at home in the league opener.
Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS) had 12 points in the first half and 14 in the second and became the first Wave this season to score at least 20 points in a game. He made 10 of 17 field goals, sank two three-pointers and was 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Baker has scored in double-figures in all six WCC games (something he only did once in non-conference play).
The Waves shot 42.9% from the field, their best outing in the last few games, but the Dons went from 37.7% in the first meeting to 55.1% in this one. The 78 points were the second-most given up by Pepperdine this season.
Pepperdine trailed by six at halftime, 32-26, despite outshooting USF, 52.4% to 50.0%. The Waves got within one point on three occasions in the second half, but each time, the Dons immediately answered.
A jumper by Baker made it 41-40 with 14 1/2 minutes left, but USF's Perris Blackwell responded with a lay-up. Senior forward Taylor Darby (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills HS) scored in the paint to make the score 43-42, but USF's Cole Dickerson scored on the other end. Finally, it was 45-44 after two free throws by junior guard Joshua Lowery (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) with 12:33 to play, but Michael Williams hit a shot for the Dons.
Sophomore guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) sank a three-pointer to pull the Waves within two at 49-47 with a little more than 10 minutes to play, but Pepperdine hit a drought after that. It would be more than six minutes until the next field goal. Though the Waves would hit some free throws during this stretch, USF went on a 16-4 run to pull ahead by 14, 65-51, with less than five minutes left.
The score was 67-53 when senior center Corbin Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) hit a baseline jumper with 3:49 to play, the first field goal since Skouen's three-pointer.
USF shot 60.0% in the second half to Pepperdine's 35.7%.
Baker was the only Wave in double-figures. He was followed by Moore, who had eight points, and junior guard Caleb Willis (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge HS), who had eight points, five assists and two steals. Lowery recorded seven points and six assists.
USF put five players in double-digits, led by Williams' 17.
The Waves will make their second consecutive trip to the Bay Area to next face Saint Mary's on Thursday (Jan. 19) at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's broadcast at www.pepperdinesports.com and join an interactive live game blog/chat.