Baker, Darby Key Men's Basketball's Win Over Santa Clara
Jan. 28, 2012
Jordan Baker had a big first half, senior forward Taylor Darby did the same in the second half and the Pepperdine men's basketball team put together an excellent performance on Saturday night with a 74-62 home win over Santa Clara in West Coast Conference play.
The Waves improved to 8-13 overall and 2-8 in the WCC and handed the Broncos (8-13, 0-8) their ninth consecutive loss.
Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS) scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the first half as Pepperdine took a 32-28 halftime lead. Limited in the first half by two fouls, Darby (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills HS) scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half as the Waves went up by as many as 19 points.
Senior center Corbin Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Joshua Lowery (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) contributed 13 points off the bench. Junior guard Caleb Willis (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge HS) had eight rebounds and six assists.
The Waves had their third-highest scoring output of the season and shot 48.0% from the field, their best mark during the month of January. Pepperdine sank six of eight three-pointers and earned 20 points at the free throw line, compared to Santa Clara's six.
The Waves also dominated the boards, finishing with a 35-24 edge. Thirteen offensive rebounds led to a 22-4 advantage in second-chance points. Pepperdine doubled up Santa Clara in points in the paint, 28-14, and also forced a season-high 18 turnovers.
"We executed offensively," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "That's the thing we've been working on, that's what we've been preaching. We're trying to get better offensively, so we're not putting so much pressure on our defense. The guys did their jobs, and that's something we continue to talk about, doing your job."
Baker scored Pepperdine's first seven points on a three-pointer and a four-point play. The first half actually had 12 lead changes in the first 11 minutes. The last one of the game came when Lowery put Pepperdine ahead 21-20 on a lay-up with 8:29 to play.
The Waves' four-point halftime lead shrunk to two at 34-32, but sophomore guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) keyed a 9-2 run with a pair of three-pointers. That put Pepperdine ahead by double-digits for the first time, and a free throw by Darby made it 43-32 with 14:45 to play.
Santa Clara got it down to four points on a couple of occasions, last at 46-42 with 10 minutes to go. But Moore sank two free throws and hit a three-pointer, Lowery made a lay-up and sophomore forward Hector Harold (Pasadena, Calif./Northfield Mount Hermon School) sank a jumper to help the Waves' to a 9-1 run and a 55-43 lead with 7:25 to play. The Waves led by double-figures the rest of the game and took a 19-point lead on a three-point play by Darby, making it 70-51 with 2:33 left.
Pepperdine next travels to rival Loyola Marymount on Thursday (Feb. 2) for a Wells Fargo PCH Cup game at 7:30 p.m. Fans can listen to the game via WaveCasts and join an interactive live blog/chat at www.pepperdinesports.com, and the game will be televised by Prime Ticket. Then, Pepperdine returns home to host Gonzaga next Saturday (Feb. 4) at 7 p.m. A free webstream is available at www.pepperdinesports.com.