Men's Hoops Wins a Close One Against Rival LMU
Feb. 14, 2013
The Waves (12-13, 4-8 WCC) swept the regular-season series from the Lions (8-17, 1-11 WCC) for the first time since 2009.
Pepperdine led 46-42 with 5:51 to play, but then LMU responded with an 8-0 run go ahead 50-46 with 3:31 left. The Waves turned things around, however, and didn't allow the Lions to score again.
With 2:54 left, sophomore guard Jordan Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS) sank a jumper and was fouled. He finished the three-point play to pull the Waves within one point at 50-49. After an LMU miss, junior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) nailed a jumper from the left baseline that put Pepperdine ahead to stay. It was the 11th lead change of the game and it put the Waves ahead 51-50 with 1:42 to go.
The Waves forced another missed shot by the Lions, and then LMU missed a pair of free throws with 1:02 left. The Waves forced a turnover on the Lions' final possession, as senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) came up with the ball near midcourt. A held ball was called, and the arrow favored the Waves with 2.8 seconds left.
After a foul with 2.1 seconds left, freshman forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) made the first of two free throws and missed the second. A three-quarters-court heave by the Lions missed the mark.
"Our guys are starting to gain some mental toughness when teams are physical, especially late in games," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We're learning how to grind and push back when they push us. That's just growth.
"We struggled, especially in the first half. In the second half a couple of turnovers hurt us but we were able to take the lead. When it counted, our guys stepped up."
Baker led the Waves with 16 points, while Jackson scored 11 and Skouen added nine.
Pepperdine outshot LMU 45.9% to 33.3%, but the Lions kept things close due to offensive rebounds (14) and Pepperdine turnovers (16). Pepperdine had an edge at the foul line, going 17-for-25 to LMU's 9-for-12.
The Lions' Anthony Ireland scored a game-high 26 points on 10-for-22 shooting but no one else had more than eight points. With four assists, Ireland had a hand in 14 of LMU's 18 field goals.
Pepperdine handed LMU its ninth straight loss. It's the 14th time in the last 15 years the Waves have beaten the Lions in Firestone Fieldhouse.
The largest lead of the game for either team was six points. LMU's came right at the start when the Lions jumped out to a 6-0 lead. A 9-1 run would later put Pepperdine in front 18-13, but LMU would come back to take a 25-24 lead at halftime.
Pepperdine's biggest lead came in the second half when the Waves went ahead 39-33 with 12:09 left after a three-point play by Davis. LMU scored the next seven points, however, and that was followed by five straight points by Pepperdine, helping to set up the finish.
The Waves won the two games over the Lions by a total of five points (it was 60-57 at Gersten Pavilion on Jan. 24).
The Waves next head up the coast to play at Santa Clara on Saturday (Feb. 16) at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's broadcast via WaveCasts and join an interactive live game blog/chat at www.pepperdinesports.com. WCC Digital will also produce a webcast.