Waves Fall at Santa Clara, 70-60
Feb. 16, 2013
On Thursday, the Waves (12-14, 4-9 WCC) fell behind rival Loyola Marymount 6-0 at home but came back for a 52-50 win.
Tonight, the Broncos (19-8, 7-5 WCC) jumped out to a 7-0 lead and kept it going, eventually leading by 17 points in the first half. Pepperdine got no closer than six the rest of the way.
Sophomore guard Jordan Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS) had a team-high 18 points along with six rebounds and four assists. Freshman forwards Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) and Jett Raines (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS) had 12 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman guard Austin Mills (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills HS) had eight points and season highs of five rebounds and five assists.
Santa Clara shot 58% in the first half and took a 39-30 lead at the break. The Waves held the Broncos to just 37% in the second half (47.2% for the game). But Pepperdine shot just 38.3% itself.
The Broncos hit six of their eight three-pointers in the first half, while the Waves' only three-pointer (on seven attempts) came late in the contest. Santa Clara converted 12 Pepperdine turnovers into an 18-8 edge in points off turnovers.
The Waves had one of their better nights of the season at the foul line, where they went 23-for-28 (82.1%) compared to SCU's 12-for-22 (54.5%).
Santa Clara's Kevin Foster picked up right where he left off from the first meeting this season, an 83-76 Bronco win in Firestone Fieldhouse on January 19. In that game, he scored 10 of his 29 points in the final 3+ minutes.
Tonight, Foster had a game-high 22 points, including 10 in the first four minutes. His third three-pointer put Santa Clara ahead 19-6 seven minutes into the game. Santa Clara's lead grew to 25-10 with 11 minutes left and then 35-18 with 5:42 remaining in the half.
"The tough thing is allowing Foster to get going, hitting those threes early," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We talked about it, we talked about his range, we talked about his ability to come off the ball screens. We didn't adjust to him early. We didn't close out close enough to him. That's a disappointing thing. The positive was that in the second half we adjusted and got the ball out of his hands, but other guys made plays."
The Waves would end the half on a 12-4 run, with Mills and junior forward Moriba De Freitas (Bon Air Gardens, Trinidad/Williston State JC) scoring four points apiece and Baker scoring on a lay-up right before the halftime buzzer. That cut the deficit to nine at 39-30.
After SCU went up 44-32 in the second half, the Waves went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead in half with 14:41 to play. Santa Clara scored the next two baskets to go back up by 10, but the Waves got it down to six again at 48-42 with 12:49 left after consecutive baskets by Davis off assists from Mills.
But the Waves would then go more than 4 1/2 minutes until their next field goal, and Santa Clara would score the next seven points. The Broncos' lead stayed in double-digits the rest of the way, as they took their biggest second-half lead of 16 points at 62-46 before the Waves eventually whittled the lead down to its final margin of 10.
Pepperdine has a bye next Thursday, so the Waves' next game is also in the Bay Area next Saturday (Feb. 23) against San Francisco at 6 p.m. It will be televised in Southern California on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's broadcast via WaveCasts and join an interactive live game blog/chat at www.pepperdinesports.com.