Men's Hoops Season Ends With Second-Round Loss to USD
March 1, 2012
Taylor Darby, Corbin Moore and Richard Branning of the Pepperdine men's basketball team had strong performances in their final game, but the Waves lost to San Diego, 76-54, in the second round of the 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships on Thursday.
After beating the Toreros (13-17) three times last season, the seventh-seeded Waves (10-19) had the tables turned on them this year. Sixth-seeded USD was victorious in all three meetings.
Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) recorded his eighth double-double of the season with team highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds. He tied his career high with four three-pointers. The eight double-doubles are the most by any Pepperdine player in the last 11 seasons.
Darby (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills HS), the Waves' leading scorer for the season, finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Unfortunately, he wound up just three points shy of 1,000 for his career.
Branning (Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo-Atherton HS), a seldom-used walk-on for much of his four years, played a career-high 17 minutes (his previous best was five) and he tied his career high with six points on two made three-pointers.
Pepperdine led 8-4 early, but the Toreros used a 25-4 run to go in front by 17 points at 29-12. The Waves, turned things around, however, holding USD to one field goal in the final six minutes and closing the gap to 11 points at 33-22 at halftime.
As has been the case for much of the season, the Waves fought back in the second half, even if the final result didn't show it. Moore opened the second half with a pair of three-pointers, kicking off an 11-2 run that got Pepperdine within two points at 35-33 with a little less than 16 minutes to play.
It was still just a four-point game at 39-35 after Darby scored on a putback, but then the Toreros' Johnny Dee heated up. He scored the Toreros' next 12 points en route to a career-high 30, and the Waves didn't have a second comeback in them.
San Diego ended up shooting 56.3% for the game, the best mark by a Pepperdine opponent all season. The Waves shot 39.2% and committed 18 turnovers to the Toreros' nine. San Diego had a 16-5 edge in points off turnovers.
This was the sixth time in eight years the two schools met in the WCC Tournament (the Toreros won five of them).