Men's Hoops Ends Strong, Beats Utah Valley
Nov. 23, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - Locked in a close, hard-fought game with Utah Valley, the Pepperdine men's basketball team took over in the final four minutes and came away with a 58-53 victory in Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday evening.
The Waves (4-1) were led by senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA), who had 11 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Lane also had the go-ahead basket with a little more than two minutes left. The Wolverines fell to 2-3.
Pepperdine trailed 45-42 at the final media timeout with 3:55 to play. But the Waves then went on a 10-1 run over the next three-plus minutes and took their largest lead of the game at 52-46 with 40 seconds remaining.
Tied at 46, Lane took the ball on the block and made a nice move in the paint to put Pepperdine ahead with 2:04 left. After a defensive stop, freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) drove baseline around a Lane screen and laid the ball in for a four-point lead with 1:06 left. After forcing another UVU miss, senior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) sank two free throws with 40 seconds left.
The Wolverines got no closer than three points in the final minute and Pepperdine went 8-for-9 from the foul line in the final 40 seconds.
Skouen scored 10 points for the Waves. Sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) was held to seven points but he also contributed nine rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Major had nine points and five rebounds. Senior forward Malte Kramer (Frieburg, Germany/Cuesta College) added seven points, all in the second half, including four free throws in the final minute.
"We have a lot of guys who haven't been in these types of situations," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "They're under pressure, and we're asking them to execute offensively and defensively. I'm proud of what our guys did at the end of the game. We got some great stops. We knew where they were going and we did a great job on them. And then we made our free throws at the end, which was huge."
Both teams struggled in the first half, as both schools shot less than 30% from the field. Utah Valley led 24-22 at the break. The Waves picked things up considerably in the second half, going 11-for-19 (57.9%) and finishing at 41.9% overall. Utah Valley ended up at 31.7% for the night.
The Wolverines were able to keep things close due to turnovers (just six to Pepperdine's 15, and 14-0 advantage in points off turnovers), offensive rebounds (UVU had 13-3 edge in second-chance points) and free throws (the Waves were nine for their first 17 until the final minute). Pepperdine finished with a 42-33 rebounding edge, however, and made 17 free throws to Utah Valley's nine.
Pepperdine will next be in action at the Great Alaska Shootout. The Waves' first game is Thanksgiving night (Thursday, Nov. 28) against Green Bay at 6:30 p.m. PT / 5:30 p.m. AT. That game will be televised by the CBS Sports Network, and fans can also listen to all three of Pepperdine's games via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com with Al Epstein on the call.